Ricky L. Jones went from a wedding photographer to a great bird photographer as he pursued the hobby. Here he captures an Indigo Bunting.
Ricky L. Jones was born in Memphis, Tenn., but currently resides in southeastern Wisconsin. He’s a Distance Learning Technician for Gateway Technical College and says he’s “basically a computer tech that helps students with their computers and software.”
Wisconsin’s Ricky L. Jones has been a bird photographer for decades.
In his spare time, Ricky explores his all-time favorite hobby — bird photography.
WBJ: Hello Ricky! How did you get started photographing birds?
RLJ: I’ve been a photographer since about 1980. I took my first photography class in High School and have been hooked since then. In the ’90s I started to do weddings, portraits and event photography. After that dried up in the 2000s, I looked for something else to do with my photography.
Since I love wildlife, nature and birds, I started to take bird pictures –badly in the beginning — but I stuck to it. I spent a lot of my time studying the great wild life photographers like Art Wolfe, Steve Winter and Arthur Morris.
WBJ: Where are some of your favorite spots for taking bird photographs?
RLJ: I’ve been to some great places in my time as a wildlife photographer, but not nearly as many places as I want to go! I hope to visit those places after I retire.
Here in Wisconsin, without a doubt, my favorite place to visit is the Horicon Marsh Wildlife Area, it’s about a 1.5-hour drive northwest of where I live. My birding friends and I try to make it up there a few times a year. Horicon is great! One reason is that it’s the largest freshwater cattail marsh in the United States and is teeming with wildlife of all kinds. If you take a look at my photos, you will see a lot of photography from there.
Another great place, a lot closer to home, is Bong Recreation Area, in Kenosha County, just south of my home. Bong is a 4,500-acre managed-prairie area. It was going to be an Air Force base back in the ’60s. The base was never finished, so it turned into what we see today.
I also love visiting Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary up in Green Bay Wisconsin. Bay Beach is what they call an urban wildlife refuge featuring dozens of birds, exhibits and hiking paths. Great place to visit, if you’re ever up near Green Bay.
My backyard is also one of my favorite places to take pictures of birds. In the spring, I set up a temporary bird blind, and spend hours taking pictures of the migratory birds that stop by and use our feeders.
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