Niagara Falls' Bird Kingdom Aviary – According to their website , Bird Kingdom is the World's largest, indoor, free flying Aviary. It is home to nearly 80 tropical species, and hosts almost 400 birds. Over the years, I've visited the aviary twice, always during winter. While some consider the entrance a little bit pricey, for me, each visit delivered on its promise. Please note that MikePhoto.com does not have any affiliation with Bird Kingdom.
If you are enjoying year-round bird photography, the aviary is a recommended stop, especially pleasant during the cold days of winter. Entering the tropical-like setting and having so many chances to observe and photograph birds at close range will make your visit worthwhile.
Java Sparrows – Male Wooing Female, at Niagara Falls Bird Kingdom
Java Sparrows are natives of Java and Bali in Indonesia. These beautiful finches are very social birds and mates sit side-by-side to preen their partner – see above a good illustration of this behaviour. You can see the entire preening effort of the male wooing the female in the photo series called: Java Sparrows – When it’s too much of a good thing.
While in the aviary, stop also by the Reptiles area for a chance to see lizards, snakes, turtles and more.
For the serious photographer, I'd recommend taking lenses with the focal range between 100-400mm and even longer if you are looking to capture extreme bird close-ups. A fast 400mm lens will allow you to capture the birds in full frame without the need of cropping in post processing. Bring also your monopod for extra stability – particularly useful if you are carrying larger and heavier lenses. And don’t forget to turn on image stabilization on your lens (or camera) and use gentle fill flash to eliminate shadows – always a good practice for indoor photography.
You can print the aviary's bird guide to help you identify which species you just photographed. Are you looking to keep even more detailed records about your nature photography in the field? Download our free Field Notes.
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How To Get To Niagara Falls' Bird Kingdom