Latest Challenge of Zoo Photography

White-breasted Cormorants at Lowry Park Zoo 12-26-14 by Lee

 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. (Isaiah 34:11 KJV)

With my new Panasonic Lumix FZ200 camera in hand, off we went to Lowry Park Zoo the day after Christmas. I was itching to try out the 600 zoom compared to my 450 on the FZ47. I was content with the older camera, because as I have said before, I am a birdwatcher, not a photographer. I don’t know an “F-stop” from a “bus stop”. I shoot in Program mode.

That aside, I use the camera often, probably more than binoculars. Why? Maybe I am a little bit of a photographer because I like to see the birds when I get home. Many times I keep my bad shots because they are at least “proof shots” that I really did see the bird or to help ID it later. I leave the real good shots for Dan to take.because he knows what a “F-stop” is.

First Attempt - See the neat knots?

First Attempt – See the neat knots?

Back to my challenge. Taking photos at a Zoo can be quite challenging to say the least. Especially for “program mode” photographers. For some reason, zoos like to keep something between you and the birds, unless you are in an aviary with them. That “something” is usually a fence, bars, netting, or something to try to shoot through. They seem to like to keep their birds safe. :)

Another Attempt - Nice knots!

Another Attempt – Nice knots!

I tried again,

Nope - Not yet!

Nope – Not yet!

I backed out the zoom and tried to find the other one.

There he is

Different color netting, but same blurry bird photo.



Then, I finally got through the netting enough to see that beautiful bird.

Look at that beauty!

Look at that beauty!


I got through the netting.

Even got the chest and some feather design.

Yeah! I got through

Yeah! I got through

Look at those eyes!

What pretty green eyes

What pretty green eyes

Our Creator gave the White-breasted Cormorants a beautiful eye color and overall neat appearance. Just this one encounter, trying to get a photo takes you through a wide range of emotions; frustration, wanting to give up, then determination and joy when you can finally see the bird clear. Reminds me of what I have been reading in Ecclesiastes.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: …A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; …A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away (blurry photos); …A time to love, And a time to hate; …What profit has the worker from that in which he labors? I have seen the God-given task with which the sons of men are to be occupied. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end. I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 NKJV)

Enjoy all the photos of the cormorants and even some from a previous trip:

The white-breasted cormorant (Phalacrocorax lucidus) is much like the widespread great cormorant and if not a regional variant of the same species, is at least very closely related. It is distinguished from other forms of the great cormorant by its white breast and by the fact that subpopulations are freshwater birds. Phalacrocorax lucidus is not to be confused with the smaller and very different endemic South Australian black-faced cormorant, which also is sometimes called the white-breasted cormorant.


Birdwatching Trips

Lowry Park Zoo

White-breasted Cormorant – Wikipedia

White-breasted Cormorant – Dallas Zoo

Wordless Birds


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