Dynamics within a sparrow colony.

There is an elusive kingfisher that I have been stalking for a long time with no luck whatsoever. The most notable encounters with him usually occur while my camera is not in hand, or even more nauseatingly, as I am switching lenses. Despite the frustrations, I do enjoy the hunt and even appreciate the misses because throughout it all there is something spectacular going on and being an observer to it still remains reward. Sadly, the colder months are settling in Michigan and the kingfisher’s visits have become less frequent as the ice begins to cover the lake. Now forced to find new muses in the surrounding environment, I decided to play around with shooting a colony of common house sparrows that visit the neighborhood.

I wasn’t expecting anything exciting to come from these little birds, to me they were bland subject matter, a mere reason to shoot. Regardless, my aim was to find something just as dynamic in one of them as I see with the kingfisher but nothing was ever going to compare in my estimation. What I did find surprised me, I discovered individual personalities within the colony expressed mostly within their interactions through flight. There is a type of hierarchy, if not definite disputes of dominance, but there is also a lot of entertaining play going on in their little world. I think I was able to get some of those personalities in these shots. In my prejudice I overlooked an important aspect of photography and by photography I mean life. Finding noteworthy elements in the ordinary and even mundane. My pursuit of the dramatic left me empty-handed, at least for now, but observing the ordinary resulted in my being reminded that there is more beauty to extract from the common than normally meets the eye. The end result being an entertaining collection of a colony of common house sparrows.

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