Bill Birdsong: Through His Lens, He Teaches a Love of Nature


By Dylan Bailey

In the realm of photography, there are those who capture moments, and then there are those who capture the essence of life itself. Bill Birdsong belongs to the latter category. With his passion for wildlife photography, Birdsong has become a well-known name on Amelia Island. One of his favorite spots is Egans Creek Greenway.

Born in Jacksonville in 1941, Birdsong has journeyed far and wide. With a military career that led him to various corners of the world, his exposure to different cultures and landscapes shaped his perspective on life. After he retired from the Air Force as an obstetrician-gynecologist, he studied anthropology in Hawaii and eventually found his way into the world of nature. Reflecting on the value of exploration and learning from different cultures, Bill says, “Travel widens our horizons and plants the seeds of curiosity in the rich soil of diverse cultures.”

His relationship with the Egans Creek Greenway began more than two decades ago. While biking through Fernandina, he stumbled on this hidden gem. Coming from California, he was instantly captivated by the beauty and serenity of the greenway. The allure of the lush surroundings, diverse ecosystem and birdlife convinced him and his wife to make Amelia Island their home.

Nestled in the heart of Amelia Island, the Egans Creek Greenway is a sanctuary for both nature enthusiasts and wildlife. Stretching for miles, it offers a glimpse into the island’s unique biodiversity. Bill Birdsong, armed with his camera, has spent countless hours exploring the trails of the greenway, capturing its intricate details and the stunning array of bird species that call this place home.

For Birdsong, wildlife photography is an art form that requires patience, observation and a deep connection with nature. His photographs tell stories, evoke emotions and offer a glimpse into the lives of the creatures he encounters. His ability to find beauty in the mundane and to convey the essence of his subjects is what makes his work so memorable. He believes that nature’s lens captures more than just images; it captures moments of serenity, teaching us the art of seeing the world with a patient, observant eye.

Over the years, Birdsong has had the privilege of witnessing extraordinary moments on the Greenway. From capturing the fierce interaction between two great white herons to observing the delicate dance of a blue heron, his photographs reveal the hidden wonders of this natural paradise.

What drives Birdsong’s photographic journey is curiosity. He believes it’s the key to living a fulfilling life. And that curiosity extends to the interactions of people he meets on the trail. From fellow photographers, to musicians and artists, he’s always curious to learn more.

Amelia Island holds a special place in his heart. The island’s tight-knit community, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene have made it a haven for those seeking a balanced and fulfilling life. Bill and his wife Susie have been embraced by the community, and their involvement in local events, such as the Dickens on Centre festival, volunteering at the Amelia Island Museum of History and the Chamber Music Festival, has only deepened their connection to the island.

Bill Birdsong’s journey as a photographer is just one piece of his multifaceted life. Alongside his passion for photography, he is an accomplished musician and has been a part of various community bands. His love of music and his involvement in the cultural scene on Amelia Island have added yet another layer to his rich tapestry of experiences.

Birdsong’s legacy extends far beyond his art. His ability to find wonder in the ordinary and inspire others with his curiosity is a testament to the power of art. His philosophy of life serves as a reminder to embrace the beauty that surrounds us and find joy in the simple moments.


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Richard Timm
Trusted Member
Richard Timm(@rtimm-ontheislandgmail-com)
1 month ago

Thank you Dylan. Yes, Bill’s photographs are truly amazing. Bill and Susie are a treasure.

1 month ago

Had the good fortune to meet him at the Greenway recently and learned a lot from him about our bird neighbors there. He is incredibly knowledgeable! Thanks for sharing…..