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Bird Pictures: Like You’ve Never Seen Before

Screech Owl photographed by Bob Croslin

We’ve all seen amazing photos of birds flying through the air or perched on a branch, but we rarely see candid and focused shots of birds against backdrops. That’s why when I saw these breathtaking photographs by Bob Croslin, I was awestruck.

Croslin began taking portraits of injured birds in February at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, which rescues and rehabilitates birds in the Gulf Coast. He would go into the sanctuary once a week with goal of photographing a new bird. Even though all these birds were injured in some way, you can imagine how difficult it was to get the birds around the lights and in the proper location. It’s part of what makes the results more special.

Here’s more from Croslin’s blog post about the bird series:

Birds, like humans, don’t like to be in a new environment and would immediately run for the exit. Add a camera and several lights and inevitably we were corralling birds – no easy feat because several of the birds were still flighted. I can’t count how many times I was told by a sanctuary volunteer that there was no way I’d be able to photograph a particular bird – especially the shore birds. Every time I’d make an image that would blow them away. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in me.

I, for one, am very happy that Croslin persisted and was able to capture such moving and powerful images.

The best part is that these pictures, which will be shown at the LOOK3 festival on June 8 in Charlottesville, Va., are meant to bring more awareness to the hard work of the sanctuary that survives off donations from the public. You can donate to the sanctuary by going to its website.

Here’s a small taste of his work. You can view the rest of Croslin’s images here.

Yellow Crowned Night Heron photographed by Bob Croslin
Barn Swallow photographed by Bob Croslin
Roseate Spoonbill photographed by Bob Croslin
Cedar Waxwing photographed by Bob Croslin

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.


  1. Growing up in St. Petersburg, FL we visited the sanctuary several times. When I was very young I rescued a baby bird from my cat. At the time (40 years ago) they only took in shorebirds. But looking at my tear stained face they decided to rehabilitate it. Two
    weeks later they called to say the bird survived. This was the beginning of my love affair with birds.

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