About the Project
This project is a personal challenge that will take me around Washington State appreciating birds in their habitat. My goal is to photograph 346 different bird species or discover how close I can get to that goal. At the same time, I am taking a habitat panoramic photo where each bird was found and a GPS location. This website was designed for anyone that is interested in following my progress. I also hope it inspires people to appreciate all of our unique birds in Washington State and their habitats.
My name is Jen McKeirnan. I am a birder and amateur photographer. In 2014/2015, I took the Seattle Audubon Society’s Master Birder class taught by Dennis Paulson. We studied 346 bird species within the state of Washington. It was shortly after that class when I decided that I would try to locate all 346 birds that we studied within a calendar year keeping within the boundaries of Washington State. I recognize that there are multiple ways to document birds. I chose to photograph birds because that is what I enjoy doing. I also will occasionally document birds using eBird, as well.
Not just another bird photograph
Each photograph of a bird comes with a panoramic habitat shot and the location found within Washington State. I wanted to bring more awareness of the habitat where birds are found. Blurry or partial photos will occasionally be added. My goal is not to take award-winning pictures, however, I still strive to take enjoyable and creative snapshots. At the end of the day, my only requirement is that the bird species is identifiable in the picture. I am also adding video to several of the pictures. You’ll find a play button on the bird picture if video is available.
Additionally, each bird species can have up to 4 different photos to account for various habitats, plumages, morphs and subspecies. The number 4 is arbitrary.
My rules of engagement
I will not include private houses or any private backyards in the panoramic habitat shot for reasons to protect people’s privacy. I am focusing on public places and taking pictures from public roads.
Rare, endangered or select birds will not have an exact GPS location listed. Instead, I will list the closest town, park or landmark. The bird pictures will be clearly marked with the following text “Location Not Exact”. However, the habitat shot will remain identical to the location I saw the bird.
I try my best not to disturb or stress birds, especially those roosting or nesting. I also refer to the National Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography.
For all videos and some pictures I use my iPhone 6S attached to a Kowa 60X Spotting Scope. I bought my spotting scope at the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop. All panoramic shots were taken with my iPhone 6S. For most pictures, I use a Canon 7D Mark II with 100-400mm lens. Sometimes, I also use Canon PowerShot SX50 HS.
I would like to give a big thanks to colleagues, family and friends that are helping me locate birds and inspiring me to take on this challenge.