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An Interview with Nancy Barrett
January 03, 2019 by Haya Aldoori

On February 2, Nancy Barrett will be leading a workshop to help participants learn the tips and techniques which will help them gain confidence and improve their skills when it comes to photographing winter birds.

We had a few questions for Nancy and she generously answered.

Nancy Barrett

HPNC: What is your favourite species of bird to photograph?

Nancy Barrett: It would be simply too difficult to choose just one species! I love the challenge of photographing tiny, jewel-like warblers as much as that of capturing powerful, fierce birds of prey.

HPNC: Why is High Park a good location to see and photograph birds in the winter?

Nancy Barrett: High Park is a natural oasis for birds in the big city; it includes a variety of habitats that provide food and shelter for birds, and feeders are provided to assist the birds through tough winter conditions.

HPNC: What is something you are looking forward to for the Winter Birds Photography Workshop on January 19th?

Nancy Barrett: The encounters and experiences I've had while photographing birds of all kinds locally and in other countries have enriched my life in myriad ways. My intention is to pay it forward--to instruct, to enlighten, to ignite curiosity and share with others what I've experienced.

Red- tailed Hawk by Nancy Barrett

HPNC: How did you get interested in bird photography?

Nancy Barrett: I developed an intense interest in nature and particularly in birds early on; photography followed a bit later, once I discovered I could capture the amazing variety and beauty of species, along with their behaviour (feeding, courtship, nesting, flight) and conservation.

HPNC: What has been one of the most memorable photos you have taken?

Nancy Barrett: One of the many images I have taken that evokes strong emotions is a portrait of a young Red-tailed Hawk. It was one of two young raised by our "local" pair that nest every year in our area, nicknamed "Gulliver"; the siblings were growing fast and learning how to hunt for themselves. Gulliver spent much time playing with sticks and clumsily chasing birds and squirrels while we watched. On a day of softly-falling snow, Gulliver flew to our balcony railing and perched there, feathers fluffed up. Incredibly, I managed to open the sliding glass door and the noisy screen less than 2 metres from the hawk, and shoot a few images without once disturbing the bird.

A self-taught wildlife and nature photographer based in Toronto, Nancy Barrett has felt an affinity and keen curiosity for the wonders of the natural world since childhood. Nancy endeavours to express that passion through her work with the camera; she has travelled to places as far-flung as Africa and Belize, but continues to be inspired by the abundance of wildlife right here in the green spaces and hidden corners of the big city.

For more information about adult workshops and to register

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