Story by Jonathan Hoiles, Photo Club Leader; photo by Sandy Townsend
Flamingos in Florida
I think it’s safe to say we were all very excited to see a pink wave of Flamingos in our state as a result of Hurricane Idalia. The hurricane brought in more than 100 flamingo sightings across Florida and the eastern United States. Many took this unprecedented opportunity to see and photograph these flamingos. Almost as soon as the flamingos appeared on our beaches, however, reports of people getting too close and disturbing them started appearing on social media.
Unfortunately, I don’t think this irresponsible behavior is a big surprise for those of us who love birds. So what can we do? First, let’s make sure we are modeling proper behavior through our own actions. Take time to review and follow Tampa Audubon’s Ethical Nature Photography Standards. If leading a group of people on a birding trip, be sure to review these standards before going into the field. I do it every time I lead a group. Also if you see behavior that violates park rules or the law, report it to the proper authorities.
Birds blown into our area by hurricanes is not a new event, and it won’t be the last. Last year, a single Bar-tailed Godwit brought in birders and photographers from all over the state to Fort De Soto Park following Hurricane Ian. This year, it’s flamingos.
What will next year bring? How can we better prepare the public, especially birders and bird photographers, of how to responsibly approach these special avian visitors? Let’s discuss at our next meeting, and if you took any photos of the flamingos, please share with our Photo Club by uploading here.
Conservation Photography Takes Center Stage at the Audubon Florida Assembly 2023
The keynote address of this year’s Audubon Florida Assembly is “A Conservation Photography Conversation” with professional photographers Kirsten Hines and Gabby Salazar, and National Audubon Society’s senior director of social media and storytelling Preeti Desai. The address will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 27. You can register for this event here.
It is exciting to see conservation photography taking the spotlight at this event. Our Photo Club discussed conservation photography in April, and during our October meeting, I encourage everyone to present your own conservation photo stories. If you have a story to tell, upload your photos here and present your story at our next meeting.
Photo Club Photo Share
All are invited to share your bird photos during the October meeting! The last couple of meetings have been light on photo submissions, so please consider sharing your photos by uploading here. You’ll get about 5 to 8 minutes to go through your photos where you can tell us about the subject and how you got the shot. This meeting is open to conservation photo stories, flamingo photos, or any photos of any wild birds photographed in Florida. Thanks for sharing!