He calls himself the “squirrel whisperer,” but in truth, 20-year-old Finnish photographer Konsta Punkka can “whisper” many more kinds of animals, including birds, mice, foxes, and even reindeer. His secret? A couple of peanuts. Animals are more willing to stick around when there”s a snack involved.
Besides taking pictures, Punkka is always careful to keep the animals safe. He is careful not to feed them too much, nor to feed wild animals in urban settings, which can be dangerous for people and animals alike. In the woods, however, he”ll allow them a peanut or two. “In the woods at winter time I think that a few peanuts for the birds and squirrels is not bad for them, because it”s already hard to find food in winter, so a little amount of peanuts in uninhabited areas won”t do any harm,” he reasons. And thanks to his patience and peanuts, we”re treated to some incredible closeups of our fellow critters.
Punkka uses both a DSLR and his iPhone to capture the images. In hard-to-reach places, such as those near water, he says it”s easier to position the iPhone than the DSLR. The iPhone is also good for capturing video, which he does on occasion.
These woodland friends are certainly less than shy when peanuts are involved! It”s a treat to see them so close up.
If you like Punkka”s work, you can see more of it on his website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.