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WildBird Editor's Note - Photo Infatuation

By Amy K. Hooper

Amy K. Hooper
Amy K. Hooper, WildBird Editor 

A recent binocular launch gave me the chance to bird south of the United States for the first time. At the manufacturer’s invitation, I spent five days in Guatemala (below) and field-tested the new binocular at three sites.

Our group saw an incredible variety of birds, but the species that stand out most in my memory are Blue-crowned Cholorophonia and White-winged Tanager. How I’d enjoy possessing photos of those birds!

My photography equipment, however, remains minimal while traveling. For the most part, I use a digital point-and-shoot camera and focus on the scenery (and an occasional rubber duck shot). You can see my Guatemala images in the early-June posts on

My lack of camera equipment makes me all the more appreciative of folks who lug around the large lenses that allow for close-up photos. I marvel at the tenacity and patience of those who trek outdoors or wait near birdbaths to create tack-sharp images of birds in action.

That’s part of why I enjoy the annual photo contest so much. WildBird receives incredible entries every year, and I always feel honored by the quality of the entries. As editor, I get to evaluate every entry (more than 1,200 this year) and choose the finalists, and the task always taxes my brain — in a good way. The photos’ high caliber creates quite a challenge for the judges.

The grand-prize winner appears on page 43, and 15 photos follow it. Will one of your photos be among next year’s winners? You’ll find the new entry form and contest rules in the March/April 2009 issue.

In the meantime, let us know now which images you like most and which articles you find helpful. Please write to (subject line: Letters) or WildBird/Letters, PO Box 6050, Mission Viejo CA 92690-6050. We look forward to hearing from you.

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WildBird Editor's Note - Photo Infatuation

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I have always wanted to photograph birds.
Matt, Fairfax, VA
Posted: 12/18/2009 8:14:48 PM
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