Images from the Tampa Bay Spoonbills tour & dates for 2022

The last Tampa Bay Spoonbills rookery tour was amazing with lots of young and adults interactions. The 2022 dates for this tour are set for January 29th-30th and February 26th-27th 2022. People from the early contact list already snatched 8 spots out of 10! Hurry to send me an email if you are interested 🙂

Spoonbills Photography Tours
Young Spoonbills chasing their mom for food – Tampa Bay Rookery
ISO 500 | f/5.6 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The image above is the classic behavior of newly fledged Spoonbills chasing one of their parent for food. Late in the season, the youngs come out while some of the adults start leaving the rookery. That type of action is only enjoyed by the end of May or early June. However, by then the adults tend to look a bit less colorful.

Young Spoonbill banking in flight
Young Spoonbill banking in flight – Tampa Bay Rookery
ISO 1000 | f/5.6 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

As the young Spoonbills learn to fly well, one can appreciate some impressive aerial stunts that are the result of the birds trying out their skills. There are thus many opportunities for banking shots as depicted in the image above.

Florida Spoonbills Photography Workshop
Young Spoonbills in the mangrove – Tampa Bay Rookery
ISO 640 | f/5.6 | 1/5000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

If you are looking for the peak of breeding colors with the adults, then I invite you to participate in the January or February tours!!

Ospreys / Spoonbills mix Photography Tour – $1,390

March 26th-27th 2022 / limit 5 people – 1 open

April 23rd-24th 2022 / limit 5 people – 1 open

Florida Osprey-Spoonbill Photography Tour - 2022

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 steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Tampa Bay Spoonbills Rookery Photography Tour – $1,490

January 29th-30th 2022 / limit 5 people – Full

February 26th-27th 2022 / limit 5 people – 2 open

Florida Spoonbills Photography Workshop

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 steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Images from the Ospreys / Spoonbills mix tour

The last Ospreys / Spoonbills mix tour was quite a success! And there will be two Ospreys / Spoonbills mix tours in 2022: March 26-27 and April 23-24. Hurry to book your spot 🙂 This photography workshop turned out to be a powerful blend: one full day photographing eye-level Osprey nests in a natural Cypress trees lake and one morning creating images at an excellent Spoonbills rookery. The latter is one of the best spots for land-based shooting for this species with breeding colors.

Osprey A36 - Vero Beach Cypress Lake
Osprey landing on a Cypress Tree branch – Vero Beach Cypress Lake
ISO 1600 | f/5.6 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The image above is the classic type of environment you will encounter at the Cypress Lake: a green lush natural habitat! Lately, it has become very difficult finding nests that are not built on a metal saucer on top of a human made pole. Not only you get the natural habitat feel, but many of the nests are located at eye-level when shooting from the pontoon boat.

Osprey A37 - Vero Beach Cypress Lake
Osprey taking off from a Cypress Tree – Vero Beach Cypress Lake
ISO 1250 | f/5.6 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

Another Osprey taking off from a Cypress tree branch, with a green backdrop. There are more the 250 Osprey nests at the Vero Beach Cypress lake! You cannot beat that density level for Ospreys. Many of them will fly very close by, allowing for good results even with medium telephoto lenses, a rarity in bird photography.

Roseate Spoonbill D76_Vero Beach Rookery
Osprey landing on a Cypress Tree branch – Vero Beach Cypress Lake
ISO 6400 | f/4 | 1/2500 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The local Spoonbills rookery offers many opportunities for dramatic landing for the discerning eye. any of the birds fly from the very close rookery island to the shore to pick nesting material. This behavior creates predictable flying patterns and one of the best situation I know of for landing shots.

Ospreys / Spoonbills mix Photography Tour – $1,390

March 26th-27th 2022 / limit 5 people – 4 open

April 23rd-24th 2022 / limit 5 people – 1 open

Florida Osprey-Spoonbill Photography Tour - 2022

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 steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Unique Crypto Bird Art NFTs Now Available!

Yes! I am launching a Crypto NFT collection for bird art. Check out the initial offer, which is a great way to invest in crypto currency and digital art. This might be a new concept for many, but it looks like the art world is heading that way with some recent high price tag sales around the World 🙂

Courtship Flight - Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT
“Courtship Flight” – Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT

With NFTs (Non Fungible Tokens), you get the opportunity to become the sole owner of a piece of digital art with the title of ownership stored as a blockchain, and for all to see. It gives a unique sense of exclusivity to the owner and many private collectors or investors are starting to heavily invest in the crypto digital art. In the case above, you would own a unique jpg file of 6865 pixels in its longest side.

Angry Bird - Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT
“Angry Bird” – Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT

The Crypto Digital Bird Art collection displays digital painting renderings of award-winning images. The pieces are available in their highest existing resolution, allowing large size prints to adorn your walls.

Pink Speed - Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT
“Pink Speed” – Crypto Digital Bird Art NFT

The piece above is a digital painting rendering of a slow shutter speed image creation. Note the two beautiful subjects and the striking green streaks created by the mangrove trees in the background.

Skimmers Colony Photography Tour – $1,090

June 26th-27th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open

Black Skimmers colony photography tour teaser

Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to a unique Florida Black Skimmers colony along the beach. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Images From The February Spoonbill Tour

And only one more Spoonbills tour to go for the season! Note that there is still one open spot for the Florida Black Skimmers colony tour… The February session turned out great, with lots of opportunities and a very first for me: images featuring the moon in the background 🙂

Roseate Spoonbill flight blur
Adult Spoonbill flight blur against the mangrove trees – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 4000 | f/5.6 | 1/25 sec. | Tv mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

During the tours, we always arrive on site a good 15min-20min ahead of sunrise. It is the perfect time to practice artistic blurs as the image above illustrates. After instructing the boat Captain on the best positioning, the group had the opportunity to create blurs of flying Spoonbills with the mangrove trees as close background. The combination with the trees allows for the creation of the green streaks above. Stunning effect if you ask me 🙂

Adult Spoonbill Taking off - Florida Bird Tour
Spoonbill with breeding colors taking off – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 1000 | f/8 | 1/4000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II with the 2.0x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

Take off images are among the hardest ones to create! The main reason is that one needs to anticipate on the action, which is much more difficult than “simply” follow a flying bird until landing. And among the take off shots, my preferred ones are the ones with the wings all the way up, preferably with a good view at the upper wing detail. While it seems like a tall order, good positioning combined with being able to read the bird’s behavior greatly helps in getting those pictures. During the tours, I do my very best to call out those shots ahead of time.

Spoonbill Moon Shot
Juvenile Spoonbill flying in front of the moon – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 1000 | f/6.3 | 1/1000 sec. | Tv mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The “Moon shot” above is a first at the Spoonbill rookery for me, and hopefully the beginning of a new pursuit! After pointing out to the group that we had a newly risen sun on one side of the sky and a moon about to set on the opposite direction, I noticed there were a few birds occasionally flying right in front of the moon. While staying in Shutter speed priority mode (Tv for Canon), I simply raised the shutter speed from blur tempo to about 1/1000 of a sec. Then, I had the rare opportunity to create the image above as a juvenile Spoonbill flew at the exact height of the moon.

February Spoonbill Tour Testimonial

“This workshop was great. The spoonbill rookery in Tampa Bay provides great photo opportunities and Steven gave us many tips on how to get the best shots. What a wonderful opportunity to photograph one of our showiest, most flamboyant birds!” — David C

Skimmers Colony Photography Tour – $1,090

June 26th-27th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open

Black Skimmers colony photography tour teaser

Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to a unique Florida Black Skimmers colony along the beach. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Florida Ospreys Photography Tour – $1,490

April 24th-25th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

Florida Ospreys Photography Tour

3 boat rides and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring on a pristine cypress trees lake. Many nests are at eye level, allowing shooting from up close in a natural habitat. No big lens needed! An ideal setup for beginners… 1 working lunch sessions with lunch included. $300 deposit. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com to book the last available spot!

Florida Spoonbills Photography Tour – $1,490

January 30th-31st 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

February 27th-28th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

June 5th-6th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open

Florida Spoonbills Photography Workshop

3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to the absolute best rookery to photograph spoonbills with breeding colors. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

January Spoonbill Tour Recap

The January Spoonbill tour is now completed and the February session is on the horizon! Here are a few images from the first run of the 2021 season. There is still space for the June session 🙂

Roseate Spoonbill in flight - Photography tour
Florida Spoonbill in flight above the ocean – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 800 | f/5.6 | 1/2500 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The first morning was really top notch with many birds congregating in the middle cove. Low tides and proper wind direction allowed for the birds to come far out in the water and the image above is a few wing beats after a take off from the shallow waters. Note the beautiful mating colors on the wings! Flights just above the water line are among my favorites 🙂

Double crested Cormorants sunrise silhouettes
Double crested Cormorants sunrise flight silhouettes – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 100 | f/32 | 1/25 sec. | Tv mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 400mm f/4 DO IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

The second morning had an amazing sunrise with many opportunities for pre-sunrise blurs and silhouettes. The above image is a successful silhouette creation of four Double-crested Cormorants in flight above the rising sun. While I have worked a lot on blurs in the past, I might turn to more silhouettes in the future as I am very proud of the outcome.

Roseate Spoonbill taking off - Tampa Bay
Florida Spoonbill in flight above the ocean – Tampa Bay Spoonbill Rookery
ISO 500 | f/5.6 | 1/3200 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focus
Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II with the 1.4x extender and the Canon EOS 1DX mark II.

Still from the second morning, the take off picture above are among the harder images to create. It takes a lot of proper behavior reading to anticipate and capture the beginning part of the take off. The above is my very own favorite stance in this type of sequence: when the wings are all the way up during the very first wing beat propulsion.

Skimmers Colony Photography Tour – $1,090

June 26th-27th 2021 / limit 4 people – 2 open

Black Skimmers colony photography tour teaser

Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to a unique Florida Black Skimmers colony along the beach. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

Florida Ospreys Photography Tour – $1,490

April 24th-25th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

Florida Ospreys Photography Tour

Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 boat rides and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring on a pristine cypress trees lake. Many nests are at eye level, allowing shooting from up close in a natural habitat. No big lens needed! An ideal setup for beginners… 1 working lunch sessions with lunch included. $300 deposit. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com to book the last available spot!

Florida Spoonbills Photography Tour – $1,490

January 30th-31st 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

February 27th-28th 2021 / limit 4 people – Full

June 5th-6th 2021 / limit 4 people – 1 open

Florida Spoonbills Photography Workshop

Receive a full refund up to one week prior to the tour in case of COVID-19 issues! 3 shoots and 1 over-the-shoulder Photoshop tutoring to the absolute best rookery to photograph spoonbills with breeding colors. $250 deposit. Limited to 4 participants until social distancing guidelines loosen. Send me an email at steven@stevenbirdphotography.com .

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