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Best Place to Take Bird Photos in USA

Updated on November 25, 2017

Best Place to Photograph birds in the USA.

While I make no claim to be a good photographer I really enjoy taking photos of birds as part of my interest in birding in general. During our 6 month road trip in the USA where we covered 16 000 miles and visited 35 states we took over 26 000 photographs and a large proportion of these were of birds. Birds are a difficult subject to photograph as they in general do not really co-operate. If they are not flitting through the undergrowth or the branches of a tree, they are flying fast and high in the sky. If they are perched, it is either on the other side of a lake or on a rocky outcrop in the ocean about 500 yards away. At the same time their color and beauty attracts a host of people trying to get that great photo. As any photographer knows one needs to get as close to the subject as possible to get that award winning photo. Then one needs patience, determination and luck. A big lens (“good glass” in photographic parlance) and an expensive fast camera, that together with the lens will cost the same as a new car, is a given. Having neither the camera nor the glass, Audrey (my wife) and I invested in the next best thing, a top of the range “point and shoot” camera each. She has a Sony and I have a Panasonic Lumix.

After taking photos along our journey we found that Florida offers the easiest and best opportunity to take good photos and especially the reclamation areas in the Boynton Beach area ( such as Green Cays) that have been equipped with great boardwalks in between and over the ponds. These are well worth visiting as is the camp ground at Cape Canaveral, if you are a serious photographer or an amateur like us.

If a well known birding area offers a bird hide it is worthwhile investigating that place. Sometimes the time that you spend at a hide is richly rewarded as the local Bird Club has gone to a lot of trouble to set it up in a suitable place. All you need is a bean bag to rest your camera on and a lot of patience and some luck. Your vehicle can also double up as a hide because sometimes birds will be less anxious about a nearby vehicle than people in the same place. Here again the window and a bean bag gives you a dead rest to 'shoot' from.

Almost every town in the USA has an information centre and in it you are likely to get excellent information as to what birding sites are available locally.

Where you stay, be it in a campground or a bungalow and even a motel, a walk in the surrounding areas may surprise you. Here we camped in State and National Parks as we travelled and what a pleasure that was.

The rest of the East and West Coasts of Florida in general are great, as the birds in most areas are used to the people and you can get close to the Pelicans and Waders who frequent the beaches and inter-coastal waters. If I was making a trip to the USA or planning a holiday in the States to do some birding and photography and I had limited time I would head for Florida as my first choice! You can join the 'snow birds' in enjoying the good weather, even in winter.


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    • Linda Compton profile image

      Linda Compton 

      6 years ago from The Land of Enchantment


      Wow! I just checked you out :0) after your kind words on my 2 wolves hub. Humility is an admirable trait, and it's got to be the only explanation for the way you describe your photographic gifts and skills! Great shots, man...and I share the thrill when you get one for which you are hoping with all your heart! Now, let's get these great hubs of yours monitized so you and your beloved can upgrade your camera equipment. You definitely "have an eye," and possess those essentials, "patience, determination and luck." Well written. Looking forward to reading more of your hubs!!!

      Happy Shooting, Linda

    • Johan Smulders profile imageAUTHOR

      Johan Smulders 

      6 years ago from East London, South Africa


    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      6 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Voted awesome. These look like great photos to me.

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      6 years ago from US

      These are really good, I love photography but I fear birds will never be in my collection. Geese and ducks I have a little luck with.

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      Very nice photos enjoyed looking at them. Florida does have some of the prettiest birds. Voted Up.

    • davenmidtown profile image

      David Stillwell 

      6 years ago from Sacramento, California

      I love the fact that you do not think you are a great photographer. It shows me how much you care about your craft. That care, is shown in your photographs which are amazing. This is an amazing hub. Thank you for sharing.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Johan, you underestimate your abilities. These are amazing photos. The shots of the pelicans in flight are wonderful. 16,000 mile road trip through 35 states, I'm envious. Very well done. Voting up and everything else.

    • WillStarr profile image


      6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You may not claim to be a great photog, but those are spectacular pictures!

      Up and awesome!


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