During tours, I will typically call out the birds with the most striking breeding colors among a given group of birds. While keeping an eye for outside action, this is what I do to make the most of one subject.
The image above is a couple wing beats after take off. This is usually a good moment as the bird will flap harder to get speed, giving more dramatic wing positions (here wings fully down). Sometimes, you will also see a water drops still in the air. The key is have a good reading on the bird’s behavior and anticipate the take off as much as possible. Then you want to track the bird as well as possible!
After having taken a few action shots, I recommend going for close-ups such as the image above. With the super high-definition of the recent camera bodies, you do not necessarily need to risk a close approach and flushing the bird away. Look for a good head angle and some attitude. The water drop falling from the beak is a nice plus.
The feeding image does not happen as often, but here is a good example of a Spoonbill about to swallow a shrimp. It is thanks to this diet that Spoonbills are able to display impressive pink/red colors. The bird will swish the water with the beak open until it can feel a crustacean. The next step is to throw the prey out of the water for a quick swallow.
January 13th-14th 2024 / limit 5 people – 2 open
February 10th-11th 2024 / limit 5 people – Full
March 23rd-24th 2024 / limit 5 people – 4 open
3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring => 3 shoots at the Tampa Bay Spoonbills rookery. We typically shoot while wading in the water in the mornings and from the boat in the afternoon. $250 deposit. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
April 20th-21st 2024 / limit 5 people – 3 open
3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring => 2 boat-based Osprey shoots at the Vero Beach Cypress Lake + 1 land-based Spoonbills shoot at a local rookery. $250 deposit. Send me an email at email@example.com .
June 8th-9th 2024 / limit 6 people – 2 open
3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring => 3 shoots at the Sarasota Bay Black Skimmers colony. We shoot along the beach, where the nesting colony is easily accessible. $250 deposit. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .