Bird Photography Conjures The Best Memories

Image of an Orange-crowned Warbler at my suet feeder
Orange-crowned Warbler at my suet feeder

“Hey man! Love your stuff!” I messaged a most amazing photographer on Instagram. “Love your birds!” The Australian replied. “I’ve been showing your birds to my dad.” My soul basked in recognition.

I have made it my mission to photograph birds here locally ever since my yard entertained a gaggle of Eastern Meadowlarks four years ago. If I were the photographer then as I am now I probably would have memory cards full of the majestic creature with yellow bellies and a black “V” at the top of their breast. I just had no idea how unique the moment truly was.

Image of Eastern Meadowlarks invading my backyard in 2016 (picture 1 of 3)
Eastern Meadowlarks invading my backyard in 2016
Image of Eastern Meadowlarks invading my backyard in 2016 (picture 2 of 3)
An Eastern Meadowlark in what appears to be a sea of dove feathers – possible hawk attack
Image of Eastern Meadowlarks invading my backyard in 2016 (picture 3 of 3)
More meadowlarks in my yard. I wish I had a picture showing how many there actually were!

My mind shifts to parents recording their children at talent shows via smartphones oblivious to those around them. “The kids are only going to get better,” I think to myself. “There will be plenty more opportunities to capture their children. Must they do it now?” A distraction. Yes. But will there be more opportunities? Do families today doubt the future of their children so much so that they must record everything as if they won’t have a chance to do so again? The meadowlarks I photographed would tend to agree.

Image of a Junco  in Haslet Texas
A Junco perched looking pretty on my Crape Myrtle

Birds and photography seem to stir the emotional bonds we had with friends, family, and loved ones of old. I used to take road trips with my grandfather where the scenery was new and adventure right around the corner every summer. Coming along the journey was my grandmother, sister, cousins, and dogs usually lasting a few weeks. At first, we’d all fit in a truck with a small camper attached before upgrading to an RV. I know we didn’t take the amount of photos then as we do now. Photographers will tell you that the purchase, manually having to load, and development of the film helped contributed to which memories one chose to preserve. There may be some truth to that.

Image of a juvenile or female White-crowned Sparrow in Haslet Texas
A White-crowned Sparrow excited to have its bird seed ring
Image of a Bewick's Wren in Haslet Texas
A Bewick’s Wren at my feeder

Turns out the photographer only posts his landscape photography on Instagram. Had I not asked the photographer outright I would have never known his true passion. His bird photography of hawks and ospreys, also known as birds of prey, are hanging on his walls. His walls, like yours, are reserved for the best memories.

Image of a White-crowned Sparrow in Haslet Texas
A White-crowned Sparrow in my oak tree in the front yard
Image of a Red-winged Blackbird in Haslet Texas
The Red-winged Blackbirds have been making their rounds come golden hour first thing in the morning
Image of a House Finch in Haslet Texas
A male House Finch showing off its beautiful reds in the morning
Image of a Cowbird in Haslet Texas
Cowbirds have the most beautiful browns and blues
Image of a White-crowned Sparrow in Haslet Texas
A White-crowned Sparrow in my rose bush
Image of an Orange-crowned Warbler in Haslet Texas
This Orange-crowned Warbler is such a joy to photograph
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