© Mitchell Walters
April 2, 2012
A Red-tailed Tropicbird sails past Hawaii's Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on March 14, 2011, in this shot by gallery contributor Mitch Walters. He photographed it on a day off from his duties as a field assistant for the Kauai Forest Bird Recovery project and posted it to our U.S. and Canada Gallery
"More often, I see tropicbirds when birdwatching from boats, which makes photographing them difficult," he tells us. "The Kilauea Point Lighthouse sits on the top of a tall cliff and provides a nice 360-degree view of seabirds in flight. The Red-tailed Tropicbirds were the most frequent flyers in this area when I visited, and this one in particular got in very close proximity to me. It was wonderful to be able to photograph this bird from the comfort of a bench and railing rather than a jerky boat. Because of this I was able to truly appreciate their beauty and delicacy."
Mitch, a 2010 graduate of Cornell University, today works as a field assistant for a Black-capped Vireo project operated by Texas A&M University in Bracketville, Texas. He photographed the tropicbird with a Canon 5D and a 400mm lens.See more of Mitch's photos:
Great Black-backed Gull
Read about birdwatching at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
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