Please join us in congratulating Jack Jeffrey, this month’s photographer of the month. From a young age, Jack always had a strong affinity for nature. Today, as a wildlife biologist and nature photographer, Jack is still exploring forests, crawling through mud and climbing trees to capture in photographs the essence of the flora and fauna that he loves so much.
Jack has made the Pacific his home for the last 50 years, where he has worked as a wildlife biologist specializing in island ecosystems. In his spare time, Jack is dedicated to photographing the rapidly changing natural history of Pacific islands before many of the native species are lost forever. As a photographer, Jack brings to his images the knowledge gained through years of observation and study of endemic island species. Combining a naturalist’s curiosity with a photographers’ patience and technical skill, he is able to capture the spirit of rare birds, plants and other natural treasures, within his wonderful photographic images. Jack also offers birding and photography tours of the Hawaiian Islands.
Jack contributed the only photo in BirdsEye of the now extinct Po’ouli. In his own words:
In January of 2002, I had an opportunity to assist researchers on Maui, as they tried to capture the last of the remaining Po’ouli known to exist. This Hawaiian Honeycreeper species was only discovered in 1974. By 2002 only 3 birds remained in a remote rain forest in the Hanawi drainage on the east slopes of Haleakala on Maui. I was in the area for 10 days and only had two contacts with the bird during that time.
One morning, while photographing forest birds coming to a native mint in flower, I thought I heard the call of a Po’ouli nearby. I found the bird high in an Ohia tree about 100 ft away. I was able to get a couple of shots before the bird disappeared. Later in the week I had another brief glimpse. These remaining Po’ouli were only seen on rare occasions over the next two years, and by 2004, only one bird remained, a male, which was captured and held in captivity. It died later that year.
Found only in Hawaii, the once large subfamily of Hawaiian Honeycreepers (Drepanidanae) are considered an even more spectacular example of evolutionary radiation than the famous Darwin’s Finches. Since the arrival of man, 60 species has been reduced to just 18 surviving species, several of which are on the verge of extinction.”
Would you like to contribute photographs to the BirdsEye project? We still need photos for many species from Pacific Islands. Visit our photo site to see our list of needs. Everyone who contributes a photo gets a free subscription or copy of one of our apps.