Adam Dhalla – January 2020

I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I can remember. I started with a cheap point-and-shoot and worked my way up from there. I got interested in birds when the Snowy Owls came down to Boundary Bay in large numbers several years ago. I love to travel and have birded in Costa Rica, Australia, Hawaii, Japan, and Arizona. I also write and draw, and I’ve done a course in banding.

My first DSLR was a Nikon D3300, which, coupled with a Nikon 200-500 mm zoom lens, helped me become a decent wildlife photographer. A few years ago, I upgraded to a Nikon D500 body – its 10 frames-per-second capability has allowed me to capture some nice shots. I like to shoot a lot, sorting the best stuff later, something I couldn’t have got away if I was born before the digital age – I’ve never shot film!

Although I’m only 14-years-old, I’ve been fortunate to have already received some recognition: a BCFO 2017 Young Birder Award, and American Birding Association’s 2018 Young Birder of the Year Award. I’ve also sold a photo to the City of Vancouver, had my work in BirdWatching and other magazines, been interviewed by CBC and other media outlets, and presented at the 2018 International Ornithological Congress.

These days, I’m developing a mobile game about birds and conservation: Find the Birds: US + Canada(

My website is, which links to my Instagram account.


Eastern Kingbird

Colony Farm Regional Park, Metro Vancouver.
Hanging out near the pond, catching bugs. Nikon D500. 500mm. f8. 1/500 sec.


Bald Eagle

Harrison Mills, Fraser Valley, near Chilliwack
One of a pair that perched on a roadside cliff, eating carrion. Nikon D500. 650mm (used a 1.5X teleconverter). f8. 1/640 sec.


Bonaparte’s Gull

White Rock Pier, White Rock
Part of a huge flock that mesmerized me for hours. Nikon D3300. 500mm. f5.6. 1/500 sec.


American Dipper

Mount Seymour Provincial Park, North Vancouver
A favorite local species of mine. Was in the middle of a temporary pond near the ski lifts in mid-winter. Nikon D3300. 500mm. f5.6. 1/500 sec.


Canada Jay

Mount Seymour Provincial Park, North Vancouver.
Another excellent local species. This one was extra playful. Nikon D500. 20mm. f8. 1/1250 sec.


Short-eared Owl

Iona Beach Regional Park, Richmond
This individual hid alone in the same bush for days. Was careful not to encroach. Nikon D3300. 500mm. f5.6. 1/640 sec.


Black Oystercatcher

Ferry Jetty, Tsawwassen
I watched a family – two adults plus three chicks – all afternoon. An undervalued species that warrants habitat protection. Nikon D500. 700mm. f8. 1/800 sec.


Ruffed Grouse

Minnekhada Regional Park, Coquitlam
A highly sought-after rarity that suddenly appeared on the road. Luckily, I got some decent shots before a large bear showed up! Nikon D500. 700mm. f8. 1/160 sec.


Vesper Sparrow

Lac Du Bois, interior BC, near Kamloops
Hundreds of these call from the fields near a dirt road. One of my favorite sparrows! Nikon D3300. 650 mm. f8. 1/1000 sec.


White-tailed Ptarmigan

Illal Mountain, in the Cascade Range, east of Coquihalla summit.
Smoke warning of a nearby forest fire kept me on edge for the entire hike. Finally found this lifer at the end of the day! Nikon D3300. 290mm. f5.6. 1/500 sec.


Cape May Warbler


Mill Lake Park, Abbotsford
So thrilled to see this rare visitor (a lifer for me) that I decided to use it as the species in the logo for the mobile game I’m developing. Nikon D600. 500mm. f5.6. 1/200sec.