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Originally published Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at 8:42 AM

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Videographer all about the birds

He suggests grabbing binoculars and a field guide and heading to a park

Akron Beacon Journal

Videographer Joe LaFleur is partial to warblers.

They are colorful birds with beautiful songs and can be difficult to find, but that just adds to the challenge and makes sightings more rewarding, LaFleur said.

In all, 26 species of warblers are just a part of LaFleur's new DVD, "Better Birdwatching in the East." The two discs are filled with film clips and still pictures of nearly 270 species of Eastern birds. Some bird song is included.

Searchable indexes on the DVDs allow users to quickly locate species of interest.

The Missouri-based LaFleur has carefully edited the DVDs to display field marks and unique behaviors of birds in their natural habitats.

LaFleur, 41, got involved in birds while in college. Today he is a full-time bird videographer and works in a store that specializes in birds and birding products in Columbia, Mo.

It is the 16th birding DVD put together by LaFleur, who has been photographing birds around the country for the last 15 years.

"The more you see as a bird-watcher, the more you want to see," he said. "You will see different birds at different times of year. The appeal builds on itself over time. When you see a new or different bird, it's special, and that spurs you on."

Getting started in bird-watching is easy. Get binoculars and a DVD or field guide and simply head to your local park, LaFleur said.

He believes the new DVD is his best because of its improved video and sound quality. He had more than 100 hours of material to choose from to assemble the three hours on the new DVD.

LaFleur, who has more than 500 birds on his life species list, heads into the field with about 10 pounds of equipment, including camera, microphone and binoculars.

"BetterBird-watchingintheEast"costs$29.99.Forinformation,call888-414-2837orvisitwww.betterbirdwatching.com.

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