My Sunday Morning No Vulture Trees Pledge « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

My Sunday Morning No Vulture Trees Pledge

Today’s NANPA/ASMP Tidbit

An e-mail from NANPA Member Jerry Bauer

27 November 2022


I thank you for letting members know about the merger situation between NANPA and ASMP. I do not want to take sides until I have more detailed information. But it bothers me a great deal that:

1) as a long time NANPA member the association did not consult with or notify membership about discussions with ASMP and merging into one organization. I did not know anything about this situation until I received an Email from you (Arthur Morris) on 18 November 2022.

2) in a recent email I read an attachment titled, “Some Important Facts from the NANPA President”. This fact sheet slammed you and clearly stated that this agreement is “not a merger”. I believe that if NANPA was operating in a clear, transparent manner they would not badmouth members who state their opinion and write an open letter to other members.

These two actions by NANPA leadership make me very suspicious about this agreement between NANPA and ASMP and what exactly is going on. Thus, I ask:

1. Why is NANPA so defensive when a member states their opinion?

2. Why was the general membership not involved or notified of discussions with ASMP. This is very suspicious to me.

3. Why is NANPA saying this is not a merger? If it is not a merger then what is it?

4. What authority did leadership have to make this decision without member knowledge or involvement?

5. This letter from NANPA President is more of a defensive justification to members than a notification. This also makes me very suspicious.

6. Also this letter from NANPA President states that the agreement is all ready approved, she is not asking for member approval, it sounds like a done deal. So now they will hold a town hall meeting, but for what? To justify the already made decision?

7. The paragraph “Why not negotiate this openly with the membership?” Is particularly bothersome to me. Basically it is telling membership to take a hike, we know what is best for you so we make decisions.

8. The paragraph “Why not negotiate this openly with the membership?” States that “What potential partner organization would ever want to subject themselves to being attacked and torn apart in uncivil ways?” I do not feel that your (Arthur Morris’s) letter to members was uncivil or attacking. So I am confused as to what NANPA President is trying to convey here. Is there an hidden agenda that members are not aware of? As a NANPA member I am concerned that our President says such thing about another member, I am sure many may members to do feel this way.

9. My personnel opinion is that NANPA is controlled by a small ”clique” of friends and associates. And has been for quite some time. I am not well-known in NANPA, although I am very well-known for my photography in the region where I work (mostly Central America and Caribbean where I have raised millions of dollars to support conservation and sustainable development through photography). For a long time, I have wanted to become more involved in NANPA. In 2010 I was awarded the NANPA Mission Award (for which I am very grateful). I thought this might create an opening for me to become more involved. But I was very disappointed at how I was treated at the Summit, basically ignored. It was evident that I was not part of the click. I volunteered to help with the student committee and I was asked to do a few reviews and work with some High School students. I did, just one time. Then I was just dropped. Again, I felt that I not part of the clique. At one time I saw an announcement of a discussion to hold a Summit in Puerto Rico. I live in PR and I think at that time I was the only NANPA member living in PR. I reached out to NANPA to volunteer to work on this Summit, but never received a reply. I guess this idea was never advanced as no Summit was held in PR.

So these are some of the reasons why I am not involved more in NANPA and not all that surprised at NANPAs actions today in this “merger” that is not a merger. I do not think NANPA leadership is being honest with members or working in best interest in all members.

So as I stated, I am trying not to take sides, but I do want to know more about what is going and why, and I think all members have this right to know. I think it is very unprofessional for a NANPA President to write a “fact sheet” (Some Important Facts from the NANPA President) such as she did. This fact sheet will divide and not bring together members. This is not leadership.

So again, thank you for making members aware, and so very sorry for the way the President and Board is reacting to your opinion. Feel free to share this note to any NANPA member.


Jerry Bauer
NANPA Member No.: 11212124
NANPA Mission Award 2010

My Reply, In Part

Thanks Jerry, you are a hard man to convince. But you sure ask a lot of questions that need to be answered. Way to go on your conservation work. FYI, I too was cast aside by NANPA after attending Summits (and taking a table) for 14 of 15 years, working with the Scholarship Students at nearly all of those, and receiving two major awards from NANPA.

with love, artie

What’s Up?

I did make it down to the lake yesterday morning. As it was a somewhat foggy, the sun was peeking out every so often. It was not a very productive morning until the last minute.

Today is Monday 28 November 2022. This blog post took about 90 minutes to prepare and makes two hundred forty-six days in a row with a new, educational post just for you. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope that you too have a great day.

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My Sunday Morning No Vulture Trees Pledge

As I drove down to the lake on Sunday morning, I thought, “Enough vulture soup already.” So I promised myself to look for other subjects and head down to the end of Banyan Drive. There were no birds on The Perch (despite repeated checks). There were lots of Great Egret fishing in the marsh. I deleted all of those, more than 200. I kept two Sandhill Crane images out of about 100. It had not been a very good morning for bird photography.

This image was created on 27 November 2022 down by the lake near my home. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV with the window completely lowered, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. ISO 640. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/1250 second at f/5.6 (wide open) in Manual mode. RawDigger showed that the exposure was a bit brighter than dead-solid perfect. AWB at 9:23:32am on a mostly sunny morning.

Tracking: Spot S/AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy the high-res version.

Image #1:Crested Caracara holding shell of long dead turtle — slightly crouched posture<

Long Distance Spotting

About to head home, I decided to drive north on the North Field. When I turned right, I spotted a raptor about 400 yards away flashing black and white as it landed near the base of a large Cabbage Palm. I knew instantly that it was an adult Crested Caracara, surely worthy of investigation.

As I got closer, I saw that the bird was on a slight rise and that once positioned correctly, my car would be in a light depression. By lowering the window, I was as low as I could get without exiting my SUV.

When working off a BLUBB or any (inferior) beanbag, it is important to have the lens in place before you approach a leery subject. If you approach first and then put the lens on the beanbag, that movement will scare away many shy subjects. With my rig in place, I approached very slowly and angled the car to the right so that I was square to both the bird on the sun angle.

I was bummed to see that in addition to the old turtle shell, the bird was holding a 3-inch-long piece of bright aqua-green electrical wire in its bill. I snapped a few images and was glad when the bird dropped both items. Then I got lucky as it picked up only the turtle shell, posed for a few seconds, and then flew off.

The Image Optimization 🙂

After converting the raw file for Image #1, I applied Topaz DeNoise/Clear on a new layer. Next, I created a second new layer for the image clean-up. Using my usual cadre of clean-up tools, I eliminated some tiny, out-of-focus white flowers (while leaving the tiny, out-of-focus yellow ones) and removed some distracting grass stems. Last, I painted in some Gaussian blur at varying increments to cover my tracks. That clean-up took about ten minutes.

This image was created on 27 November 2022 down by the lake near my home. Working from the driver’s seat of my SUV with the window completely lowered, I used the BLUBB-supported Sony FE 600mm f/4 GM OSS lens with the Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter, and The One, the Sony Alpha 1 Mirrorless Digital Camera.. ISO 640. The exposure was determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear wheel: 1/1250 second at f/5.6 (wide open) in Manual mode. RawDigger showed that the exposure was a bit brighter than dead-solid perfect. AWB at 9:23:35am on a mostly sunny morning.

Tracking: Spot S/AF-C with Bird-Eye/Face Detection performed perfectly. Click on the image to enjoy the high-res version.

Image #2:Crested Caracara holding shell of long dead turtle — more erect posture<

The Second Image Optimization

Once I opened the second image in Camera Raw, I Control-clicked on the image and selected Apply Previous Settings from the drop-down menu and then ran DeNoise on Clear as above. To avoid another ten minutes of clean-up work, I went back to image #1, created a new layer, dragged it atop Image #2, lined it up, and then, used a large, soft brush, to paint in the bird with the more erect posture. Bingo.

Your Call

Which of today’s two featured images do you like best, Image #1 with the slightly crouched posture, or Image #2 with the bird standing more erect? Please leave a comment and let us know why you made your choice.

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6 comments to My Sunday Morning No Vulture Trees Pledge

  • Regarding NANPA…

    Thank you, Artie, for being the voice of so many NANPA members who were shocked by the surprise announcement from NANPA on 18 Nov 2022. I personally find it disappointing that the NANPA President failed to keep members aware of 1) the financial pressures that led to the need to partner/merge with another organization, 2) that partnership/merger discussions were being held in secret without the knowledge of the membership, and 3) that members were only made aware of the partnership/merger AFTER a letter was allegedly signed between the two organizations. So many of the questions and concerns that members like you are raising could have, and should have been, addressed in Town Hall meetings prior to signing an agreement. The NANPA President should not be surprised that members like you are asking tough questions given this negotiation was held with no transparency, comment, or accountability to its members.

    Per the NANPA announcement, the “new organization” will be called starting in January 2023 – now get this – ASMP. The “new organization” will be led by ASMP’s CEO James Edmund Datri. Therefore, starting in January 2023, there won’t be any more new NANPA members….they will be ASMP members.

    Keep pressing NANPA to provide its members with an objective third-party accounting of NANPA’s finances so we can see that the NANPA’s Board did do everything reasonably possible to be good fiscal stewards and this decision truly was the only way to move forward.

    If NANPA’s President is unresponsive to your very specific and reasonable queries, start asking ASMP’s CEO ( for information. Perhaps he will be more forthcoming.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks, Jon. We are doing our best and have made a ton of progress. The recent change to “this is not a merger” is because there is a Colorado (where NANPA is incorporated) law the states the non-profit mergers must be approved by a vote of the membership. We are awaiting their response to the Referendum.

      They continue to refuse to share the agreement (if there is one).

      with love, artie

  • Sue Jarrett

    Both #1 and #2 of Crested Caracara is nice and cute. #2 Crested Caracara has the face looking a little more toward the photo book!

  • Pretty cool opportunity. I’ll go with #1 for the better look at the bird’s bill with both mandibles nicely showing, better separation between turtle shell and bird’s neck, and lack of shadow on the neck. I do like both though!

  • #2 for me too. Because of head angle.

  • Jordan Cait

    Hi Artie, I prefer the head angle in image #2 (I also prefer chocolate turtles…).
    There is a small typo – “…and head down to eh end of Banyan Drive.” eh s/b the

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