Spying on wildlife in Ukraine and Latvia

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April 21, 2011, 11:45 p.m. | About Kyiv — by Nataliya Horban

A newborn long-eared owl spotted in Kyiv.

Photographing wild birds could perhaps be seen as a more difficult form of being a paparazzo. This kind of photography takes skills far beyond the mastery of shooting. Apart from good cameras, the photographer needs to have a good knowledge of ornithology, a branch of zoology specializing in birds, to predict and understand the behavior and peculiarities of various species.

Sunset at Engure Lake in Latvia

This helps the photographer produce astonishing shots. Taking a picture may last from a few hours to a day.

European Herring Gull rushes to her nest.

To shoot wildlife, one must build a special shelter with an opening for the camera lenses and let the birds get used to it.

A swan takes off from a lake.

Then the photographer’s task is to stay alert, without making noise as any movement can scare the bird away, adding more and more hours of waiting.
Unlike other types of photography, shooting wildlife is a tedious process that yields only a few pictures.

Coots, one of the most hunted bird species in Ukraine, hatch in a nest.

But if everything goes right, the efforts pay off in a sense of joy for both the photographer and the viewer.

Photos by Yaroslav Debelyi
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