Todd Petty

Todd Petty

Todd Petty is a reporter at Audubon Magazine.

Articles by this Author

Published: 04/02/2014

When Ronald Bielefeld headed to Lake Tohopekaliga in Central Florida, it was in hopes of capturing images of snail kites foraging along the shore. As is often the case when photographing birds in their natural habitat, there were “significant lulls in the action,” he says. During the downtime, Bielefeld turned his attention to the thousands of tree swallows foraging in aquatic grasses for midges that were hatching by the millions.

Published: 04/02/2014
Songbirds migrate long distances, but they’ve never traveled the world like this before. The U.S.
Published: 04/03/2014

While on a trip to photograph the wildlife of Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil, Lee Dalton captured this majestic scarlet ibis at Venezuela's Morrocoy National Park. He had come to the park intending to shoot waterbirds in general, and American flamingos and scarlet ibises in particular. He'd had some luck with large flocks of flamingos, but he couldn't say the same for the scarlet ibis.

Published: 04/04/2014

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a pterosaur.

A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History showcases these amazing flying reptiles that first ruled the skies more than 220 million years ago. Close relatives of the dinosaurs, the pterosaurs were the earliest and largest vertebrates to evolve powered flight.

Published: 04/04/2014

Hazel Erikson's gorgeous photo of a pair of eastern bluebirds feeding on fresh berries was taken from the comfort of her own home in Norris Lake, Tennessee. Erikson has a strategy that brings award-winning bird photos to her: She looks for logs with character, drills large holes in them, then fills the holes with food. She sets up her camera on a tripod inside a nearby window and waits for the birds to discover the food. While working at her computer, she keeps an eye trained on the outdoors so that she doesn't miss any great shots--like this one.

Published: March-April 2013

Caroline Lambert took this photo of the western scrub-jay in the Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto, California. She was simply looking to photograph a bird, she says, any bird at all.

Published: 04/10/2014

Bob Feldman photographed this pair of dueling tree swallows in a small wetlands area near his house. “Under the right conditions, it [is] an ideal environment for a variety of birds, including tree swallows,” he says. Since he lives nearby, Feldman has visited these birds frequently during breeding season, spending a fair amount of time observing and photographing them.

Published: 04/14/2014

Dwayne Wynne photographed this resplendent Montezuma oropendola while lounging at a lodge in Tikal, Guatemala. After a long but rewarding day in the field, he and his travel companions were enjoying a cold drink on the lodge grounds. Luckily, Wynne’s camera was nearby when his girlfriend, Claudia, spotted the oropendola crawling down a banana flower stalk.

Published: 04/14/2014

During a day of hiking and photography on the tundra in Barrow, Alaska, Georges McNeil and a group of birders happened upon this ruff. When the day got colder and rainy, the group decided to pack it in, settling for some “bad photos” of the bird before they left. The next day, however, the last one of the trip, McNeil and the group returned to the place where they had spotted the ruff. It was still there. Although the bird kept its distance, McNeil stayed patient. The lighting was better this time and the group eventually managed a number of great shots.

Published: 04/15/2014

Habitat destruction is one of climate change's gravest threats. As sea levels rise and animals shift their ranges to find warmer temperatures, it's estimated that 20 to 30 percent of species will be at high risk for extinction by the end of the century. Now, a study from the U.S. Geological Survey is helping us better understand that process in the southwestern states.