Bird Photography | Preparing for Fall Migration

August 22, 2016

     Understanding wildlife behavior is critical to natural world photographers.  Good, solid research prior to a shoot can substantially improve the probabilities of returning with abundant inventory.   One of the cornerstones of wildlife behavior patterns is the subject of migrations.  In bird photography, fall and spring migrations can be a fascinating time if properly understood.

    For instance, fall migration for many species not only starts earlier than most people realize but also lasts longer depending on both species and regions.  Shorebirds can be on the move as early as June and raptors can continue their migrations into December.  Additionally, it is important to stay abreast of weather conditions as many birds wait for favorable conditions before starting their migrations.   So, in order to avoid returning with happenstance photography from your shoot, make sure your research includes, species, region analysis (e.g., water sources, stopover duration, etc.), breeding cycles, and weather.   Below is a composition of Ibis during spring migration over Merritt Island's National Wildlife Refuge.