Backyard photographyBirds

Springtime Backyard Bird Photography

Last weekend I spent a couple of happy hours in my backyard, photographing the springtime birds. Our Painted Buntings are getting ready to leave, and they are especially active at the feeders right now. I counted up to 4 males and at least 10 greenies in the yard at the same time. The two Gray Catbirds continue to chase each other around the yard, as do several pairs of Northern Cardinals, each of whom thinks it owns the yard. Our American Goldfinches numbers are dwindling as the weather gets warmer. In the evenings, the Tree Sparrows fly overhead, a small flock that reminds me a little of the murmuration I got to photograph a few years ago.

Painted Bunting (Male)
Painted Bunting (Male)

I placed my “pretty perch” near a feeder, sat back in a comfortable chair, and watched and waited. It didn’t take long for the birds to cooperate. :)

Northern Cardinal (Male)
Northern Cardinal (Male)

I took a few branches from the flowering Coral Honeysuckle and placed them on my branch. Mr. Cardinal thought that was an excellent idea. He reached down to bite at the flowers and extract the nectar from within.

American Goldfinch
American Goldfinch

After observing the American Goldfinches for several years, I knew that they would perch on the tallest branch near their feeder. So I stuck a honeysuckle branch on the top of my shepherd’s hook. The next time a goldfinch flew in, he hopped obligingly on my branch. :)

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird

The pair of Gray Catbirds has been quite vocal this spring. They perch in opposite sides of the yard at dusk and call back and forth: Meow! Meow! It’s fun to watch our gray cat Squirt’s head go back and forth as he listens to their calls.

Painted Bunting (Greenie)
Painted Bunting (Greenie)

I started to notice the flocks of swallows a few weeks ago. They start after sunset, flying in circles, calling to each other and plucking insects from mid-air (at least somebody likes all the midge flies in our neighborhood!). Photographing these fast fliers is a challenge, especially as the light fades.

Tree Swallow
Tree Swallow

The birds aren’t the only springtime visitors in the backyard. Several bunny families live in the neighborhood and spend their afternoons hanging out under the bushes. They always remind me of my mom. So this last picture is for her… :)

Backyard bunny
Backyard bunny

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