Birder's Guide

MAR 2018

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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Page 15 of 73

A D V E R T I S I N G A birder's increased interest in photography can result in an increasing interest in other wildlife. On tour, we have also noticed that birders now fre- quently pay more attention to other wildlife than they did in the past. Perhaps this is best illustrated in a country like Madagascar. Our tours here a decade ago focused on the endemic birds. Now, although we still see exactly the same number of bird species on tour, because folks are carrying cameras, they also want to see and photograph as many chameleons, leaf-tailed geckos, and lemurs as possible. The camera seems to have been the catalytic tool in expanding their inter- est in other wildlife. It is not only one-way traffic Could the photography portal be used to grow the birding community? Absolutely! Rather than venting angst at crowds of photographers at popular birding locations, we birders should be reaching out to help photographers who are struggling with identification and birding basics. That lady with a passing interest in the "little birds" she is photographing needs as much encouragement as a budding teen to become a top- rate birder, and is no less deserving of our attention. Tours that cater for birding with a camera: Is this for you? Imagine dawn in the Australian bush. You are with a small group on tour. Everyone has binoculars, and is carrying a camera; although they range from point- and-shoots to big-lens SLRs. It is still twilight, but the dawn chorus is amazing and your guide is calling out what is around. The regulars, such as Noisy Friarbird, Pied Butcherbird, and Black-faced Cuckoo-Shrike are all singing. But she also hears a distant call of the Painted Honeyeater, so you go after the rare bird im - mediately and get some great views, and noisy record shots. A mixed flock moves through, you see most things and get a couple of good photos of Rufous Whistler and Jacky Winter. The light improves and a Spotted Pardalote calls nearby; the guide knows that if she works it, all the clients will get fantastic shots of this snappy-looking bird, so the focus of the mo - ment changes immediately. "Guys, this is a tiny bird, but it will probably come in re - ally close when I 'pish'. It is most likely to settle on these branches at eye-level so get ready for that, and I suggest you set your depth-of-field to be between f5.6 and f8 so you get a good out of focus background". The bird duly HOW THE BIRDING COMMUNITY HAS CHANGED FOCUS IN TEN YEARS

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