“Feathered Friends”

“I started photography about 4 years back with wildlife as my major interest. With passing time I found myself slowly divulging towards birds due to their variety and also their behavior portrayal. I am sharing with you some of the unique moments nature has shared with me. Hope you all enjoy it.”

© Nitin Bhardwaj

Since when you are naturalist and photographer of the wildlife.

I started Bird Photography in 2008. It was largely a hobby which later became a full fledged interest.

Do you work at this professionally or are you involved in some project or conservation association?

I have contributed a few images to Wildlife Journals and Articles but in time I would open my horizons to professionally generate awareness about our wonderful Flora and Fauna through outdoor education programs.Currently I am involved in capturing species for Photo Records for WWF field office Ladakh.

For as spectacular photographs, what equipment are you using regularly?

I Shoot Nikon. Body- D-4 and D-7000. Lens-600 mm F4 / 70-200 mm F2.8 along with Tele Zooms like 150-500 mm and a 70-300 mm. A flash SB-910 and 1.7 X TC. More in my Bag is a Nikon D-60 and DX lens 18-135 mm.

In general terms; what show and where were taken the images that you are showing us in this gallery?

These images have largely been recorded from the Indian Sub Continent.This would include the High Alpine Desert Ladakh and Spiti in northern India. Central and Western India as well have been of core interest.

A question that you’ve heard repeated many times:: how do you manage to get closer to the animals and get so good pictures?

The key to good frames is the patience factor. Along with this you need to supplement yourselves with good hides or Suits that help you merge with the surroundings.It is always good to know the subject you are after on that shoot since that will help you identify the habitat and produce better results.

You also have amazing pictures of large mammals such as tigers or leopards Do you feel more attraction to these animals or you prefer the birds?

In my opinion each species is inter related hence I do not differentiate among the inhabitants of the wild.I am very liberal when a subject is provided to me irrespective if it is a mammal or a Bird or a reptile.Each of these beings play a crucial part in the Food Chain therefore observation of this complex chain needs to be complete. As someday you could find a Jungle cat or a Caracal hunting Fowl or someday it could be a Bonellis Eagle charging a Hare.

India is a country with an exuberant nature and an important cultural legacy but … What remains to be done in terms of environmental protection?

India being a sub continent in itself bears the brunt of many a ineffective policies. Ineffective Garbage disposal,Industrialization,Population boom and clouded ethical beliefs have taken deep roots.Modern architecture does not cater for nests for the birds which earlier dwelled near human settlements hence the Common House sparrow the state bird of Delhi has almost vanished from here.Urban Landscape,Pesticides and monoculture are biggest offenders to the avifauna of this region.

In one of the most important tourist destinations of the world such as India what is the place of birdwatching?

Indian has its own share of Resident Birds and Migratory Birds.There have been unto 1200-1300 recorded species here. Important destinations would vary from season to season. Summers could be ideal for the Northern ranges i.e HImalayas while Winters could be more inclined towards North East and South. It is very important to know what BIrds you would like to spot and then follow the pattern of there ranges.

Do you think that the observation of birds can be a good tool for environmental education and to eliminate differences among people?

Observing birds is a very essential tool in environmental education. Just by the virtue of seed dispersal they complete the most essential phase of the Food Chain. In places like Rajasthan in India the Lesser Florican is instrumental in eating the painted Grasshopper which is a pest for the Local Farmers.
Since Bird watching is a Team sport which involves many key instincts to be utilized in the  field it helps bonding among members.Some member hear the bird earlier than the rest while some may spot it earlier than others.Hence this mutual effort stems up the key factors to generate bonding among individuals.

Interview by J. M. Escarabajal (Birding Murcia / Sureste Vivo)



ll images are subject to Copyright@Nitin Bhardwaj and may not be used in any form of media or publication before prior permission.

“Birders Around The World” is an idea promoted by the Association Southeast Alive (Sureste Vive) through the Project Birdingmurcia.