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Owls and Woodpeckers of the Okanogan Highlands and Beyond

Highland Wonders ~ February 3, 2012

 
 
Paul Bannick’s presentation took us on a visual and auditory exploration of local habitats, through the owls and woodpeckers that most define and enrich these places. His photographic field report celebrates the ways the lives of these two iconic birds are intertwined with one another, and their role as keystone and indicator species for their environment. The Highland Wonders audience was immersed in the sights and sounds of forest, grassland, and desert, and in the entertaining and informative details of Paul’s narrative.

The hidden life of these birds is obvious for those who know how to find it. Paul knows how to find it, and how to bring it to life for his audiences through photos, sound, and story. 

Presentation Inroduction

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Paul Bannick is a wildlife photographer specializing in the natural history of North America with a focus on birds and habitat. Coupling his love of the outdoors with his skill as a photographer, he creates images that foster the intimacy between viewer and subject, inspiring education and conservation.

“These two bird groups are linked by the fact that more than half of the owl species in North America rely on woodpeckers for their nest cavities, in some way,” Paul says.  He photographs woodpeckers and owls in hopes of drawing attention to the challenges facing these birds and their ecosystems. “Many woodpeckers and owls are considered indicator species,” he explains. “These are species that depend upon critical elements of a natural system and are most sensitive to degradation of those elements. Because of this, the health of an indicator species population can be used to monitor the health of a natural system.”

Paul's work can be found in bird guides from Audubon, The Smithsonian, Stokes, The National Wildlife Federation, and in the Handbook of the Birds of the World. His work has been featured in a variety of publications from Audubon, Sunset, Birds and Blooms, Pacific Northwest (two cover stories), Seattle Times, Alaska Air Magazine, and in many other books, magazines, parks, refuges, and other outlets in North America and Europe. He has appeared on dozens of NPR stations and programs, including Travels with Rick Steves and BirdNote. Paul recently won the Audubon National Photography Contest for the "Birds and their Habitat" category, with a photo of a Northern Pygmy-Owl. This Highland Wonders presentation is an opportunity to benefit from Paul’s countless hours observing owls and woodpeckers, sometimes spending hours moving inch by inch into the right position while watching a bird's behaviors, movements and the path of the sun. For more information about Paul's work, visit www.paulbannick.com, or email paul.bannick@gmail.com.

 
Questions about Highland Wonders? Contact OHA's Conservation Coordinator, Julie Ashmore: julie@okanoganhighlands.org