Free classes invite photographers to fall in love with bird photographyJan 30, 2023 02:41PM ● By Peri Kinder
Photographer Jeff Strong will teach a series of free photography classes at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City on Feb. 11 and March 11. Photos courtesy of Strong
The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Brigham City (2155 W. Forest St.) is a vital habitat for more than 250 species of birds. Millions of migratory birds use the refuge to rest and find food, and nearly 70 species make nests at the site.
Jeff Strong started photographing the birds more than 30 years ago and created a website, BearRiverBlogger.com, to help people become aware of the refuge and the opportunities there are to get fantastic wildlife photos.
“A lot of people aren’t even aware this place exists. Some people in Brigham City don’t even know it’s here and it’s in their own backyard,” Strong said.
The Davis High School grad combines his appreciation for birds with his love of photography by offering free classes at the refuge. Although he's taught classes there for many years, COVID shut everything down. But now he’s back with two free classes that coincide with special events at the bird refuge. Each one-hour class starts at 11:30 a.m.
The class on Saturday, Feb. 11 is Eagle Day, with a celebration of the majestic creatures. The final class, Saturday, March 11, features the migrating tundra swans that visit the refuge every spring and fall. For more information about the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, visit Fws.gov/refuge/bear-river-migratory-bird.
“We encourage people to stay after class to put the lessons into practice and go out on the bird refuge to get pictures,” he said. “Especially in March, because that’s when the tundra swans are migrating and there are thousands of them out there. It’s pretty spectacular to see that.”
The free photography classes are geared toward beginning photographers but anyone is invited to attend. No equipment is needed and class members are invited to spend the day at the refuge, enjoying the wide variety of feathered friends. The classes are free, but attendees must register online at BearRiverBlogger.com.
The February class will focus on how to take better wildlife and bird photos. The March class will be about capturing beautiful landscapes including sunset and waterfall photography. Participants can register for individual classes, or take both.
“It’s fun,” Strong said. “It’s just a way to get away from civilization for a few minutes, you know, the crazy world we live in, and connect to nature. I think sometimes we have to get away from our phones and bosses and bills and traffic, and get out and enjoy the peace and quiet. I think it rejuvenates us.
“It’s just one of those things you have to feel. It’s hard to explain. You get to watch birds be birds. I’d have everyone birdwatching if I could explain it, because there’s something about bird watching that just has to be experienced.”