Jim Gray is a wildlife treasure - focusing on birds and our natural Florida. Year-round he documents our winged friends with passion and patience. His work captures the beauty that we often don't see and walk right by. Don't miss this free talk and a chance to talk to Jim about his images.
A native ofSt. Petersburg, Florida, Jim Gray was surrounded by wild Florida so nature was in Jim's blood from a very early age; Childhood experiences included weekend excursions with family to Lake Maggiore and fishing trips to Mullet Key: Fort DeSoto in those days was accessible only by boat.It wasn't until he was stationed at Midway Island Naval Station in the early 70's that Jim became serious about photography. Sand and Eastern Islands, part of the Northwest Hawaiian Island chain, are situated on a coral atoll: Midway has since been designated a National Wildlife Refuge.Jim worked as crew chief on a sea/air rescue helicopter, engaging in a variety of missions; the most memorable expedition was to Pearl and Herme's Reef where he accompanied wildlife officers with the Department of Interior. They spent the day tagging sea turtles and Hawaiian monks seals and releasing Laysan finches; their hope was to provide a backup population of these birds, should a hurricane, disease, rat introduction, or other disaster wipe out the population on the island of Laysan.Midway was and still is home to 300,000+ nesting pairs of gooney birds and Jim spent countless hours observing Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses, as well as terns, boobies, tropicbirds, frigatebirds, and other seabirds.Ten years working with animals at Busch Gardens and 30+ years as a massage therapist -treating Olympic and professional athletes, but mostly everyday people -have brought Jim to a place in his life where he can spend more time pursuing his burgeoning passion.You can view Jim's work at jimgrayimages.com. National and local Audubon online publications feature some of his photos; several of his images can be found in a USFWS-designed Reddish egret conservation action plan. His work can also be seen in publications including: Cape Cod Magazine, a Cornell University Bird Biology text book, a recent issue of Wildlife Management Journal, and the 2014 National Audubon calendar and local Audubon boater's guide booklets. Jim also contributes images to the Avian Research and Conservation Institute and has a 21 image exhibit at The Florida Aquarium in the lobby of the new Mosaic Center.