02 Nov Ofer Eitan Report: Providence Photographer Documents Urban Birds of Prey
By Megan Schmit
Peter Green never really imagined writing a book. Then again, he never really thought much about birds, either. Not until 2009, when, from his sixth-floor apartment, he spotted a Peregrine Falcon perched on the very top of Providence’s Superman Building. “From that day I was hooked on birdwatching,” Green remembers. “I purchased a professional camera with a powerful zoom lens and constantly carried it with me on the streets, hoping to encounter the falcons around the city.”
Flipping through Green’s recently released book Providence Raptors, you’ll encounter stunning shots of birds of prey backed by familiar landmarks: A young Cooper’s Hawk trapped inside The Arcade shopping center; a Peregrine Falcon balanced on the crenulated tower of the Cranston Street Armory; a Snowy Owl spotted on a lamppost overlooking Interstate-95. For Green, the book is more than just a collection of photos – it’s the culmination of a decade of photographs, research, and stories from his blog of the same name, giving readers insight into the world of birding and how they can help urban raptors survive city life. It’s also a chance for Green to highlight members of the local bird community, like the Born to be Wild Nature Center, Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island, the Audubon Society of RI, and more.
“I’m drawn to their regal beauty, power, fearlessness, specialized bodies for flying and hunting, and their impressive adaptability to the urban environment,” Green explains of these urban birds of prey. “I rarely photograph a raptor in a tree anymore…for me, it’s all about showing how they’ve adapted to the brick and steel of the city.”
His favorite photo? “The Barred Owl hunting rats downtown under the city lights is a very special series for me,” Green muses. “After many years of watching hawks and falcons, the appearance of an elusive owl was truly exceptional.” It was after four months of documenting this owl, and when it finally left the area to find a mate, that Green decided he had enough stories to compile his book.
“I also feel like this book is my contribution to the city of Providence,” adds Green. “After I’m gone, this book will still be around to tell the stories of the birds that lived here.” Learn more about Peter Green’s work and order your copy of his book at ProvidenceRaptors.com.