Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Two birds soaring at Niagara Falls on July 25th

with 38 comments

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 1, 2019 at 4:43 AM

38 Responses

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  1. Amazing falls and a bonus having the bird as well (I failed to spot the 2nd bird).

    Ms. Liz

    October 1, 2019 at 5:31 AM

  2. Just when I thought you were playing tricks on us, I found the second bird. The scale and fragility of their presence against the power of that raging water is so palpable.

    Nature on the Edge

    October 1, 2019 at 6:44 AM

    • Me? Play tricks?

      Birds proved as much a part of the Niagara Falls experience as the falls themselves. At no time could someone look out over the gorge and not see birds wheeling about. The less-obvious bird here seems to have ventured pretty close to the cascade, though it’s hard to judge distances from so far away.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 7:25 AM

  3. Daring flight! I wonder how close they were to the mighty waterfall. Did you discover the birds later while processing the image, Steve?

    Peter Klopp

    October 1, 2019 at 8:03 AM

    • That’s a good question. In most of my Niagara Falls pictures that show birds I intentionally included them. That sometimes proved difficult because of their movement, and I ended up throwing away the shots with out-of-focus birds. In some of the pictures where my subject was the falls, I later discovered birds in the images. Today’s photo fits both categories: I purposely included the obvious bird and later discovered the second bird, which I’d had no knowledge of.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 8:34 AM

  4. I had forgotten that, birds hanging out by the falls like this. It does make for an intriguing contrast, doesn’t it, the fragile birds against that powerful backdrop.


    October 1, 2019 at 8:05 AM

    • Birds were a big part of the Niagara Falls experience. They kept flying around the whole time we there there. They seemed not at all fazed by the falls.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 10:22 AM

      • I imagine there are lots of insects around the falls.


        October 1, 2019 at 11:42 AM

        • There must be, though I didn’t notice many—not that I was looking for them.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 1, 2019 at 12:36 PM

          • When I started putting in native trees and shrubs in my yard I started seeing lots of insects. Now that my yard is more or less a permanent wetland I’m seeing even more variety. Can frogs and salamanders be far behind?


            October 3, 2019 at 8:42 AM

  5. Neat shot. Those birds are real daredevils, there must be some wicked downdrafts.

    Robert Parker

    October 1, 2019 at 8:44 AM

    • I hadn’t thought about downdrafts and whether they’re a downside of flying near the falls. On the other side of the coin, air that’s forced down must push other air up.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 10:27 AM

      • Next time you’re there, maybe you’ll try going to Canada by hang-glider and check it out?

        Robert Parker

        October 1, 2019 at 11:51 AM

        • Don’t know if I’ll ever get back there—it had been 31 years since the last visit—but if I do I assure you any gliding I do won’t be of the hang type.

          Steve Schwartzman

          October 1, 2019 at 12:38 PM

          • Well, we’ll suspend that proposal for now, don’t get soar, but if you visit the Falls in the winter, bring thermals, that might help.

            Robert Parker

            October 1, 2019 at 1:08 PM

  6. Very Nice Steve! A very Powerful Image!

    Reed Andariese

    October 1, 2019 at 5:57 PM

    • While composition and vision count, Niagara Falls adds so much in its own right that a photographer would be hard-pressed not to get a bunch of good pictures there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 7:34 PM

  7. I only see one???


    October 1, 2019 at 6:30 PM

  8. This may be the most dramatic instance of finding-while-processing I’ve seen. Spiders and flies are one thing, but your ability to catch an image of that second bird is astounding. Even if there’d only been one bird, it would have been enough. The combination of the massive, pouring falls and the single delicate bird communicates a sense of the falls’ power and beauty in a way that more traditional landscape shots just can’t.


    October 1, 2019 at 9:54 PM

    • You’ve probably seen me say in replies to earlier comments that plenty of birds wheeled about in the gorge. The obvious bird in front of the mist in this photograph was enough to satisfy me in the way it can’t help but draw the eye of any viewer and present the contrast you mentioned. Not that I’ve seen all that many Niagara Falls pictures, but I suspect this one differs from the great majority, thanks to that graceful and emblematic bird.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 1, 2019 at 11:10 PM

  9. That is quite a scene – very powerful!!


    October 4, 2019 at 7:35 PM

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