I’ve been working on the introductory sections of our Field Guide to Beached Birds of the Southeastern United States lately, and I have been casting around for the perfect cover photo. I would be delighted if the photo could be by one of our Seanetters, and particularly delighted, of course, if that photo could be from our southern contingent.
The perfect photo would be a bit of a departure from the close range, bird splayed on sand with ruler sort of image we like to see when making a species i.d. The cover photo I seek would ideally capture the essence of your beach, and might or might not include a dead bird. This photo, for instance, would be ideal for the cover, but it was taken on Long Island. Not exactly capturing the essence of the southern beach.
This second photo of a dead loon on Pea Island in North Carolina certainly qualifies as southern, but just doesn’t captivate in quite the same way. Clearly, I give a lot of thought to the aesthetics of bird carcasses.
If no serious alternatives emerge, then photo 2 will likely end up being the cover image. But I have faith that some of you, my dear readers, will come up with a superior alternative. You need not be a Seanetter to try for the prize, but your photo should be of a beach somewhere south of Virginia. Let your friends know too–who’s to say they don’t have some pictures of dead birds on the beach hidden away somewhere?
If your photo is selected for the cover, I will send you a free copy of the book once we get it published, so the stakes are high! Bring on the images!