Steve Wolfe has been one of our featured photographers for several years. In retirement he has increased his birding and photography, so we have bumped him up to one of our Birding Adventurers!
ba-wolfe = Birdzilla Adventures with Wolfe
My interest in both birds and photography began in 2004 when, while backpacking in northeast Nevada’s Jarbidge Wilderness, I was dive-bombed on three different occasions by Northern Goshawks defending their nest. I had just bought my first digital camera, a Panasonic FZ10 ultrazoom, and I captured one of the attacks with it. From that point on I was, to put it mildly, hooked.
High points in my bird encounters since then have been (2005) to photographically chronicle the raising of 3 Red-tailed Hawk fledglings in a nest on the ledge of a building where I work, and (in 2007) being the first to spot and photograph a “first summer” Mississippi Kite here in the south bay of Los Angeles — only the 6th recorded sighting for the county.
My current camera rig consists of a Canon 7D with a 500 f4 prime lens, mounted on a BushHawk shoulder mount, and I carry it around for dayhikes slung across my back.
Click on each image for a larger view.
The main areas I visit for birding and bird photography here in southern California are Huntington Beach’s Bolsa Chica Ecological Preserve, San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine, San Jacinto Wildlife Area near Moreno Valley, and Big Morongo Preserve in the southern California high desert.
My favorite spot for birds — and landscapes — is nearly 700 miles to the east, in the fabulous Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona.
Many birds found in Mexico have their northern limit at the Chiricahuas as those mountains are so close to the US/Mexico border. Elegant Trogon, Mexican Chickadee, Red-faced Warbler, Blue-throated and White-eared Hummingbird — these and many others can possibly be found here. And the Chiricahuas have 3 ecologically-different bird “zones” — desert, canyons, and mountain highlands — further contributing to the feeling when you’re out and about in the Chiricahuas that you can come across virtually anything.