As photography equipment improves and social media platforms mature, I am learning that a few people (photographers) are inclined to question the impacts of some photography techniques on wildlife. Like it or not – our approaches, our shutter clicks, our flashes, our scent, our very presence impacts wildlife. Certainly most of the time our impacts are irrelevant; the animal knows we are around and continues doing what animals do. Other times our presence or activities may cause wildlife to flee, or in worse case scenarios, to attack. As wildlife observers and photographers we owe it to wildlife to minimize our impact.
Impacts on wildlife, while unavoidable, can be beneficial. Through wildlife photography many people have been introduced to our natural world. As those folks delve deeper into what is around us, their appreciation and hopefully love of wildlife and its habitat grows. As a result, our nature photography impact on wildlife is transformed into improved habitat, a more powerful love of the outdoors, and possibly protection for generations to come by people who take action to preserve and protect our natural world.
From another perspective, through wildlife photography some folks who are not able to physically roam green spaces can experience the healing powers through images and stories. Maybe mobility issues limit outdoor exploration, or age, or other conditions. My efforts have been to share with others through words and pictures – some happy and some showing the reality of the cruel side of nature.
Our outdoor world is not all rainbows and unicorns, nor is the outdoor world only what we see during the day light hours. I attempt to capture all aspects of the outdoors in a manner that is respectful to the wildlife and those around me. I then share my images with others via nature programs, my website, and some social media. Based on feedback, many see positive values in my efforts.
Sometimes our human impacts are unavoidable. Last night I responded to a report of a vehicle that collided with an owl. The owner of the very nice looking new truck was saddened by the impending death of the barred owl wedged into its grill and the damage sustained by their vehicle. It was a sad situation for the vehicle owner and the owl.
Today’s image features a drake wood duck in flight as it followed a hen woodie along the Wapsipinicon River. Chances are the two are a bonded pair and have picked out a nest tree for the upcoming season of reproduction. Maybe, in a couple of months, I will see these two with young sunning on a log near where I spotted them today. That would be nice!