From Bay To Beach To Backyard – The Birds Of 91st Street

“The wild color warblers of spring and fall, the shorebirds of summer, the waders for waterfowl or birds of prey on a winter day? Our year-round residents, or regular or rare visitors? How about birds photographed right here on Beach 91st — from bay to beach to backyard, street tree to jetty — all year long, something to see. Untangling the songs, tuning in: a moving leaf, a new sound, a distinct shape in the sky. A rhythm of arrivals and the departures — certain or shifting — charting time, signaling seasons.”  Bridget Klapinski

Beach 91 Community GardenBridget in front of her exhibit at the. Photo by Kristi Dickerson.

Her interest in birding began about four years ago during the pandemic. It was a way to pass time; a way to be in fresh air; a way to tranquility.

Next came the camera.

The parallels between gardening, birding and surfing are a connection photographer Bridget Klapinski senses deeply; the pause, the waiting, the calmness. Nature grants her the space to take a full, long breath. Then, in a blink, the petal opens gifting vibrant joy; feathers flash – snap snap and the mighty wave pops, peeling into motion.

I’ve seen Bridget’s photography on Instagram and could not believe the diversity of bird species she is documenting. I was surprised and delighted to learn through her work that hummingbirds spend time in Rockaway! Bridget has counted 70 different fowl on Beach 91st Street but estimates it’s closer to 100 that live or migrate yearly.

Ovenbird Rockaway Beach QueensHave you seen an Ovenbird in your yard?

To capture the intricacy of her subjects in their natural environments, Bridget uses a Canon R10 and a Canon T-6S Rebel. Many of the photographs are shot with a Tamron 150-600mm. This wide zoom lens is essential to detail elusive birds.

Summer-Tanager-SlideSummer Tanager Slide

A Great Egret snacks on a Rockaway RooftopA Great Egret snacks on a Rockaway Rooftop

Bridget Klapinski is the President of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, an excellent wave rider (body and board) and a community champion of coastal conservation. View Bridget’s photography series, Birds On 91st Street…  on…. 91st Street at the Beach 91st Street Community Garden and more here: @saltwatercrab. The monthly rotating art gallery is curated by Kristi Dickerson, a dedicated garden and leadership member. Follow the garden’s Instagram account to see more of Bridget’s photographs and learn about the B91 Gardens’ community outreach and mission.

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