About Me


When I retired from teaching (high school life sciences) in 2003 I needed an outlet for my lifelong interest in the natural sciences.  I have always had a special interest in birds but I’ve never been enthralled with all that goes with being a “birder”.  I had dabbled in semi-serious photography over the years so I eventually decided to give bird photography a try and just see where it took me.  What a life changer!  Now I live, eat and breathe birds – not from a birder’s perspective but from that of a photographer. 

I have strong feelings about the “ethics” of bird photography.  For me, avian photography is nature photography, and it’s not “nature” (or natural) when subjects are not their natural colors so I don’t oversaturate my images.  I don’t do significant cloning or other types of major image alteration  for the same reason.  I don’t closely approach nesting birds and I make every effort to avoid unduly disturbing my subjects.   I don’t use electronic devices to call in birds.  I love to photograph raptors but will never “bait” them in.  I don’t shoot “setups” except at my back yard feeders for the practice.

My gear is Canon and my primary birding rig includes the Canon 7D, Canon 500mm f/4L IS, 1.4 TC and the Gitzo Gt3530LSV tripod with full Wimberly head.  In addition I sometimes shoot with the Canon 40D and Canon 100-400mm.   I use a Canon Xti as a back up body.  Many of my bird photographs have been taken from my pickup truck window using the vehicle as a “blind” –  a very effective strategy for my situation. 

I live in northern Utah and have convenient access to the many wetlands associated with the Great Salt Lake.    Bird photography is usually the primary goal of my frequent camping trips throughout Utah and other western states.  Because I have Montana roots and return there often, many of my avian images were taken in the western part of that state.

Thank you for visiting my blog. 




  1. Mr. Dudley. I literally just happened upon this page via a fellow Utah bird-loving friend. Which is, as it turns out, a happy occurrence since I have fond memories of you as my high school zoology teacher. It’s nice to know that you’re still in Utah and have found a passion in photographing birds.
    I’m proud to report that I have pursued a career with wildlife, specifically with birds. It’s taken me to some pretty wonderful places. Right now I’m lucky enough to be on Kaua’i working with Fish and Wildlife as an intern. I think I must have the coolest job – I get to track reproductive success for the refuge’s Laysan Albatrosses, Nene, and Hawaiian Stilts. Bad ass. 🙂
    Your photographs are beautiful. I particularly enjoy the ones of the flying owls – they are images that don’t appear easy to get. Keep it up! I’ll be following your blog regularly.

    Comment by Megan — May 4, 2011 @ 3:30 am

  2. Hi Ron
    I am a relatively new photographer and like you enjoy photographing birds. Not sure if I’m a birder as yet but definitely spend too much time thinking about when I can next get out and try to imrove my skills. Your photos are magical really I wish I can one day take pictures even half as good as yours. I also really like how you explain how you do things….easy to understand without all the technical jargon. I am presuning you are professional?

    Comment by Richard — January 12, 2011 @ 6:52 am

  3. Ron, I think my brother-in-law, Dale Prince, introduced us a few years ago. He sent me some of your pictures, along with your comments. I spent the next half hour looking and reading and admiring your work. Your images are perfect in claity and color, and your explanations made it much more interesting. I would have missed some of details without your comments. I would like to see more of your work. How would I do that? Thanks for sharing. I’m going to forward this to a bird-watchers in my ward. I know he’ll enjoy it too, and maybe share with your some of his word. Thanks again. Lila Orme, Chatsworth, CA

    Comment by Lila Orme — August 26, 2010 @ 9:58 am

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