Backyard photography

Happiness is…

Posted on
American Goldfinch

Happiness is… …watching the American Goldfinches turn yellow and play in your flowers :) … seeing the female Indigo Bunting from last weekend – she stuck around! … finally snapping a picture of the elusive Prairie Warbler who has been mocking you for the past three mornings, and as a bonus, getting to hear him sing! … watching the cardinals take a bath in the birdbath that you cleaned for them yesterday (it’s always nice when they appreciate your efforts!) … admiring the colors as your goldfinch poses in the shade while the background behind him is alight with color. …watching the Painted Bunting hop out onto the “waiting perch” as he considers a flight to the feeder. …laughing at the Palm Warbler as he finds every mealworm you’ve dropped under the feeder… …listening to the happy calls of the American Goldfinches as they circle your yard.  “Baby!”  “Potato chip!” …saying hello to the Brown Thrasher and realizing that since the pair of them have stopped visiting together, his mate must be busy sitting on eggs at a nest nearby. … laughing at the Red-winged Blackbirds who are so certain that they are missing something because they can’t get into the […]

Backyard photography

Backyard Birding from my Blind

Posted on
Ruby-throated Hummingbird

I have to make a confession.  I bribed some birds today. I had a few free hours (gasp!) and I decided to do some backyard birding.  I confess to waiting to refill the bird feeders until it was prime photography time – after the household chores were done, the camera was outside, and the light was right!  But the birds didn’t mind my manipulations.  They were just happy to see fresh birdseed. The first birds who noticed the refilled feeders were the goldfinches.  This scout flew into the yard and sounded a happy “Potato Chip!” to alert the neighborhood.  Free nyger!  Come and get it! Rich had noticed a goldfinch doing a tail-spread this morning.  I was surprised to photograph the same behavior.  The goldfinches are starting to get into their breeding plumage.  This one was sporting a yellow head and a starting-to-be-black forehead.  In a few weeks he’ll be all yellow and ready to impress his mate! It’s that time of the year when the Brown Thrasher pair shows up in the backyard.  I think they like the free birdseed while they are nesting.  Today I saw both of them scavenging in the mulch, and then they took turns in the […]

Backyard photography

Yard Birding: Fun in my Own Backyard!

Posted on
Female Cardinal in Breeding Plumage

Sometimes it’s great to go off to exciting places to take pictures of nature.  Sometimes it’s nice just to stay home and photograph the nature in your own backyard!  You never know what you are missing until you spend a few hours curled up in a blind or hidden in some bushes.  I know that our wintering Painted Buntings and American Goldfinches will soon be departing, so I spent a fun afternoon doing some yard birding. Yard birding takes some patience. I have a blind that I sometimes use to hide from the birds, but on this particular afternoon, it was very windy and I knew that the birds would be disturbed by the flapping of the blind. So I found a good hiding spot in the bushes. As long as there is a visual barrier between me and my subjects, they seem to be fairly tolerant of my presence. I had barely settled in when a Palm Warbler came hopping across the yard. One way to identify Palm Warblers from a distance is to notice that they flap their tails up and down quite often. Glad that I had just cut the grass, I aimed my Beast at him, […]