Eric Peterson
American Fork, Utah

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My fascination with animals began at an early age. My brother and I would collect salamanders, newts, and anything else that would move growing up in the redwoods of Northern California. As I got older my interest turned to scales and tails. I started breeding and keeping a variety of different North American snake species. I moved to Utah in 1993 and began volunteering at Utah’s Hogle Zoo. Volunteering eventually lead me to a full time position in 1994. I have been at the zoo ever since. I have worked with virtually every animal here and decided that elephants and rhinos is where I wanted to stay and so I have been with them since 1996. I always have been intrigued with birds and the birds at the zoo, but when my wife and I went on our honeymoon to Lewa, a Rhino preserve in Kenya, I really fell in love with birds. I saw the most amazing hornbills and songs birds there. We always knew we would see elephants and rhinos but everyday there was a new bird we hadn’t seen before. It made me think, “What kinds of birds reside in Utah?” That was all it took. So I started putting out feeders, then I started cataloging and photographing the birds I had seen.

I use Cannon and have a Cannon rebel XTI. I typically use the 75-300 zoom lens that came with the camera. I recently borrowed my mom’s EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. I got some amazing shots and I am already saving for that lens to add to my collection.

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