Little Compton wildlife photographer will focus on piping plovers when he speaks at the Paskamansett Bird Club’s next meeting at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 12, at the Community Hall of Friends Meeting, 739 Horseneck Road, South Dartmouth.
When Mr. Dennis was asked by the Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island to take a few photos at Goosewing Beach in Little Compton back in 2001, he had no idea that this would lead to a 13-year involvement with helping piping plovers.
Mr. Dennis will share what he has learned about piping plovers during those years, using images that illustrate the challenges the birds face and what is being done to help them. He will also show photographs of some of the rarities he has had the good fortune to encounter in the past years.
Mr. Dennis began photographing birds in his yard as a hobby, primarily to document the unusual birds he sometimes saw there. His photography eventually led him into the unique niche of providing photographs for bird-feeder companies.
In his own yard, he has observed more than 180 species of birds, including four rufous-type hummingbirds, one of which was Rhode Island’s first documented rufous hummingbird back in 1995. He also discovered New England’s first Virginia’s warbler on Monhegan Island, Maine, in May of 1998.
His photographs have been used by RI Audubon, RI Nature Conservancy, US Fish and Wildlife, and Cornell University’s online Birds of North America. Mr. Dennis lives in Little Compton with his wife Emily, and works as a commercial fisherman.