Photographing wildlife is one of my favorite things to do. Animals make great photographic subjects year round. If you’re interested in knowing where to go, here’s a dream list of places to visit any time of year to make great wildlife photos.
1. January – Skagit Valley, Wash., for Snow geese, Trumpeter swans, dunlin. Nooksack and Skagit rivers for Bald Eagles.
2. February – Yellowstone in winter for Bison, Elk, Big-horn sheep, Pronghorn, Moose. Florida for birds: Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge. Heron Rookery, Venice, Fla.
3. March – Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tuscon, for spring birds. Birds are easy to find and photograph.
4. April – Songbirds in your own back yard
5. May – Malheur Wildlife Refuge, Ore., for Sage Grouse, Snow Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and a host of smaller songbirds. Also can be good in April. Yellowstone National Park is a good location in late May for baby animals.
6. June – Yellowstone and Grand Tetons for baby elk, bison, moose, bear. (Go in early June before the crowds arrive.)
7. July – Oregon Coast, for seals, sea lions, whales. The nearby Strawberry Hill wayside offers great access. Whale charters in places like Depoe Bay can get you close to the whales. At Hurricane Ridge, in Washington State’s Olympic National Park, you’ll find Columbia Blacktail deer June through September. In Alaska, Katmai National Park is a good location to photograph Brown Bear.
8. August – Denali National Park, late August and early September for bear, moose, caribou. Katmai National Park in late August and early September is also a good time to photograph brown bears.
9. September – In late September to early October, you can photograph the elk rut in Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons.
10. October – Moose, Baxter State Park, Maine
11. November – Bosque del Apache, N.M. for birds. Klamath Basin of Southern Oregon and Northern California for waterfowl, such as Snow geese, swans, ducks and geese. Plenty of raptors as well. Haines, Alaska, for bald eagles.
12. December – Bosque del Apache, N.M., for more birds and Homer, Alaska, for eagles.