Birds in flight are always an interesting photography subject for me. It doesn’t matter what the bird species is, birds in flight just fascinate and intrigue me. I have always had interest in birds and that interest seems to translate into my strong desire in photographing them.
Growing up I had pigeons, finches and parakeets as well as a few other birds from time to time. As a result, bird flight has always had my attention and when I started to photograph them the challenge of getting a great image, both sharp and interesting, has been a challenge I often accept and look for on my many photography excursions.
On a recent trip to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge I came across a black-necked stilt which seemed to want to hang around a very specific part of the refuge. This corner of the marsh seemed to be a well suited spot for this pretty little bird. It was very persistent on keeping his small watery piece of real estate to himself it seemed. He would fly off for a brief moment but would return a few seconds later, chattering at me in protest as if I had interrupted his meal or something.
The fascination he had with this particular spot allowed me to try and get a few images of him in flight since I have never really spent much time photographing the black-necked stilt before. They are a very common summer resident on the refuge but have always played second fiddle to my favorite shorebird, the american avocet, when it comes to photography. On this particular day, however, I was able to get a flying image of the black-necked stilt as it flew past me, sitting quietly in my pickup truck watching the numerous pelicans feed nearby.
My favorite and preferred pose for flying birds is well represented in this image. I like the wings down which shows the feathers and the rest of the body of the bird. The long legs of the black-necked stilt make the bird such an interesting bird to watch and photograph as those long legs sometimes make getting the whole bird to fit in the image a daunting task. This time I was fortunate, however, to get the whole stilt positioned in a great flying pose.
It won’t be long before they and many of the other migratory birds on the refuge pack their bags and head south for the winter. I always look forward to fall migration with both gladness and sadness. Gladness for the new arriving birds to observe and photograph as they pass through the refuge but sadness because I know I will have several long cold months before they return for yet another summer season.