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Birds Photographed Like Human Models

Behold is Slate’s brand new photo blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @beholdphotos and on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

Barn Swallow.

Bob Croslin.

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When Bob Croslin asked to take portraits of the feathered tenants at the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Florida, the staffers in charge thought he wanted to snap a few pictures of birds through the bars of their cages. That was not what Croslin had in mind. Instead, he planned to photograph injured birds as he might human models, setting up on-location studio at the sanctuary.

Getting birds to pose in front of a backdrop under lights is a challenging task. It was a bit easier in this case because his models were accustomed to being visited by humans. Still, birds will be birds. The injured animals would often get nervous and poop on the backdrop. Or they would simply attack Croslin and the handlers. 

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Cedar Wax Wing.
Cedar Waxwing.

Bob Croslin.

Injured Short-Tailed Hawk
Injured Short-tailed Hawk.

Bob Croslin.

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American Crow.
American Crow.

Bob Croslin.

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 Red Tailed Hawk.
 Red-tailed Hawk.

Bob Croslin.

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Reddish Egret.

Bob Croslin.

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Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

Bob Croslin.

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Roseate Spoonbill.
Roseate Spoonbill.

Bob Croslin.

But after four months, and many a beak injury, he’d managed to turn even the fiestiest red-tailed hawk into an elegant model. The end result is a collection that highlights each bird’s distinctive personality, just as Croslin might with human subjects.

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Behold is Slate’s brand new photo blog. Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @beholdphotos and on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here.

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