NPR

Learning To Love Bird Photography, Thanks To A 'Competitive Collaboration'

Over just 10 days in November, Gemina Garland-Lewis photographed 42 bird species with her partner on their land in Mexico. It wasn't until recently, she writes, that birds made her "tick."
A male vermillion flycatcher perches atop an open branch on one of the many charred mesquites on our land, La Isla. Source: Gemina Garland-Lewis

Photographer and explorer, Gemina Garland-Lewis has always been drawn to nature and wildlife. Garland-Lewis takes us through her journey of growing to love bird photography alongside her partner on their land, nicknamed "La Isla," in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

As I sit with my back against a charred, fallen palm tree, I can't help but hear my mother's words in my head: "I hope you don't like birds now just because of a guy." My eyes alert as I scan for various woodpeckers and sparrows, camera in hand, and I wonder if there may be some truth in what she said.

I've been a photographer since I was 12 and have been deeply curious about the natural world and its creatures since about

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