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Birds in Flight - Photos by Russ Hansen - About RussBirds in Flight - Photos by Russ Hansen - Return to Main Page
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          Russ Hansen, former physics teacher, electrical engineer, inventor, innovator and nature photographer has been photographing birds in flight for more than 27 years.  Russ has photographed more than 140 species of birds within 3 feet of the camera.  Using a variety of techniques to lure the birds close to the camera, Russ's photographs are unique in the world of wildlife photography.  Now retired,  Russ and his wife, Marty, now spend summers in South Lincoln, Vermont and winter in Fort Davis, Texas.  They still travel widely in the United States seeking new species.  He has also photographed birds in Canada, Jamaica, Trinidad, Tobago, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico.
           It was after photographing rifle bullets passing through playing cards, light bulbs and bars of soap with his physics students that he decided to try photographing birds in flight at close range. Thus a keen interest and desire to photograph birds close up became an exciting avocation.  A former electrical engineer at Bell Labs and Xerox, where he received several patents, Russ also taught physics for 25 years, 18 at The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut. He designed and built the electronic flashes and circuitry necessary to stop the wing action of a bird as it breaks a light beam which triggers a motor-driven Hasselblad camera.  Russ received two grants from the National Geographic Society for multiple-image photography of birds and bats in flight.  An example of this work may be seen in The Wonder of Birds, page 24 (National Geographic Society, 1983).  He also used this equipment in a National Geographic expedition to Jamaica studying the Pteronotus mustache bat with Dr. Bill Henson of the University of North Carolina Medical School, Chapel Hill.
           Russ's photographs have appeared in a number of periodicals and books, including American Birds, National Wildlife, Yankee, Texas Parks and Wildlife, Fotografisk Tidsdrift, The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds, Far Out Facts (National Geographic Society), National Geographic Research, The Audubon Society Field Guide of North American Birds, and the National Audubon Society North American Bird Feeder Handbook and more recently Peterson Field Guides Hummingbirds of North America and Hummingbirds of the American West. He has lectured widely for Audubon chapters, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science Annual Bird Conference, the Birds of Vermont Museum, The Connecticut Museum of Natural History, Cornell's Laboratory of Ornithology, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, The Southwest Research Station of The American Museum of Natural History and the North American Nature Photography Association.  His traveling exhibit "Birds in Flight" has been featured at more than 50 museums throughout the U.S. since 1992. Russ was an award winner in the 54th annual PICTURES of the YEAR competition judged at the Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia, MO, presented at the National Geographic Society, May 30, 1997.
All images copyright  Russell C. Hansen