Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Birds at Home

House Sparrow

It's been quite a while since I was able to dedicate a full morning/evening to a local photo trek.  But, my camera is never too far from my side.  The weather has been fantastic and we've still been spoiling some of the local birds with black oil sunflower seeds.  We all enjoy sitting in the living room or on the front patio and watching the birds come and go and I often grab the camera to capture their activity.

On this particular day, I was growing tired of getting photos of birds perched directly on the feeders and patio railing.  I started thinking of ways to break things up a bit so that I could get pictures of birds in a more natural setting.  I finally walked down to our willow tree and picked out a good sized branch that was already lying on the ground.  Using some black zip ties, I was able to mount the branch between a couple shepherd's hooks that were positioned close to the main feeder.  I was counting on the branch becoming a staging area for the birds as they came and went.  Normally, the main staging area is within our ornamental plum tree that sits about 20 feet from our patio.  It provides good photos, if you can get a bird to land on an open branch unobstructed by leaves, but the new branch, if the birds would use it, would provide me a much closer view.

Little by little the birds began warming up to the additional branch, landing on it as they came to feed.  All I had to do was sit and wait for them to land in a position on the branch that offered a pleasing composition.  The two photos here of the House Sparrow and the Downy Woodpecker are a couple of my rewards.

Downy Woodpecker

Not to forget about the plum tree, I captured this photo of a Common Grackle as it came to harass some of  the other birds and grab some seeds.  I don't really care for the Grackle (as a bird they're pretty annoying), but I couldn't pass up the beauty of it's iridescent blue head and yellow eyes against the red leaves of the plum tree.



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