MHP PHOTO ESSAYS
Bird Devotion-photos by Larry Gendron
Questions for a bird lover
We had birds when I was growing up. I had parakeets and canaries that lived in our house, slept in my bed. We raised chickens, ducks and geese. My grandparents lived in a cabin behind our house and they had two geese living in the house. There is a constant discovery with them, even after you have learned their particular pattern, particular rhythm. They move from playful to serious and show emotions such as anger, which actually effects how they appear. They make such beautiful subjects for compositions.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE BIRD?
There isn’t one species of bird that I like over all others, but I do kind of get pulled toward particular birds depending on the season; The Winter is the Chickadee. They are always the first to find seeds, and first to show up at feeding stations. They will land on me if I’m putting some seeds out for them. Very acrobatic, brave little guys. The Spring, it’s the Cardinal. very special bird (might be my favorite, actually). The Summer is the Bluebird. Most distinctive sound, almost like a whisper, as if they’re telling you a secret. And their soft sound cuts through any noise. The Fall , the Titmouse. Really fun to photograph and watch.
WHERE DO YOU MOSTLY PHOTOGRAPH?
I take most of the photographs in New York City and northwestern Connecticut...I’d say equally split between the two places.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM THE BIRDS YOU PHOTOGRAPH?
Once you’ve established any kind of relationship with them, they communicate with you. And they recognize you.
We have a pair that live behind our apartment in New York city, and over the past few years I have developed a distinct relationship with them (the male, in particular). If I leave my window open, he’ll come into the apartment. They also bring their young to meet me. They will come right up to the window and start calling, letting me know they are there. As soon as I start to open the window the male flies to the sill. I’ve also discovered that due to the competition with other birds; pigeons, sparrows etc, the cardinals have figured out that if they come to the window at dusk after all the other birds have settled down for the evening, they won’t have to get stressed out from the competition for seeds.
And they will stay until dark. This is the coolest thing about them, I think.
Lawrence Gendron a Manhattan-based art and design director and artist. He spends a lot of time in northwestern Connecticut, where he photographs birds and other subjects in the nature.
You can follow him on Instagram: lrgendron
all images ©Lawrence Gendron 2017