November 25th, 2021


Bird photographers who are not interested in birds...

Composite profile of a "bird photography tour" participant: I go with others who also don't know a thing about the birds we are going to "target".I do NOT use binoculars. Sometimes I may at least know my camera, but am very likely to be a newbie there too. I cart around a Canon7D Mark II, with huge lens and a fancy tripod. Then I keep asking someone what to do because the settings are all wrong. I complain that my multi-lakh camera "doesn't focus properly". I keep asking where the birds are....very loudly. Then I ask what birds they are. I don't bother to remember the names I am told. If I have got a satisfactory shot of a bird, however rare, I lose interest in it thereafter, not even looking for it if I go to the same place the next day. I have no interest in the bird, its behavior, where it comes from... I have got My Shot, and that's it. I go with a tour operator who keeps playing calls to attract the bird... In fact the call of a predator is played to frighten the birds into flying out. This is ok if we are a small group, but I don't think about the many people each day, who also want to get the birds in sight, this way. I see two Black Francolins briefly. Immediately I tell the guide to play the call to get the bird out. The guide explains politely that not all birds respond to calls, and that too, not all the time, even if they do. At the end of the outing, I say I am very happy to have got "that red bird" and " that pink bird". I have no interest in joining regular bird outings to learn more about birds. I am very rude to experienced birders in the group if I think they are disturbing the birds, though I am the one actually doing so.After taking out of focus shots with my fancy DSLR, I look at someone's bridge camera and condescendingly remark that they are not interested in bird photography. I ignore the guide and tour operator's advice to use my eyes and binoculars and practice sighting the birds, as I am missing most of them. I buy plastic bottles of water and packaged snacks, and fly to and from my destination. I am a Proud Bird Photographer.