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Updated: Apr 4, 2022

Why a Wonder: A “Florida the way it used to be” park consisting of 37,000 acres, Myakka River State Park is home to a diversity of birds. During a recent bird count, 19,903 birds were spotted by a team of volunteers.

Where: Sarasota, Florida.

When: March and April for the greatest number of birds.

Photography: Birds and other wildlife, including alligators, can be found throughout the park. The Bird Walk is a popular photo spot, but the birds may not be there, as they move around due to the weather and water conditions. Your best bet is to ask the ranger at the entrance where the birds are hanging out.

The birds are beautiful, especially the egrets and roseate spoonbills, but sometimes the backgrounds are not. When that’s the case, darken the background in Photoshop or Lightroom.

Try to capture gesture, the position of a bird’s wings or head. In wildlife photography, gesture is the key to getting a good photograph. Capturing behavior, and interactions between birds is good, too. To achieve this goal, set your camera on focus-tracking and the highest frame rate. Also make sure white feathers are not overexposed, which you can see by checking your camera’s highlight alert and histogram.

An ideal lens choice to capture the magic at Myakka would be a 100-500mm zoom, because the birds will be at different distances.

Always have your camera ready and not tucked in your camera bag. You never know what you might see and what might pop out of the water!

More: Support Myakka by joining Friends of Myakka River. Learn more about bird photography in this KelbyOne class, Breathtaking Bird Photography.

© Rick Sammon

This post sponsored by Adorama.

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