March 22, 2019

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Bird Feeders for the Photographer

If you just got started in photography eventually your going to want to take some nature pics.  You don’t have to go as far as you may think to do a little wildlife photography, in fact you can start right in your own backyard. Birds, they’re everywhere! especially if you have a feeder or two set out to draw them in. I know what your thinking, photographs with birds at a feeder aren’t that natural wildlife image feeder2your after. I totally agree and I’m going to show you the way around that, it’s fairly simple.

Obviously the first thing you need is a feeder, you don’t need  some fancy expensive feeder, plain and simple is the way to go. Birds don’t care about fancy upscale feeders they just want the food.  Make sure you get a feeder that can mount on top of a post. What you want to do is mount the feeder away from other trees, fences, clothes lines etc, anything that  the birds can perch on you want to be a good distance away from. Next, collect some tree branches, preferably from a hardwood.  Your going to take these branches, you only need one or two and attach them to the sides of your birdfeeder1 feeder.

 

 

 

Either nail or staple them on horizontally or upright.  I find that  attaching them upright so they stick up above my feeder works best. You don’t need a massive branch, one that is less than half the diameter of your pinkie is more than enough. It’s actually better if you only attach one branch to the feeder. The less places the birds have to perch the less you’ll have to move your camera to capture them.  You should place the feeder somewhere convenient for you to photograph, outside a window is preferable, at least 10 feet away. My feeder here is outside my kitchen window. I slide the window up (you don’t want to shot through glass)  set my tripod in place, sit back in a chair and wait for a bird to land on a branch, it’s that simple. You end up with a natural looking shot of a bird in goodywhat appears to be its natural environment.

If you happen to get a little part of the feeder in the pic you can simply crop that out. I would suggest you set your camera to continuous shooting and get your speed up as well and always try to use  tripod.  Hopefully you’ll have several species visiting your new setup and if you do get some pics you can always stop by our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/natureguides?ref=hl and share one of your awesome bird feeder photographs with us.

 

 

(Black Capped Chickadees are tough ones to photograph)

 

 

 

 

Blue Jays

I don’t have many species of birds at my feeder in the winter but one of the prettier ones is the Blue Jay. Since they seem to be costing a small fortune in seed this year I thought I would see what I could find out about their winter diet. 
Surprisingly there isn’t much information on the net about birds winter diets, not much that I could find in my limited time this morning anyway!From what I could find stated that the average song bird consumed 1/4 to 1/2 of his weight per day in food, one site stated more than it’s body weight per day. An average Blue Jay weighs in at a hefty 3.5 oz. If we went by half their weight of 1.75 ounces then you need just under 1 pound of feed per each Blue Jay per week. Figuring I use approximately 60 pounds per week means I’m feeding roughly 60 Blue Jays. I’m thinking the number is more likely around 40 if I take into account the Chickadees and Nuthatches who partake in the feeding frenzy as well.
Suet?? that too, but we won’t even go there. Let’s just say I have some fat healthy birds.

Happy Birding!!