Posts Tagged ‘chickadee’

I am an amateur bird watcher. For the past few years, I participated in Cornell University’s “Project Feeder Watch”. I would love to expand my bird feeders around the yard but I currently keep them relegated to the dying Lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta subsp. latifolia) that graces our front yard.

We have a large picture window that looks out on that pine tree and the feeders. Sometimes I slip a camera lens between the slats on the wooden blinds and I attempt to take photos of the birds with my 18-55mm lens. And sometimes I get some nice photos that I can crop and enlarge.

Most of the time, however, I capture window reflection or the camera doesn’t zoom in close enough and the birds in my lens come out blurry. My dream is to have a camera with a better lens and maybe even to have a bird cam mounted on the tree to capture images of the birds are they come and go.

The big birds are the easiest ones to photograph. the digital SLR can locate them and focus. It’s the little birds I have the most problems with. They flit. They aren’t large enough to trigger the DSLR autofocus. The window reflection blurs the image.

The rhododendron leaves in front come into focus leaving the bird slightly out of focus. I would have liked this shot, too: Townsend’s Warbler is a bright little yellow-and-black bird.

Today, I lucked out on photos. I was in and out the front door at the same time that several very small and very hungry little birds were congregating on the suet. The little birds were less worried about me. At one point, the Red-Breasted Nuthatch I was sneaking up on not only flew off, but it flew at me and came so close to my head that I heard its wings flutter and felt the air move!

As a result, I got some of the better photographs of small birds that I have ever managed to take with the 18-55mm lens.

The Nuthatch gives me a “Who Me?” look as I slowly approach the tree, camera on.

A moment of hesitation as it decided whether to take flight from me. It was the next moment when it buzzed my ear, going toward the rhododendron for cover.

Three birds at once: two Chestnut-backed Chickadees and the Nuthatch.

Three Chestnut-backed Chickadees at once. They are so much smaller than the Black-capped Chickadee and so much more agile. The Black-capped rarely (if ever) bothers with suet while the Chestnut-backed is a huge fan of suet).

“Hold ON!!”

Who is staring at whom? If the bird had a camera whose photo would be on a blog?

Face it, the bird has more “poster” appeal than I will ever have.

It was a great day to photograph wild birds. I only wish I had a better lens set-up. I want to get so close you can see the mites on the feathers…




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