While some slippery species continue to elude me, I have been thrilled with the willingness of complete strangers to share their photos of dead birds with us. The photo sharing site flickr has proven a veritable trove of photos, and I have been pleased to find so many other people with an affinity for dead birds. All the photographers allowing us to use their images will, of course, be noted in the published Guide itself, but I wanted to give our readers a wider sense of the variety and depth of work some of these photographers exhibit, whether professional or amateur.
The first, known on flickr as “picklerevenge,” shared the story behind a series of photos of salt-encrusted American White Pelican carcasses:
“I’d be honored for you to use my picture, no problem. I wish you could see the place the photos were taken- it’s the far north end of utah’s great salt lake at a place called the spiral jetty. It’s just like mars there and it is a giant pelican graveyard, really beautiful and unique place. Anyway, just thought I’d give you a little background on where the picture is from. Good luck with your project, sounds interesting!”
Picklerevenge also has an entire photo series entitled, elegantly, “Dead,” and in it, I think all Seantters will recognize a kindred spirit.
Another talent discovered via flickr is Matthew Rodgers. Matthew takes beautiful shots of (mostly living) birds, and it was my great good fortune that he also encountered a dead Black-legged Kittiwake and took a picture of the bird in the most flawlessly ideal SEANET posture I could have asked for.
A third, Johnnylondon, is not exclusively or even primarily a photographer of birds living or dead, and his photo stream seems a reflection of all the interesting things he encounters in his daily travels. Lucky for us, one morning one of those things was a dead mallard he found under some power lines.
I’ve tracked down photos from all sorts of strange places, and as I continue work on the Guide, I will share more of those with you, in recognition of our many generous contributors. I encourage you to visit the Flickr pages of everyone else who’s helped us out (thanks maddog04666, Hart Walter and Born.Free!) and see what else, aside from dead birds, these shutter-happy folks have posted of late.