2022—Snail on the Fly

When you’re on an airboat on Lake Kissimmee in central Florida looking for Snail Kites, it is essential that the captain is an expert at driving his airboat. Captain Mark was an expert. He not only knew where to find the Snail Kites, but, once found, he was able to drive that boat at the exact speed the kites were flying, keeping a perfect pace with them while they flew at eye level, along side us. The Nikon Z9, with a 20 frames per second shooting rate, is such an incredible camera that during the 15 second burst that included this photograph, I shot 292 images, all tack sharp, almost all in the same place in the frame, and until this beautiful male Snail Kite began to veer away from the boat, almost all the same size in the frame. I kept shooting even as the bird turned away, hoping it might turn back again to parallel the boat. He eventually found a place to land to consume the snail.