|MadSci Network: Zoology|
The most photographed bird?
Do you mean published photos or just any photo?
I don't believe this information is documented anywhere. I attempted to contact some birding and bird related magazines to find the answer with little success. Perhaps the Guinness Book of World Records will take on the challenge.
In my personal opinion having a some experience with both birds and bird photography, the most photographed bird would be one that is fairly common. Not a rare or declining species. It would also need to be accessible. Some birds live in the Antarctic, are pelagic(live mostly at sea) or exist only in remote areas of a rain forest. Also, it would need to be large enough to get a decent picture of with-out getting too close to as to startle it away. Telephotos are great, but in order get a print quality photograph of a small bird like a warbler you need a high end 500-800mm lens and you still need to be within 15 feet of the bird. Than take about 5 rolls of film to get 3-4 publishable shots. A bird that isn't too quick would also be helpful in getting a focused image. Humming birds and falcons are great birds, but on film they often look like a blur without the right equipment. The bird would also need to be pretty enough or interesting enough to warrant a picture in the first place.
So for the average photographer, not a pro with $10,000.00 dollars worth of equipment, an approachable bird that is of decent size, both common and accessible, as well as aesthetically pleasing would be the perfect subject.
My guess would have to be the Swan. They are very common, slow and graceful and it's hard to take a bad picture of one.
My answer is based entirely on personal conjecture. Not very scientific I know, but some questions fall outside the realm. If anyone can find documentation to the debunk my theory please forward it to me and I will attempt to amend my reply.
Steve A Williams
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