Tip #64: Be a Bird, Go Where they Live

Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) - St. Croix River
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS @ f3.2

Above average, that's how I'd rank my skills as a bird photographer. I'm not a bird specialist, just a nature generalist who will pursue birds when the opportunity presents itself. Because I'm not very good at calling in song birds and lack the bling to buy the type of telephoto that can extract them from a busy background, I tend to photograph the mega-fauna in this class of vertebrates. If I've described you, then you might find my next five tips to be useful. 
Tip #64: Be a Bird, Go Where they Live
Nest Bound Heron (Ardea herodias) - St. Croix River
Canon 7D + Canon 300mm f2.8L IS @ f3.2

To make these photos, a canoe was my most important piece of kit. The birds pictured are traveling to and from a riverine rookery situated on an island. While the nests are visible, they could not be easily photographed from shore. By using a canoe in the late afternoon, we were able to paddle ourselves to the wildlife. If you are going to be a bird in the pursuit of a unique image, it is important that you respect the subject. These animals were constructing nests, courting, and incubating eggs. The reproductive imperative reduced their fear of intruders, but do not confuse this temporary tolerance with domesticity. Be sensitive to their bubble, as no one photograph is worth a failed nesting season.   
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