Bird Photography

Female cardinal enjoying the winter sun

On the mornings when I have time, I like to start the day in my favorite chair with coffee and morning devotions. I can look to the right and view my bird station out the window. Birdwatching seems to be a hobby of older folks, not because we’re bored but because we have the time to enjoy the simple things in life. We may be retired or empty-nesters so we’re not changing diapers, chasing toddlers, monitoring homework or running to our children’s activities. We finally have time to explore and enjoy our hobbies.

Red Bellied Woodpecker

I have always loved birds and have fed them in our backyard for over 20 years. In the last 10 years or so the feeders are filled year round. But recently I’ve had time to really sit and watch the birds. Then I stumbled on the FeederWatch program with Cornell University. OK, why not? I watch them anyway so it seemed like a natural progression. I have loved every minute!!!! Not only is it enjoyable to feed, watch and count them but it’s a great photographic opportunity.

White Breasted Nuthatch and Dark Eyed Junco

In the past I was content to photograph the birds at the feeder but this winter I decided to change things up. Provide more photogenic opportunities for me and more options for the birds. Hank was kind enough to donate a shade table he used for his giant melons. We created what I now call my “bird table” with old logs and stumps from the woods. It took a little over a week before the birds used it, but they sure enjoy it now! We also found an old pine log that we secured to the ground on the other side of the feeder. The woodpeckers and nuthatches search for insects and the other birds perch on the top.

Carolina Chickadee and Female Cardinal

Female Goldfinch, Downy Woodpecker (bottom), White Breasted Nuthatch (top) and White Throated Sparrow

I was strategic in the placement of the bird feeders and table. My sightline from the house and the angle of the sun were the largest factors. I also considered the birds access to the bushes and woods so they could flee predators since we have eagles and hawks in the area. Easy access for me to fill the feeders and water was a smaller consideration though when the weather warms up I’ll start bringing the feeders in at night to keep the bear(s) from destroying them. The below image is the view of the bird station from my window.

bird feeding station

Here is my set-up inside and the bird station outside looking back at the house. I’m using the lower window to view and I removed the grills to eliminate obstruction.

By counting the birds by species for the FeederWatch program I’ve identified all the birds that frequent our feeder. I know what species to expect in the morning or evening. I realize the cardinal likes to “hog” the feeder…..just sit there. The red-bellied woodpecker is one of the first I see in the morning and the cardinals always close out the buffet in the evening. The purple finches run each other off the feeder, the dark-eyed juncos and white-throated sparrows are typically ground feeders along with the morning dove. The nuthatch likes to be upside down and the chickadee and tufted titmouse usually feed solo! I’ve really enjoyed watching & photographing the birds this winter and look forward to seeing them and their babies this summer.

Male Cardinal

Male cardinal taking off from perch

White Breasted Nuthatch and Male Cardinal

The squirrels get fed too, which helps to keep them off of the bird feeders. I use unsalted peanuts in the shell for the squirrels but have noticed that the tufted titmouse and nuthatch enjoy them also.

squirrel climbing pole in rain

If you enjoy feeding or just watching the birds I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

Photograph what brings you Joy!

  1. Dawn says:

    The feeding station has definitely worked out nicely.

  2. Joy says:

    Luv, Luv your photos 📸

  3. Connie Taylor says:

    I love all of your birds! I had several bird feeders when I lived at the home place in Delano, and would spend hours in my comfy swing watching them. It’s cool how the same birds always come back!

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