Land & Conservation

Stunning Florida Shorebirds

Photographer Jim Miller captures striking images of shorebirds throughout Florida in his new book Art of Birds 

Jim Miller is lucky: Just a few hours in the car will take him from his home in Tallahassee to some of the best birding spots on the planet. “Photographers and bird watchers come from all over the world to see the range and quantity of Florida birds,” he says. And for the last two decades, Miller has been among them, staking out quiet spots along the coast, armed with binoculars, camera, and tripod. His new book, The Art of Birds, showcases more than one hundred images taken throughout the Sunshine State, alongside excerpts pulled from the writing of renowned ornithologists including John James Audubon and Arthur Cleveland Bent. Miller snapped portrait-style close-ups of pelicans, gulls, and osprey, along with action shots such as a white ibis about to devour a crab and two great egrets chasing one another down the beach at Fort De Soto County Park. “Perhaps the most surprising is the royal tern shaking after a bath—it’s essentially flying upside down,” Miller says. “It took a 1/4000th of a second exposure to capture that.” Sure, Miller is delighted when he gets the perfect shot, but most of the time, he’s just grateful to spend time in nature. “It’s a fantastic excuse to be outdoors,” he says. “I can sit in one place for hours and think about what the land used to be, who lived here, what the coastline will someday be.” 

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