Egyptian Goose, Juvenile, Flexing Its Wings, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye

The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update

The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update


Western Bluebird, Female, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update

Western Bluebird, Female


Let’s start with the truth about Bird Photography.

It’s an exercise in failure.

[ – Pause for a chorus of groans – ]

So most photos will look like the one above (or worse).

At least that’s my experience. I keep about 2% of the photos that I take.

Now let’s consider how such failure can be beneficial.

First, knowing what to expect helps manage expectations. For example, I’m delighted when I take one decent photo out of a hundred. (“Woo Woo!”)

Second, going toward failure can lead to success. Rather than find excuses to do nothing (e.g., stay home), we need to find reasons to do something (e.g., take photos).

Third, having a challenge makes us better. That is, the difficultly of taking a good photo pushes us to improve our skill, craft, and art.

And then we obtain results like the one below.

Which brings us back to the beginning.

Bird photography is an opportunity to embrace, learn from, and manage failure.


Western Bluebird, Female, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update

Western Bluebird, Female


Next, here’s an update on the Egyptian Goose

The pair in Carbon Canyon Regional Park, Brea, CA, started a second clutch this spring.

After a few weeks one of the goslings got fishing line tangled on its leg. As a result, this bird was limping along, way behind its three siblings.

Fortunately, a park ranger caught this bird and sent it to a wildlife rehabilitation center. A member of their staff removed the fishing line and gave the bird a shot of antibiotics. Then the bird was released in the park.

Today, the bird is doing well. It walks without a limp and has caught up with the others in size.

In fact, it’s impossible to tell which bird was rescued. (You may know that the Great Council of Birds rejected a proposal that birds should aid identification by wearing QR-Codes.)

Here’s a photo of a Juvenile Egyptian Goose, flapping its wings.


Egyptian Goose, Juvenile, Flexing Its Wings, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in The Truth about Bird Photography and a Goose Update

Egyptian Goose, Juvenile, Flexing Its Wings


Note that some downy plumage remains as its adult feathers are appearing.

And this photo is another example of the Truth about Bird Photography. I took 130 photos of these geese in order to have this one.


Much success,

Steve Kaye

More Goose Stories

See: Meet Father Goose

See: Feathers Make the Goose


Help Birds Tip

Support wildlife rehabilitation centers.

Why: These organizations rescue, rehabilitate, and return birds to their environment. Many also conduct conservation programs and offer presentations about wildlife. (If interested, contact them to talk about a presentation for your school, club, or organization.)

How: First, find the center in your area.

Use: The Wildlife Rehabilitation Information Directory (Use any of the “Locate a Wildlife Rehabilitator” links on this web site.)

Or contact your local Audubon Chapter. See: Audubon Near You.

Then consider how you can help. For example, these organizations need volunteers, donations, and publicity.


Birding Resources

The American Bird Conservancy conducts highly effective programs to protect lands that are essential for birds. Learn more about birds and what they do at: American Bird Conservancy

I recommend this outstanding book, published by the ABC: Bird Conservation (I think it belongs on every bird enthusiast’s book shelf.)

Note: Please take a look at these two resource.


You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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3 Comments
  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 07:22h, 29 July

    Hi Steve,

    Good work on the Egyptian Goose. For your information, my wife and I have been monitoring the nine nestboxes at Carbon Canyon RP since March 22. There were three active nestboxes as of July 13 and we will be making a final check next week, probably on Wednesday around 11 AM.

  • Steve Kaye
    Posted at 10:28h, 29 July

    Bob Franz deserves huge praise for his work to protect and preserve Western Bluebirds in Southern California.

    The next time you see a bluebird, call out, “Thank you, Bob!”

  • Hannah
    Posted at 10:19h, 16 August

    Hi Steve, After reading this, I bought the ABC: Bird Conservation guide and boy! it is an amazing book! Absolutely beautiful, inspiring, and information packed. I’m showing it to family and friends who are also impressed…thanks for the great recommendation!

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