Photographer and wildlife biologist Kelly Warren loves to be where the herds are, and Oregon’s four wildlife refuges are a good place to start.
Salem, raw. – Winter is in full swing and I’m so glad it’s true! So for outdoor fun, consider sitting in the front row of Oregon’s largest migration event at a wildlife refuge near you.
If your daily commute feels cluttered, think of 20,000 Canadian geese crammed wing-to-wing, twisting and turning and soaring in flight. These large birds soar, soar, and stroke the lush grass across the sprawling grasslands of the Baskett Slough Wildlife Refuge10 miles west of Salem.
Wildlife photographer and biologist Kelly Warren loves where the flocks are, and says Basket Slough is one of four easy-to-access US Fish and Wildlife Refuges In the Willamette Valley, which protects waterfowl habitat.
“You’ve got wetlands, you’ve got oaks, you’ve got geese…a lot of geese,” said Warren. Now, they are devouring grass. They overwinter in the Willamette Valley because there are sources of food and everything they need to succeed here.”
Warren’s eye for wildlife, combined with his camera skills, allows him to feed his addiction to photographing wildlife with a long-distance lens; Especially the seven subspecies of Canada geese that migrate to Oregon.
The “Field Guide to Goose Identification” documents the story of the Oregon goose with history, biology, and especially photos. So if you don’t know a bar-thrower from the Aleutians, Warren’s new book will set you straight.
“My book is an ongoing process,” Warren said, “and I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with the overall results.” Writing is a hobby that adds to my waterfowl addiction, whether it’s hunting, watching wildlife at a sanctuary, or taking pictures of these birds.”
Warren’s father and grandfather drew him to the outdoors as a boy. Grandpa Charles Warren was a well-known professor of fish and wildlife at Oregon State University, and he saw something special. In the young man who bought Kelly his first camera.
“My grandfather said, ‘You’re always in the bog, always hunting, always doing things, so go buy a camera and use it.'” “
him too! They also traveled to wildlife mecha such as Klamath Amusement Park and Malheur Wildlife Refuge where a new world opened up for young Kelly Warren.
“We would take spring birding trips to Malhaur and other areas and get to know the different species, plus I could see migration routes and corridors and learn everything possible about birds. So, I started this hobby, this passion for wildlife photography.”
Warren collected more than 150 images of goose in his script, but averaged 500 images for each image selected for the book.
“I have many, many extended hard drives,” he said with a chuckle.
Captivated by people who don’t hunt but love watching and learning about wildlife, Warren’s book shares photo tips with anyone who wants to take pictures outdoors on their own.
“Any time between November and late April can be great times to find waterfowl in refuges. Birds will hunt when they are not too careful, so early morning and evening are the best times.”
Warren is a wildlife biologist at Ducks Unlimited, and he said his wife and youngster often join him in the field.
When it comes to the quality of his footage, Warren says there are several things to consider.
“Image clarity is crucial as is composition and contrast too. I try to capture a lot of geese in flight. Stationery gets boring after a while.”
And when it comes to advice for newcomers wanting to take perfect wildlife photos? “Stay in your car! Geese are used to driving cars back and forth, so if you go outside, they will keep their distance and won’t let you near.
Solid advice from a leading professional that will put you on the right path to exciting and exciting moments in the great outdoors.
Be sure to follow my adventures in Oregon via the new Gerrat Grant podcast. Each segment is a storytelling session where I tell behind-the-scenes stories from four decades of travel and TV reporting.
You can also learn more about many of my favorite Oregon trips and adventures in the Grant’s Getaways book series, including:
The collection of books offers hundreds of outdoor activities throughout Oregon and promises to engage a child of any age.
You can contact me: Gmcomie@kgw.com