Manú Road is a leading birding route that begins in the city of Cusco, in what was the capital of the Inca Empire, and journeys through deep valleys, lakes and mountains all the way into the rainforest, deep in the Manú National Park of Peru. One could even think of traveling this road as a pilgrimage: while there is one starting point and one direction, there are many paths along the way and plenty of stops to admire the breadth of avifauna and flora amidst dramatic settings as one travels up and over the Andes Mountain Range down to the Amazonian plain, all of which make Manú Road a spiritual experience for sure. As one of the top ten mega-diverse countries in the world, Peru holds the second spot in number of bird species at over 1,800, and is within the top five spots in amphibians, mammals and plants. Manú Road is representative of this biodiversity.
Situated along the Rio Grande River, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge covers more than 57,000 acres and is a major wintering ground for cranes and waterfowl. Refuge personnel manage the water levels of its wetlands and impoundments to simulate what was once the seasonal flow of water from the Rio Grande before the river was damned and the flow altered. To feed the huge number of birds visiting the refuge each year, nearby fields are planted with corn, winter wheat, millet, and other grains. Loop roads transect the refuge marshes and fields and provide prime sites for wildlife viewing and photography. Species that may be seen include shovelers, buffleheads, pintails, teal and other ducks; bald and golden eagles; kestrels and other hawks; turkey; meadowlarks; quail; roadrunners; coyotes; mule deer; and more. In November, large flocks of snow geese and sandhill cranes will be present. At night to escape predators, the birds flock to the marshes and shallow pools. With dawn, the snow geese and other waterfowl rise in mass from the wetlands and sweep overhead on their way to nearby fields to feed. Each day we will spend the early morning and late afternoon hours at the refuge photographing birds and many other species of wildlife which are present at the sanctuary.
We are accustomed to driving to our national parks. This is definitely not the case with Channel Islands National Park. This little archipelago of a half-dozen rocks jutting out of the Pacific Ocean a few miles off the coast of central California is reachable only by a short boat ride. This rather contradictory blend of remoteness and accessibility offers some unique opportunities for us photographers.
The Channel Islands are called America’s Galapagos – and for good reason. A wide variety of birds and pinnipeds are in plentiful supply. Western gulls find safety here. Continue reading →
Lisa Langell is a professional nature & wildlife photographer who specializes in birds and mammals. She has lived in Michigan, and currently lives in Arizona, where she has discovered an entirely new photographic environment. Lisa often submits her work to the annual NANPA Showcase competition, and has won several awards, including 2nd place in the “Mammals” category in 2015. Her work has been published in numerous magazines, including the March 2017 issue of Arizona Highways. She serves NANPA as a member of the Board of Directors, as well as a certified instructor.
Perusing the website of nature photographer Lisa Langell, one of NANPA’s new board members, provides the viewer a feast of beautiful images of our natural world and the wildlife that inhabits it. In addition, you will find some images that are not usually within the purview of a nature photographer – street photography, for example, which is focused on images of people, and a gallery of “machine” images. You can find all of this and more at langellphotography.com.
Lisa’s earliest experiences with nature were with her great aunt, who was an avid bird watcher and nature enthusiast. As her interest grew, she picked up a camera and made photographs of the birds she had grown to love.
We recently spoke with Lisa to learn more about the development of her photography, and what she’s working on today. Continue reading →
Do you want to knock your birding and photography socks off without busting your bank account? And—in the process—get to witness a prime example of sustainable water management for wildlife habitat enhancement and climate-change control?
If so, just grab your binoculars and camera gear and head to the Brevard County Wastewater Treatment Plant located in the east-central Florida town of Viera, Florida—just 2.5 miles west of I-95. There you’ll find 200 acres of constructed wetlands that are supported and nourished by advanced treatment outflow from the treatment plant. You’ll also find some of the best and easiest wild birdwatching and photography you’ve ever experienced. It’s called the Viera Wetlands.
Typical view of habitat provided by Viera’s sewage-treatment wetlands.
Establishment of the Viera Wetlands has been a phenomenal success. These created aquatic habitats now provide living spaces for more than 160 species of birds, but—perhaps best of all—the birding and photography access is as easy as pie. A network of 2.4 miles of one-way, 10 mph gravel roads—perched atop the earthen berms—allows superb opportunities for virtually every square foot of the sanctuary. Continue reading →
Barnegat Lighthouse is one of those fabled winter bird photography destinations on the New Jersey shore. A rocky jetty (think wall of large boulders) runs SE into the Atlantic Ocean for just under 1 mile, with a sandy shore to one side, and the Barnegat Inlet/Atlantic Ocean to the other. This location affords close views of various sea duck that overwinter in the area, perhaps most highly sought after being Harlequin, closely followed by the globally threatened Long-tailed Duck, also known as Oldsquaw. Other species frequently seen on the seaward side are Loons, Scoters and Mergansers, while in the tidal pools that form on the inshore side of the jetty you can find the odd shorebird, including Purple Sandpiper, Turnstone and Black-bellied Plover. Continue reading →
SPONSORED- I have been an avid birder long before I was a photographer. When I finally started photographing birds autofocus was non-existent. Photographing birds in flight was just a dream, mostly I did stationary birds. As I made the transition to digital just after the turn of the century, I started getting my hopes up that I could photograph stationary and moving birds. It wasn’t until the past few years though that everything came together for me, photographing all kinds of birds moving and stationary without breaking the bank. Continue reading →