Enjoy These Gorgeous Bird Pics—Hey, It’s Good for Conservation

A conversation with conservation photographer Gerrit Vyn that ran on Audubon.org November 16, 2015.

When photographer Gerrit Vyn talks about birds, he throws around adjectives like “insane,” and “incredible,” and “amazingly insanely incredible.” As a kid, he fixated on reptiles, then butterflies, then small mammals. But it was a White-breasted Nuthatch and a Tufted Titmouse that helped him get hooked on birds. That was when he was 12; now, 33 years later, Vyn spends around 150 days a year traveling all over the world for his avian obsession. He folds his 6-feet 8-inch frame into cramped airplane seats, and hunches in tiny blinds for hours, all in the name of conservation photography.

For the past 11 years Vyn has been a media producer for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, filming, photographing, and recording audio from birds. This October the lab celebrated its 100th anniversary by releasing The Living Bird, a coffee-table collection of Vyn’s portraits of North American birds. (See some selections below.) The book explores the lives of birds, what they mean to people, and how humans can help save them from environmental disaster. More…

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