Birds of Africa

Although I do not consider myself a “birder” in the strict sense, I am fascinated by colorful and unusual birds that I see around me. Photographing birds is not easy to do since you need a long lens (telephoto) and the ability to focus and track birds as they move. The longer the telephoto lens the harder it is to hold the camera and lens steady to prevent blurring. My Nikon camera and telephoto lens weighed over 6 pounds! For me, that was a heavy load, and yet I did manage to get quite a few focused images. Since my trip to South Africa, I traded in that heavy camera for a more manageable weight Olympus OMD EMI MKII, which I used on my recent safari to East Africa (Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda).

Knowing when birds will fly away requires patience and concentration. Most of my photographs are of birds that are stationary although I was always hoping I would be ready when, and if, they were to fly away. I captured thousands of images of birds on my African safaris oftentimes using the continuous auto focusing selection in my camera’s menu. I also photographed birds at the Audubon Society’s Hawk Walk in Greenwich, Connecticut last September. The hawks and owls (spectacled and horned) were magnificent.

Some of the images presented here are of Lilac Breasted Rollers, Secretary Birds, Tawny Eagles, Lanner Falcons, Goliath Herons, Flamingoes, Yellow Billed Hornbills, Shoebill Stork (a rare and rather prehistoric looking bird), Malachite Kingfishers, Ostrich, Ruppell’s Starlings, Cranes, Vultures and others that I don’t know the names of are presented here. If any of you know the names of the birds help me out by writing them in your comments.

I have entered several of these photographs in the National Audubon Photography Awards competition. I will keep you informed of the outcome.