When I first started photographing birds I had to do it from my basement window because I didn’t have the right lenses to photograph them at the feeders. The birds would go to the feeders to get seeds then fly to a lilac bush by the basement window to eat them. This made it easy to get some close shots. Over the years I acquired better lenses and started photographing from my large windows by the feeders. I recently went back to my roots and spent the better part of a day photographing from my basement window.
Dark-eyed Juncos were around in large numbers after being absent for part of the winter.
Black-capped Chickadees were around in large numbers. This seemed to be their favorite perch for eating.
There were also a few Northern Cardinals around but they were a little skittish and wouldn’t come near the window.
The Black-capped Chickadees like to hang out in an old Crab Apple Tree near the woods. On a nice warm sunny winter day I like to go out by the apple tree and photograph them. It is quite the tangled mess because the tree is covered in wild grape vines. It takes a lot of patience to wait for a bird to land on a perch with a clear photo.
More bird photos from Canadian Hill Farm. Since we really haven’t had much of a winter I’ve spend more time than usual photographing birds. I managed to capture this photo late in the day when the sun was shining on some pine trees in the background.
I managed to capture this photo just as a Dark-eyed Junco cleared the snow off of her back.
In between our fall trips I managed to get a few bird photos on the farm.
I have a large number of birds currently visiting my feeder. Earlier in the fall the American Goldfinches had all but disappeared but they are back in large numbers and eating me out of house and home.
I also have a large number of Black-capped Chickadees visiting the feeder.
My Neurotic female North American Cardinal is also back. This spring she started banging on my basement windows. It went on until I covered them with paper. She turned up again after the last batch of babies fledged and she had lost all of the feathers on her head. This fall she is back banging on my basement windows again.
Every February Sax Zim Bog has a birding festival. One of the items on my bucket list was to make it to the festival. Unfortunately it didn’t work out again this year so we decided to drive up to Sax Zim Bog just to look around. We didn’t see a lot in the way of wildlife. There were some Red Squirrels, Black-capped Chickadees and Pine Siskin’s at the feeders at the welcome center. We also saw a Black-billed Magpie and quite a few crows.
American Red Squirrel
The most interesting thing we saw was in Meadowlands. This is the small town where the bird tours originate during the festival so we decided to look around town. As we were driving down the main drag we noticed a sign for the corporate headquarters of the Schneiderman’s Furniture stores. At first we thought it was a joke but when we looked it up on the internet it is true, the headquarters is in Meadowlands. Given that Meadowlands is a small town of several hundred in the middle of nowhere we though this was most intriguing.
For those of you not living around the Twin Cities, Schneiderman’s Furnature is a local chain of furniture stores. There is a fascinating story of how Schneiderman’s Furniture stores got started out on the web.
We had a nice snowstorm last week and I spend part of the day photographing the birds at my feeder. It was difficult early in the morning because of the low light levels but it lightened up later in the day while continuing to snow.
When I first started to get serious about photography I was mainly interested in landscape photography. During the long winters there was not as much of an opportunity for landscape photography. As I watched the birds at my feeder I kept thinking I should get some photos of them. The problem was my lens just wasn’t powerful enough.
One day I noticed that while the birds went to the feeder to gather seeds they flew down near the house to eat them. I went down to the basement to see it I could see them in the basement window. Sure enough they were sitting at the base of a lilac bush eating their seeds.
The next day I cleaned the basement window and put a ladder under it so I could sit and watch the birds. This is how I started my bird photography. One of the first shots I took was published in Birds and Blooms. It was of a male Northern Cardinal feeding during a blizzard.
A number of years later I severely trimmed the lilac bush and it was no longer a place the birds liked to feed. This year I happened to be working in the basement and noticed the birds were back and that with a little trimming I could get some great bird shots.
Most of the birds that frequent my feeder are here year around but a few of them leave during the summer and move north or move into the woods for the summer. In the past few weeks the Dark-eyed Juncos have returned from the north. The Black-capped Chicakadees are around during the summer but they have also returned to my feeders. This year, for the first time, I have seen a pair of Tufted Titmouse’s at my feeder. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to get a photo of them.
Most of the birds have been around for most of the winter. There are a few exceptions. A Brown Thrasher turned up for a couple of days. This is the first one that I’ve seen on the farm and the only one I’ve photographed.
The Eastern Bluebirds are back and occasionally stop at my feeding station. They mainly use it as a perch to look for insects and as a stopping off point on their way to the bird bath.
The Song Sparrows are back and are getting ready to nest in the pine trees by the house.
I’m amazed that the Dark-eyed Juncos are still around. Normally they have left by this time of year.
The Black-capped Chickadees are around although the numbers thin in the summer.
The Hairy Woodpeckers are around as long as I keep feeding them peanut butter suit.