Larry Hubbell’s blog Union Bay Watch might be enough to make anyone feel like an avid bird watcher, even from the seat of their computer chair. A quick scroll through his photography seems to be the virtual equivalent of an in-depth birding trip. The dedication Hubbell shows to chronicling the stories of local wildlife is quite astounding, tracking different birds in the union bay area as they go through the different stages of their life, recognizing them by name as he takes his photos.
As a mission statement, Hubbell’s blog states that it wishes to “promote the appreciation of wildlife on and around Union Bay and a higher level of harmony between humanity and nature.” Rock on Mr. Hubbell. His mini-bio also extends the hope of his work bringing humanity closer to nature so that it can further appreciate why it’s so important to maintain: “I find birds compelling, beautiful and symbolic of our impact on the natural world. To me they represent the life forms and ecosystems that are disappearing as humanity expands. My fear is that our progeny may forever live in a diminished world of crows, concrete and mechanical devices. I hope my focus on birds reminds us of what we need to save.” Larry accomplishes this by giving blog visitors a closer look into the lives of these birds than they would ever get otherwise, showing them as caring parents and endearing young. The sheer beauty of his shots is enough to inspire wonder, but I would think it’s the narrative detailing of his work that really makes readers feel connected.
For example, Larry’s latest post describes the evacuation from the nest of one of Elvis’ sons, a bird he’s been following. Pictures show the son’s first adventures outside home, as well as the father (whom Hubbell has donned as Elvis) gathering food and feeding him. This way of providing an intimate view of wildlife is a great way to harbor deeper affection for it; It’s easier to ignore the needs of the environment if we never witness the beauty of it. Hubbell’s blog does an outstanding job of reminding us what’s at stake. I for one had no idea of the immense amount of bird life around Union Bay. Exploring further led me to the website of the Union Bay Natural Area. Apparently, over 200 species of birds have been spotted there. No wonder Hubbell finds so much life to capture.