A handful of you were with me that day in August 2018 when I captured the image below. For those who weren’t, I hope that some day you have a chance to witness this spectacle yourself! In the mean time, please enjoy this brief account of how the image came together.[Read more…] about The Mara River Leap
My passion for photographing birds-of-paradise first grew from a desire to document some amazing birds that few people have had a chance to see in the wild, and share them with the world in the pages of National Geographic. As I have made 30 expeditions to the region where they occur (Papua Indonesia, PNG, and N. Australia) over the past 15 years, I came to realize that they are the best ambassadors for conserving the rain forests of the New Guinea region, the third largest remaining block of rain forest in the world (after the Amazon and Congo).
The local people of Papua realize that protecting their forest for the birds, and hosting visiting birders and other tourists to see them, is a way for them to receive a livelihood from the forest. So my hope is that my photography and films of these birds can contribute to greater appreciation and thus conservation of Papua’s forest. But at the moment, international travel to Papua is on hold. The local guest house owners and birding guides that we work with there have no income.
I know you’d like to help, and so would I. So if you’d like to help and also own a Tim Laman print to brighten your home or workplace, please visit my online store at www.timlamanfineart.com. You will find prices and sizes for all budgets and spaces.
As I reported in my last newsletter, I had a chance to spend time filming in Maine’s Acadia National Park and vicinity for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology this summer. Besides peregrine falcons, the other primary focus was to document breeding pairs of loons and their chicks. This was a partnership with the Somes-Meynell Wildlife Sanctuary [www.somesmeynell.org] who not only allowed us to film on their private reserve near the park, but also helped guide us to good locations for filming other pairs of loons on territories all over Mt. Desert Island, so a huge thanks goes out to Billy Helprin of Somes-Meynell.
Our video for the Cornell Lab is currently in production, but in the mean time, I’d like to share a few images. Loons are an iconic species of the North, and a true indicator of a healthy environment, and it was a pleasure to spend time with them. A real highlight was being able to see chicks from hatching through several weeks of age, and document their rapid growth and development. Enjoy!
Featured Photos[Read more…] about Filming Loon Families in Acadia
This summer, my travels for several international projects were of course put on hold, but an opportunity came up with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to film birds in Acadia National Park. I needed a team to assist me, and fortunately my two children, 16 year old Jessica, and 19 year old Russell, were home and available. They have had many years experience assisting me in the field, so with my “quaranteam” in place and our negative covid tests in hand, we headed to Maine to isolate ourselves in the mountains and attempt to film peregrine falcons.
Acadia National Park is one of the places where the critically endangered peregrine falcon was re-introduced to the wild in the 1980’s, and has been successfully breeding since the early 90’s. With the park biologists unable to do fieldwork this year due to covid, our mission was to visit two of the cliff-top breeding sites, and document how many juvenile birds had fledged, and to try to capture some footage of the young birds for a video to be produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Stay tuned for that later this fall, but in the mean time, here are a few images I can share of these amazing birds.
Featured Photos[Read more…] about Pursuing Peregrine Falcons in Acadia
I hope you are all well, and staying safe wherever you are. I’m continuing to dig into my archive to share some favorites and some unpublished Bird-of-Paradise images. I’ve chosen the Blue Bird-of-Paradise to feature this week.
The Blue Bird-of-Paradise is one of the most legendary of the Birds-of-Paradise because of its phenomenal coloration and relative rarity. I journeyed to the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea to photograph this species, and it turned out to be one of the most challenging I have encountered. This was not because the bird was hard to find, but due to the fact that I wanted to photograph the male performing his courtship display. Displays, I found, were extremely unpredictable. It turned out that unlike some Birds-of-Paradise that are quite reliable once you find a display site (like the Western Parotia I shared in the last Wildlife Diaries), the Blue bird has not one, but many different display perches in the forest. It was almost impossible to be at the right one that he would choose to display at on a given day.
After many days of failure at display sites, I decided to concentrate on photographing at a feeding tree where we had seen the male visiting regularly. Indeed, he came to this tree several times a day, and by waiting him out, I captured a number of interesting feeding shots. This image is my favorite, because he was on a low branch with a clean background, posed at a beautiful angle across the frame, and the light was such that his blue plumage seems to glow from within.