Photographing Saskatechewan Birds

by Bryan Mierau
March 14, 2015



Snowy Owl  by Bryan Mierau ©

Snowy Owl


Summer 2012 I picked up my first SLR camera, and by summer of 2014 already had upgraded, and was out and about capturing images of everything and anything, but I keep coming back to looking for the same subject, birds.


American Pelican  by Bryan Mierau ©


American Pelican

Where are those birds, either you put of feeders and they come to you, or you head out into the wilds and find them. I have the fortunate luck to be close to Last Mountain National Wildlife Area. So during trips between Saskatoon, Sask and Yorkton, Sask a detour is a must. Which also makes a 3.5 hour trip twice as long.



American Bittern

Camera at the ready, lens cap off, initial settings dialled in. I like to start with a ISO of 400 hoping to lower it to 100, a f-stop around 8 or 9 and at least a 1/400 of a second shutter speed hoping to increase it to 1/1600 of a second.  
Most of my photos are during the mid morning till afternoon. The birds are more active at this time, the light from the sun is brighter, allowing me to obtain my manual camera settings.


Juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron  by Bryan Mierau ©


Black Crowned Night Heron


Black Crowned Night Heron Juvenile by Bryan Mierau ©


Black Crowned Night Heron Juvenile

The Last Mountain NWA is a large area of 15600 hectares, it has gravel and dirt roads which can be used  by vehicles and during drives in and around the area, my camera and I look for subjects to try and photograph.


Golden Eagle  by Bryan Mierau ©


Golden Eagle


Great Horned Owl  by Bryan Mierau ©


Great Horned Owl



Peregrine Falcon by Bryan Mierau ©


Peregrine Falcon

The following set of photos are from May 2014 to February 2015 using my Canon 6D and a Sigma 120-400mm lens.
Lots of photos are taken, lots of mistakes, to dark, to light, blurry, more blurry, even more blurry. Camera shake is my biggest obstacle, I know better, but that thrill of the hunt moment effects me when I see something new and exciting. I do try and utilize my monopod or tripod where ever I can.



European Starling  by Bryan Mierau ©


European Starling


Red Necked Grebe  by Bryan Mierau ©


Red Necked Grebe


Eared Grebe  by Bryan Mierau ©


Eared Grebe


Snowy Owl by Bryan Mierau ©


Snowy Owl

Rapid fire shutter clicks, when the bird departs from my view, a quick review in the view finder to see if I actually captured something. The birds in the field have a large tendency to be people shy, but some times they do curve back to have a look at you.


Great Blue Heron  by Bryan Mierau ©


Great Blue Heron


Common Tern by Bryan Meirau ©


Common Tern


Hawk by Bryan Mierau ©


Swainson's Hawk


Hawk by Bryan Mierau ©


Swainson's Hawk


Hawk by Bryan Mierau ©


Rough-legged Hawk


Hawk in flight by Bryan Mierau ©


Rough-legged Hawk

Returning home, and uploading into the computer, picking out the best images, and then the second exciting part of photographing birds happens, identification. Using bird books, world wide web, friends, and other photographers to determine what that bird actually is.




Bryan Mierau is an amateur photographer now residing at Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan.


Bryan has always been the one taking photos of nature or kids for almost two decades as a Scouts Canada volunteer, Bryan upgraded to his first SLR camera in summer of 2012, and has been able to use his photography skills to help promote the message of Scouting in Saskatchewan and Canada.


I enjoy being outside searching for opportunities to capture moments in time and then share them with family and friends.



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