Wildlife photographer takes attendees into the swamp

WESTFIELD-For bird enthusiasts, a photography and birding adventure awaits on June 30 as part of the summer events planned by staff at the Westfield Athenaeum.

“Wildlife photographer Peter Christoph will present a narrated slideshow virtually, sharing both his award-winning images and his photographic secrets as he brings you inside a typical New England swamp,” said Becky Blackburn, public services librarian.

The Westfield Athenaeum will host a virtual program titled “Birds of the New England Swamp” by wildlife photographer and author Peter Christoph on June 30. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)

The 55-minute program, with five minutes allotted for questions and answers, begins at 6:30 p.m. and attendees are asked to register for online access by visiting www.westath.org. The program also aligns with the summer reading program that focuses on the theme – Tails and Tales.

Christoph, based in Lancaster, is a well-known wildlife advocate, naturalist and award-winning conservation photographer.

“Over the course of several years spent searching for wildlife to photograph, I have had the lucky opportunity to rescue several birds, including red tailed hawks, a mockingbird, grackles, a mourning dove, mallards, a screech owl and barred owl,” said Christoph. “This is one of the perks of the job I love most.”

Blackburn noted that Christoph will provide an intimate look into the many varieties of birds that inhabit the regional swamps, including ospreys and herons, shorebirds, woodpeckers, and other cavity dwellers. He will also share his photographic techniques and favorite locations where he shoots.

“I visit swamps from Gloucester to Longmeadow,” said Christoph, noting his travels have included Forest Park, Great Meadows, and Horn Pond to name a few.

During his presentation Christoph will showcase activities of birds, ranging from building a nest and feeding their young to catching their prey.

As part of his lecture, Christoph raises awareness of the need to conserve bird habitat.

A free virtual program titled “Birds of the New England Swamp” will be offered June 30, hosted by staff at the Westfield Athenaeum. (SUBMITTED BY PETER CHRISTOPH)

Christoph is vice chair of the Massachusetts Camera Naturalists, and is past president of the Camera Club of Central New England. He has also published three bird photography books, including his latest, “The Art of Bird Photography.”

The free program, that promises to be educational, inspirational, and entertaining, is made possible by a grant from the Westfield Cultural Council.

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