It is not easy to interact with wild animal, especially birds which fly away immediately when they hear noise around. However, Jocelyn Anderson has a special skill for getting close to them. She’s a part-time wildlife photographer based in southeastern Michigan, who is known for stunning photos of birds in their natural habitats. Her shots consist of still images of birds, but also slow motion videos of them eating right out of the palm of her hand.
“I got into bird photography five years ago. I will photograph mammals if I come across them, but my main focus is birds,” said Anderson when reached out by Earthwonders.
She explained for us what motivated her to start with wildlife photography: “Five years ago I was doing a lot of running (~80 miles/week), and for cool downs I decided to walk the nature trails at a local park. There are many photographers at this park, so I decided to take a camera on the trails. By carrying a camera I was focused on nature and wildlife, and I was surprised at how many birds were around that I never noticed! One teeny tiny bird, the Ruby-crowned Kinglet, caught my interest. This tiny fluffball of a bird was so cute and so busy, and I couldn’t believe I had never noticed it before. I was hooked! Birds are incredibly interesting creatures, each one unique in their own way. Photography allows a person to really engage respectfully with a bird, learning about its habits and capturing photos of its beautiful plumage and personality along the way.”
From a red-bellied woodpecker to a tufted titmouse, Anderson captures a large variety of hungry birds. Her trick is simply holding out a handful of peanuts and sunflowers seeds in her steady hand, and waiting for the birds to come to her. This job requires a lot of patience, but the results of each bird snacking happily on her hand are amazing. “Depending on the bird, it can be very challenging. Smaller birds don’t like to sit still for too long, and other birds are secretive by nature. That is part of the fun and the challenge of bird photography, and when everything clicks it’s just wonderful. On a typical three hour photography outing, I will take between 1000-300 photos, with about 5 of them making the cut,” explains the photographer for Earthwonders.