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Water Babies Continues

Posted on Apr 12, 2016

Water Babies
An Exhibition by William Burt
March 11 – June 5, 2016

For 40 years, photographer William Burt has chased after the birds few people see: first rails, then bitterns, nightjars, and other skulkers – and now these, elusive creatures of a very different kind: the Water Babies.  They are the subjects of his new book, and a new exhibition to be featured at RTPI.  As in Burt’s earlier exhibitions, Water Babies showcases a selection of the best works featured in the book of the same title.  It features 40 museum-quality photographic prints and accompanying materials.

Water Babies-COVER CWm Burt

The “babies” are the downy young of ducks, grebes, gallinules and shorebirds, herons, and the other birds of wetlands – those that get their feet wet, as it were – and challenging they are, to birder and photographer alike: quick-footed, wary, and well-camouflaged, to say the least; and temporary.  You have only a week or two each year in which to find them.  But above all else, they are endearing.  From the comic-monster herons to the fuzzy ducklings and stick-legged sandpipers, these tots have personality, and spunk.  You see it in their faces, every one.

eared grebe Lake of the Narrows SK 6 2012_MG_7771 CWmBurt-1

To find these youngsters and adults Burt prowled their wetland breeding grounds each spring and summer for some 7 years, all over North America, from the arctic circle to the Gulf of Mexico.  The result: a portrait of these wild birds of the wetlands as both young and old, unknown and known, new and familiar.

western grebes Medina ND 6 2013_MG_8128 CWmBurt

William Burt is a naturalist, writer, and photographer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within.  His feature stories are seen in Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, and other magazines, and he has written 3 previous books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).  Burt’s photo exhibitions have showed at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada, including The Carnegie MNH, The New Brunswick Museum, The Calgary Science Center, The Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and The Harvard Museum of Natural History.  He lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  RTPI currently has Water Babies, Shadowbirds, and Marshes available for purchase in the Nature Store.