As I’ve probably mentioned before, photographing birds is one of my infuriating compulsions. There’s something about the way they behave that makes it seem like they are taunting anyone who might want to take their picture – the irregular movements, the speed with which they fly in and out of reach. From the hyperactive songbirds to the swooping raptors, they’re all just screwing with anyone with a camera.
This is one area where I will happily and unreservedly give the nod to digital over film. I’d be in the poorhouse if I shot birds with film. Digital cameras, and DSLRs in particular, make it possible to compensate for the capricious and arbitrary behavior of the feathery bastards, giving the OCD-afflicted photographer a fighting chance of getting a decent shot or two without having to file for bankruptcy.
The fact that they are pretty everywhere just makes it worse. You can’t get away from them, and they’re all in cahoots.
This seagull apparently didn’t get the word that you aren’t supposed to make eye contact with the photographers. I’m sure he was duly chastised by his fellow birds.
Long lenses are the bane of the camera shy bird. These two red-tailed hawks were circling fairly high up, thinking no one could possibly get a decent shot at that range. Birds may be devious, but they are somewhat ignorant of technology.
Birds are tactically clever. This duck is part of the flock that professionally taunts tourists in Central Park. They swim around close by, but that’s boring. When they fly, however, they buzz the people so closely that clear shots are virtually impossible.
They’re cruel, manipulative creatures, those birds. They seem to enjoy watching us flail about with our cameras, trying desperately to get a shot of them. It may look like they’re just nonchalantly flying around enjoying themselves, but that’s all part of the master plan to drive us stark raving mad. I don’t know what photographers ever did to them, but whatever it was word apparently got out, and birds hold grudges.