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Birds By Day, Bats By Night Arizona Photo Workshop

May 22, 2018 @ 6:00 pm - May 25, 2018 @ 9:00 pm | Amado, AZ
Workshop Fully Booked


Address: 1500 W Dove Way Amado, AZ 85645 United States
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This workshop is fully booked. Please see upcoming dates below


Start: May 22, 2018 @ 6:00 pm
End: May 25, 2018 @ 9:00 pm
Cost: $1,088
Additional Info: $500 Non-refundable deposit required at registration.
Balance due by February 22, 2018
Cancellation Policy

Other Dates

There are no upcoming dates for this workshop at this time. Please check back soon.

Join professional wildlife photographer instructor Kathleen Reeder for an incredible 3-day Birds By Day/Bats By Night photo workshop in Amado, Arizona, about 30 minutes south of Tucson, in the desert southwest at the Pond at Elephant Head Ranch. This workshop is open to six photographers only and is held on private property that has been catering to bird photographers for many years. In the early morning and late afternoon, you’ll photograph birds on natural desert perches and desert critters from ground/water level hides.  In the evening, with the use of the PhotoTrap flash system that will be set up for you, you will participate in high-speed bat photography as bats fly across the pond for a drink of water.  With expert wildlife photography instruction before and during the workshop, and an unbelievable quantity of birds, bats and critters to photograph in the Arizona desert, you will most certainly capture lots of great images!

The ranch was recently sold and the new owner is doing a complete renovation to build cement ponds, build dugout-type blinds and overhaul the landscape to showcase the desert in all of its flora and fauna.

Workshop Highlights

  • An informative online webinar in advance of the workshop to prepare you. The webinar will cover wildlife photography composition tips, camera settings and a slideshow of photos taken by Kathleen on this property showing specific camera settings used to capture the images.  It will be recorded and a link sent to you for ongoing access.
  • An evening session at the hotel conference room prior to the first morning photo session to review camera settings.
  • Mid-day conference room meet ups to review photos and settings.  Kathleen will also demonstrate post processing techniques.
  • Comfortable seating in ground level (also at pond water level) photographic hides.
  • Six photo sessions with birds (early morning beginning at sunrise and then again in late afternoon until sunset each day). Birds can include Oriole, Pyrrhuloxia, Road Runner, Hawks, Goldfinch, Blackbird, Phainopepla, Woodpecker, Dove, Verdin, Mockingbird, Cactus Wren, Kingbird, Vermillion Flycatcher, Ravens, Cardinal, Quail, Towhee, Sparrow and Pheobee.  Hummingbirds migrate through this area in May and will include Broadbill, Anna’s, Black-Chinned and Rufous.
  • Two late evening photo sessions (the first and second night beginning after dark) with bats. Bats include Brown Bat and Pallid Bat. All flash equipment is provided for photographing bats.
  • Opportunity to photograph mammals wondering the property from the hides including Jackrabbit, Antelope Squirrel, Coyote and Cottontail Rabbit.
  • Special sessions to photograph reptiles that are caught and released on the ranch. Reptiles can include toads, snakes and lizards.
  • Group size is limited to 6 participants so you’ll have plenty of one-on-one time with Kathleen to ask questions and get coaching specific to your individual photographic needs

Recommended Equipment

  • For birds, an approximate lens focal length range of 300mm to 500mm is necessary.  For example, the Canon 100-400mm lens, Nikon 80-400mm, Nikon 200-400mm, Nikon 200-500mm and equivalents will work well.
  • For bats, two camera bodies with two different focal length lenses can be set up.  A 70-200mm and a longer focal length lenses are good choices.
  • For reptiles, a telephoto lens of about 80-400mm is a good choice.
  • A sturdy tripod with a ballhead or gimbal head is essential.
  • An intervalometer (i.e., Vello Wireless Shutterboss) is required for the bat photography.  If this function is built in to your camera, that will work too.  You will need to be set and lock the release so the camera will continue to fire when in continuous mode.
  • In the event of cloudy weather, an external flash and flash extension (i.e., Better Beamer) can be helpful to pop a catch light in the eyes and brighten colors.
  • Memory cards/back up to enable 2,000+ photos per day

Workshop Cost



  • Pre-trip planning emails, including recommend equipment
  • Pre-workshop online instructional webinar
  • Access to the private property
  • All photo sessions
  • Flash set up for bat photography
  • All suet, seeds and natural perches needed to attract the birds
  • Instruction and assistance throughout the workshop
  • Water and snacks while shooting


  • Airfare (nearest airport is Tucson International Airport (TUS)
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Meals

Lodging (not included in the workshop cost)

  • Best Western, 111 S La Canada Drive, Green Valley, AZ 85614.  Phone: 520-625-2250
  • The hotel is a short drive from the ranch
  • If from out of town, plan to check in to the hotel on May 22, 2018 and check out May 26, 2018
  • Conference room sessions will be held at the Best Western in Green Valley