Oman’s birds of prey

PHOTOS BY Biju Augustine 

 

I spent most of my childhood being one with nature and closely watching, hidden from view, animals or birds in the wild. I was not one of those kids who were fond of sports and games. Other than my studies, heading to our back yard in our estate and exploring the surrounding wilderness became a hobby.

I found joy in observing animals and birds in their natural habitat. I learned how to get close to them without disturbing their habitats. This activity allowed me to forget the outside world and develop a deep appreciation for the environment. Shortly after, I became a nature lover and from this steam my love for wildlife photography. This love and fascination for the natural world stayed with me until I became an adult.

When I moved to Oman, I was automatically drawn to its diverse wildlife. Thus, while I go to work for my bread and butter, I also pursued my love for photography.

Oman is a paradise for migratory birds mostly coming from East Asia and Europe. They passed through Oman, part of their seasonal journey of running away from the dread of winter and in pursuit of food or a good nesting site.

In Oman, I’ve witnessed dozens of these migratory birds and as of late, my attention has been greatly zoomed into the life of raptors or birds of prey.

From amur to sooty falcon, from barberry to Egyptian vultures, from spotted eagles to buzzards, Oman is a very interesting place to explore.

It is also frequented by beautiful birds like steppe eagle, osprey, little owls, marsh harrier and common kestrels.

These birds look graceful as they take the sky and by the time they rest, wildlife photographers like myself are in for a treat.

These birds had flown thousands of kilometers and some of the best spots to see them are in places like Barr Al Hikman, Masira Island, Dhofar, Al Wusta beaches, Dimaniyat Island and Musandam.

I use the captured images of the animal or birds to bring people’s awareness of what beautiful wildlife we have in our back yard and all around us and the importance of conservation and environmental protection.

As a responsible wild life photographer, I capture my images from the its natural habitat. I always put the welfare of the subject’s life and take utmost care of the enviroment.

I never disturb an animal or bird in any way to get a better shot of the subject. I do minimum post process to make the image look pop or crop it to my taste.