There are wildlife photographers who apologize for any urban elements — like street lamps — in their bird images. I embrace those shots, for three reasons:

  1. I admire the rugged survivalists that are urban birds and wildlife. What we throw at them in the way of obstacles, pollution, windows, automobiles, poisons, traps, wires and electricity, and still … they persist. They not only persist, they thrive. They find ways to turn our infrastructure into shelter and sustenance. They possess all of the qualities we, as a species, admire in ourselves.
  2. Any juxtaposition of nature against machine gives me hope. I’m drawn to the theme of restoration, in places like this, and this and this.
  3. The lens gives me license to see glory in the decrepit, the “marvelous in the mundane” as Bill Moyers once said. There’s nothing ugly when you’re talking about photographs. Everything has light, texture and nuance.

To the birds who live in the grit of the city … to the German expressionist cinematic birds … to the Raymond Chandlers of birds … I dedicate my “Bird Noir” series.


Gull of the Revolution

20,000 Years on the Bay … SF Bay, that is

Crow in the Night

Crow Against Full Moon

Cooper’s Hawks With Dirty Faces

Cooper's Hawk in Marin County Cemetery

The Gull’s Lost Weekend

Gull with backdrop of Seattle Skyline

The Maltese Pelican

Brown Pelican flying over Redondo Harbor breakwater

Strangers on a Lamp Post

Pigeon and Fake Owl on Lamp Post in Oakland

Bluebird in a Lonely Place

Bluebird on roof in snow

The Big Ferry

Seattle gull posed in front of ferry boat