Own Your Zip Code
I first read “Own Your Zip Code” in Scott Bourne’s book “88 Secrets to Selling and Publishing Your Photography”. In that book Bourne is writing about sales and marketing, but it occurs to me that it works on other levels too! Every bird photographer wants to be able to travel to exotic locations and shoot unusual birds. But for me, I don’t have the skill, gear, or money to get the fantastic images I envision. I suspect that is the case for many others too.
So to be the most you can, go out and own your zip code. Every backyard will attract birds, every local park has birds chirping in the trees as far as I know. There are botanical gardens, zoos, forests and/or desert or beaches close to most any neighborhood in the world. When you learn everything about the birds in your area and have tons of great photographs then it will be time to take that great trip. The odds are much better that you will take home some great photographs.
Just as an example, within an hour’s drive I have been able to photograph Bald Eagle, Golden Eagle, 5 types of Hawk, Kestral, Woodpeckers, Finches, Egrets, Terns, Gulls, Pelicans, Hummers, Sparrows, So many water Fowl I can’t keep count, Peacocks, and countless others. A year or two ago I never would have imagined that I could find so many different species locally. And as I think about it some of those critters are down right exotic in their own right.