Brandon Holden

Brandon Holden

I grew up outside of Hamilton, Ontario (Binbrook and Blackheath). My parents and I used to take “weekend walks” to various conservation areas, when we eventually hit Beamer C.A. in Grimsby. It was late March, and a large movement of Turkey Vultures was underway. I had always been interested in birds, but this migration specific day had me totally fixated – to the point where all future spring walks became visits to Beamer. Before long, the walking aspect was largely forgotten, and I was busy trying to learn how to identify all of our birds of prey. My parents took an active interest in all of my endeavors when I was young, but they initially focused on competitive swimming. I spent several years training, culminating in a few provincial championship medals and trips to Hungary and Poland representing Hamilton/Canada at the Children’s International Games. Half way through highschool, I had one of those life changing moments. I was at a local weekend competition (early April) and the only thing on my mind was I was possibly missing migrating past the hawkwatch. Sure it was a rather cool day, but I was sure something exciting was happening. A few hours later, I noticed it was snowing. Maybe not the best migration weather – yet it told me what I was really aching to do.

By this point , I felt I had learned a tremendous amount about our raptors and how to identify them. Yet I couldn’t help but notice that most birders disappeared every year in May – leaving only a handful of “regulars” to attend the hawkwatch. I have no idea who this birder was, but someone at the hawkwatch called me to the edge of the woods, and showed me a handful of migrant songbirds in the bushes. One I had a good look at was a Magnolia Warbler, and I was suddenly alerted to the fact that there was some 400+ species of birds in Ontario that I had very little knowledge of!

Years later, I have a fully developed obsession with birds that (probably) isn’t often rivaled. It was 2003 when my parents first got me a digital SLR camera (Canon 10D) and a very respectable 100-400mm lens. My passion for birds and birding went hand in hand with photography, and I eventually created this website to display my work. My equipment list has grown to include the Canon 1D Mark 4 DSLR, along with the Canon 600mm F4 and 300 F.28 lenses. I also use a Powershot SX30 for insects, landscapes and documentation purposes. Through this website, I have been thankful to have photographs published in a wide variety of newsletters, CD’s, books, journals, newspapers, magazines and products.

Although I attended school for Firefighting, I’m currently keeping myself entertained by doing surveys for a major consulting company (AKA – getting paid to go birding). I am thankful to be a member of the Vortex Optics Field Staff team, who supply me with my birding optical equipment. (Vortex DLS 8×42 binoculars and the superb Vortex Razor 20-60x scope). I was elected to be a voting member of the Ontario Birds Record Committee in 2010, who help track and maintain a scientific record of unusual bird occurrences in the province for the Royal Ontario Museum. I also help keep my reference library complete by occasionally reviewing books for Princeton Publishing.

I currently reside in Burlington, Ontario. And you’ll see me out birding around the province with my friends or my parents. I need to mention here that I really owe everything to my parents for helping me follow the path towards my interests (and obsessions) with birds, birding and photography. Without them, none of this would have been possible!

Burlington, Ontario

website: personal website


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