Friday, March 8, 2013

Where are the Egrets?

I'm worried about the egrets. Last week, I was sure they were going to return to the island in Audubon Park as in years past. I spotted three  couples building nests and mating, so I was sure that baby egrets would be coming along in a matter of weeks. On arriving at the park last Tuesday, I was surprised by their absence from the island. Same thing on Wednesday. They seemed to have completely abandoned the site after beginning to nest and breed there. On Thursday, camera in hand, I ventured across the foot bridge and onto the golf course (which is allowed as long as the pedestrian takes full responsibility if he or she is brained by an errant golf ball). I was happy to find five egrets perched on the bare branches of trees on that side of the lagoon. But if they haven't abandoned the area, they have not yet settled into the nests that they had started to build on the island. I am still hoping to see them return en masse to that site. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Have the Egrets returned?

While shooting birds in Audubon Park recently, I spotted four couples of great egrets. It was a welcome and unexpected sight. Until two years ago, the island in Audubon Park lagoon was covered this time of year with nesting egrets. Then a film crew arrived in the park with noise, bustle, and lights to shoot nocturnal scenes for Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, one of the stupidest movies ever made and a well-deserved box office flop. All that commotion disturbed the sleep of the egrets, who apparently decided “there goes the neighborhood” and disappeared overnight. That was in 2011. I hadn’t spotted more than the occasional egret in the park since then and lamented their absence. I am hoping my sighting of the four couples signals a return en masse to their island.

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Back With my Birds

Now that our sculpture show is up and running, I am turning my attention back to photography. My
current project is a children’s book of bird photos for Pelican Publishing. I have been photographing birds in and around the New Orleans region for the past two years. The idea of the book is to show a wide variety of bird species doing interesting things, accompanied by short comments meant to appeal to children. My hope is to charm, entertain, and educate young children about bird habits and habitats. One thing I particularly enjoy about this project is getting out into fresh air and open spaces. I also feel a certain sense of kinship with the birds. I may be imagining things, but I have the impression they have gotten to know me and accept my presence.

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