Birders vs. Photographers

Having been a birder for 30 years and a serious photographer for the last ten I can be objective in the battle between birder and photographer. An appearance of a Snowy Owl usually makes this battle escalate. This year the irruption of Snowy Owls is unprecedented. They can be found with very little effort. I’m happy to say that this year the contentiousness hasn’t materialized. I’ve been out and photographed 4 different owls thus far (photos of 3 of them below) and haven’t found any bad behavior yet :-).

Something I’ve always want to talk about. Serious photographers DON’T want to chase birds (all birds). The obvious reason is if the bird flies there is no photo op. Of course, many times I’ve seen birds flushed through the photogs over-exuberance, short lens and/or ignorance. I’ve seen some of the same behavior with birders as well. Rather than getting crazy by the offenders actions I think, instead, we ¬†should try to educate the person. Most times it works. OK I’m off my soap box.

Click on thumbnail for full size view.

This entry was posted in Birds.


  1. Denise Ippolito December 31, 2013 at 12:59 am #

    Beautiful images Lloyd! I love the first3 soooo much!

    • Lloyd December 31, 2013 at 1:01 am #

      Thanks Denise. Lets get together again, soon.

  2. Vinny O'Hare December 31, 2013 at 1:18 am #

    Great shots Lloyd!

    I think part of the problem is with amateur photographers who only have lenses that are 50 MM or so. They can’t get close enough without the birds fleeing

    • Lloyd December 31, 2013 at 1:21 am #

      Hi Vinny. Well as I wrote, if they chase the bird away they’re not getting the shot anyway.

  3. Melody Lytle December 31, 2013 at 2:19 am #

    I have seen photographers startle a bird to get a flight shot. It only takes one or two instances of poor behavior to give all photographers a bad reputation. Most photographers, of course, act responsibly toward the species we love.

  4. Mary Howell Cromer December 31, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    They are all absolutely marvelous. I have green eyes anyway and when I saw these, I must admit, they got a little bit greener, with envy,,,yep envy. They are in KY and not faring so well. Maybe one day, I will get my chance~

  5. Marion January 3, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    I’ve always said that you capture the “emotions” of your subjects Lloyd! I refer so many people to your website and they all enjoy. There are real Dr. Dolittles in our world and the connections are beautiful. You are beautiful and so are all your “critters”. I love them too! Thank you!

  6. Natalie Gregorio January 8, 2014 at 3:35 am #

    Absolutely Amazing… the “prey” one especially. Great article.

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