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Photos by Theodore Cross - Waterbirds
Cross is now 85 years old, but his love for birds came mid-life. He has had a long career in law and publishing -- and is an expert on economic development. But birds are his passion.
"This is the book John James Audubon would have made if he had used a camera," reads the jacket to Cross' new book,Waterbirds. And it's true. This collection of 179 color photographs is an ornithologist's dream. But Cross' interests are more specific: He's drawn to birds that exist in and around water -- especially the birds known for incredible migrations. "It's the courage of these guys that appeals to me tremendously," he says in the interview.

Photographer Theodore Cross (Denver Holt)

Cross was born during the Coolidge administration and fought during World War II. At the time, he says, "There were millions of birds around me all the time, and I didn't notice them ... At wartime, you have other things to notice -- like being seasick or having some terrible disease in your armpit." But he does recall certain things -- like the Marines' beloved white tern, famous for laying its eggs on barracks and gun emplacements. Perhaps because of subconscious memories like these, Cross eventually developed an affinity for waterbirds. "Whammo! Twenty years later ... they became a very important part of my life."
It makes sense that a former naval officer would be drawn to these aquatic creatures -- water-loving but also possessing incredible stamina and strength. Cross has, for example, traveled to Texas' Laguna Madre for 30 consecutive years to capture the beautiful reddish egret.
He writes in the book's preface: "In my mind, I visit these islands almost every day. The memories of them help me accept the brevity of the time that lies ahead."
Copyrighted materials. Contact photographer for use or purchase.  

Photos by Theodore Cross - Waterbirds