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Animal Stories: One of the best places for photographing birds and other animals is Myakka River State Park in Florida. The river itself is not fast-flowing, and there is a large lake created by a small concrete dam. Alligators are plentiful and there are feral hogs, deer, cranes and numerous other bird species. While camping at the park, I've enjoyed seeing the silhouettes of tree frogs on the outside of our tent as they explored in the rainy summer weather. During winter, the birds are more concentrated and an early morning hike near the low concrete dam can be rewarded with huge flocks of birds flying past for a day of foraging. On one particularly foggy day, the birds appeared out of the mist in a dreamlike sequence, continuing for about a half hour. Spoonbills, herons and ibises often fish in the shallow waters around the dam, while alligators bask on the shore. Black vultures congregate during the morning and evening. It is particularly eerie to cross the low dam, which is only a few feet wide, during the night, when the resident alligators are hunting in the area.

Ostrich (zoo)

Emu (zoo)

Jackass Penguin (zoo)

Coot (Brazos Bend State Park, Texas)

Gray Jay (San Juan National Forest, Colorado)

Crow (Myakka River State Park, Florida)

Mockingbird (Zilker Gardens, Austin, Texas)

Kori Bustard (zoo)

Anhinga (Everglades National Park, Florida)

Bald Eagle (captive at Silver Springs, Florida, taken from a boat)

Black Vultures and Alligator (Myakka River State Park, Florida)

Barn Owl (zoo)

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