Revised – Wildlife Safari Park Photo Trek – October 25th!

Alan Brodin has graciously volunteered to lead our first photography outing of the season to the Wildlife Safari Park on Saturday, October 25th from 3pm to 5pm. Here’s the details:

Where:                                Wildlife Safari Park

I-80 off Exit 426

€        There is a Parking Area just past the Wetlands and next to the Eagle Aviary we can meet there and discuss what and where to photo and share some tips to get the best shots.

€        Admission to the Park is $6.50 for Adults and $5.50 for Seniors.

 When:                  October 19, 2014

2:00 PM  – 5:00 PM

What to Photograph

The Safari Park offers a wide variety of wildlife and landscape photo opportunities. There are driving trails that you will be able to see Elk, Deer, and Bison from. There also hiking trails that lead to Wolf Canyon, the Bear Den and a lake. The Eagle Aviary allows you to get close to 4 bald eagles. The wetlands area has several pelicans, turtles, frogs and other native wildlife. There is also the Crane Meadows where you will be able to see Sandhill Cranes, Trumpeter Swans and other birds.

What to bring

Any camera and lens will be fine for this trip. But for some of the areas, a DSLR with telephoto lenses would be a better choice.

Other things to consider bringing are:

€        DSLR or Point and Shoot Camera

€        Wide Angle Lens

€        Telephoto Lens – 200mm – 800mm or anything in between

€        Monopod

€        Tripod

€        Flash

You can let Alan know if you are interested in attending. You can contact him via e-mail at Please provide him a phone number where he can contact you in case there is a change of plans due to weather, etc…

Send in your Owl Shoot Pictures

Thursday’s Owl Shoot turned out to be a great time, thanks to the wonderful ladies from the Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery program. Janet, Deb, Diane and Julianne not only provided us with great subjects to shoot, but also gave very informative presentations on each owl. And the opportunity to watch Janet release a juvenile Great Horned Owl was a real bonus and a special treat.

I know many of the attendees took some great shots at this event so if you’d like to share them on our website, please send up to 3 or your best shots to me via e-mail at Once I have several, I will set up a post for everyone to view. If you know how, please remember to resize the pictures to a maximum size of 600 pixels on the longest side and a resolution of 72 dpi. Barn Owl

A Photographic Safari to Botswana with TY Smedes

Ty Smedes will join Audubon Omaha once again after leading his fifth visit to Africa photographing wildlife. Here is what he has to say about his presentation. “We will view images of Africa and learn about Botswana in a very intimate way; and will see birds and mammals with young, catching prey, and interacting in fascinating ways.  Best mammals include, elephant, lion, leopard, cape buffalo, hippo, African wild cat, and the rare and elusive Wild Dog.  Botswana’s bird life is fantastic, offering a dazzling number of species which are very viewable, and with many bird images captured from boats plying the Chobe River and the winding channels of Botswana’s famed Okavango Delta. If you would like to see and learn more about Botswana’s fabulous birds and mammals than what you will ever see on TV, please join us for an entertaining evening.”

His photos and articles have been published in major magazines and books. He has published two books, “Capturing Iowa’s Seasons” and “The Return of Iowa’s Bald Eagles” which he will bring with him to the meeting along with matted prints of his photographic work. He has taught photography and has lead nature photography tours to Yellowstone, Brazil and the subject of his presentation Africa.

Please plan on enjoying Ty’s wonderful photos and experiences at Audubon Omaha general meeting Thursday October 10th at 7 pm at the Hanscom Park Methodist Church, 4444 Frances St (one block south of 45th and Center). The program will be followed by a brief business meeting and social hour with cookies. Everyone is most welcome and there is no cost.

Audubon Contest

Coopers Hawk

Have an amazing raptor photo to share? Post your photo to Audubon’s Facebook wall between Tuesday, September 17th and Thursday, September 19th with the caption “Raptor Cover Photo.” The photos will be posted to an album and shared with Facebook fans. The photo with the most likes, shares, and comments will be featured as Audubon’s Facebook cover photo—so be sure to tell your friends!

Scenic Aperture Photography Workshops

Check out Scenic Aperture’s brand new website and their just released 2014 Workshop calendar.

photography workshops

Here are some highlights:

Scenic Aperture’s 2014 line up of photography workshops includes exciting opportunities for wildlife and landscape photographers. We start the year on a boat for a special Florida Birds workshop where we will shoot nesting activity at mangrove island rookeries off the west coast of Florida. After Florida, we move to Nebraska Birds where we will shoot Sandhill cranes during what has been called one of the world’s great migrations. While in Nebraska, we will venture into the vast interior sandhills to shoot the mating rituals of the rare Greater Prairie Chicken and Sharp-tailed grouse. In December we visit Bosque del Apache for the sunset fly-in and sunrise blast-off of thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese in the desert light of New Mexico.

In addition to our birding workshops we have three really nice landscape photography workshops on the schedule. In May we go into the backcountry of Monument Valley with our favorite . . .

Read the rest of the story here.

Nebraska’s Calamus Outfitters Featured by WWF

Thanks to Heather for bringing this new video by the WWF to my attention. It showcases Calamus Outfitters (Switzer Ranch) near Burwell, NE. This special place is relatively unknown by many Nebraskans. The folks at Calamus Outfitters are very accommodating to photographers as well as birders. Heather attended this year’s Prairie Chicken Festival (featured in the video) and I was there and blogged about it a few weeks later.  It’s a great place for wildlife photographers to spend a few days in the spring. I plan to lead a workshop there in April of 2014.

Here’s the WWF video . . .

Squaw Creek NWR

Hey gang, this is the time of year to visit Squaw Creek NWR. I go several times each year and spend as much time as possible there in late fall and early winter. It is a major rest stop for migrating water fowl each fall and spring, and as such, hundreds of bald eagles also find it a great place to visit too. Their bird count of 11/13/12 indicated 135,000 geese, 201,000 ducks, and 74 bald eagles (these numbers will likely increase toward mid-December). It’s also the only place I’ve ever shot an owl in the wild. If you don’t mind crowds, check out Eagle Days on December 1-2, 2012.

Squaw Creek NWR is located about 7 miles south of Mound City, MO; about 1.5 hours south of Omaha on I-29. It is well worth the drive IMO. It has much more action than DeSoto Bend but does not get nearly as many visitors. It also offers much better access for photography than DeSoto Bend (they don’t close the roads in the fall) and it is free.

There is lots of action until the water freezes after which the migration continues south and things quiet down until spring. Here are a couple of my favorite shots taken at Squaw Creek NWR: