Birder With a Camera

Author: Notre Dame Magazine

When Thomas Anderson walks around Notre Dame’s twin lakes, he’s not just looking for exercise and relaxation. He’s carrying a camera and watching for birds.

The photographs on these pages were taken by Anderson, a Notre Dame professor of Latin American literature in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. A longtime bird watcher, he’s pursued bird photography as a serious hobby over the last four years.

Hundreds of bird species populate the area around the University during the spring and fall migrations. Anderson takes most of his bird photos around the lakes and in nearby woods.

“The north side of Saint Mary’s Lake is the best spot,” Anderson says. He also finds many varieties of birds near the Stations of the Cross just west of Saint Joseph’s Lake and among the neat rows of slender walnut trees in the grove further to the northwest.

Anderson shares his bird photos on Facebook at Birds Under the Golden Dome and on Instagram @birds_under_the_golden_dome. He may shoot dozens of photographs in a single day, but he posts only the best ones online.

Early morning is the ideal time, Anderson says. The best days are bright but overcast.

It’s a meditation to go birding, he adds. “It’s good for your soul being out here. I spend a lot of time thinking.”