Backyard Birding

jedirunner

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Well, we've finished this year's expansion to what we refer to as our "Sanctuary" in the family. We (okay, it was a somewhat unilateral decision on my part) decided to make half of the "sanctuary" dedicated to birds/bees/butterflies. Over the next few years as the trees and plants grow, I think it will turn into something very nice.

Here's a pic of this little corner of our yard (I suppose the sense of scale can come from the chairs and table in the "human" portion of the area).
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Anyway, I spent about 30 minutes outside on Saturday morning, under the shade of one of the trees you can't quite see in the picture above. Daughter and I just sat and watched the birds fly in and out. We've counted up to 18 total birds at one time. We get regular visits from house finches, house sparrow, robin, brewer's blackbird, pigeons. Our special guests on Saturday were our first sightings of male and female goldfinch which flew in together:

1.
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2.
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3.
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4.
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5.
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Sure, we saw plenty of other visitors, but these 2 took the show, so I'm not even gonna post the rest (though we did get some good pics of the other finches).

Feel free to pass along suggestions, comments, critiques, etc.

Kevin
 

coastalconn

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Kevin, to complete your bird studio, I think you need some more natural looking perches around the feeders. Are these heavily cropped? They seem a touch soft.
 
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jedirunner

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Kevin, to complete your bird studio, I think you need some more natural looking perches around the feeders. Are these heavily cropped? They seem a touch soft.

Yes, I'm working on some more natural feeders. I have some ideas, but it takes more effort than the ones I was able to pick up cheaply. :). Sometime this summer, I hope.

and yes, these are cropped a bit and did seem on the softer side to me too. Fun because I hadn't seen the goldfinches at our house before, but not as sharp as other photos even from the same morning (of the house finches). Course, I had a lot more shots to choose from with the other birds too.

thanks for the comments,

kevin
 

Elfstop

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Not sure but I think costalconn was referring to "natural" perches not feeders... things like twigs near feeders and such where the feeders are not in the photo...by placing "natural objects" near a feeder gives a place to land to await their turn at the feeder making for a more interesting photograph. Also as the birds become more familiar with you being in "their kitchen" so to speak they will become quite tame and less cropping will be needed....just my 2 cents. Also that is a great looking addition to any yard..Enjoy!
 
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coastalconn

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Kevin, I was referring to some strategically placed "sticks". That way if they land on them you have a little control over the light and hopefully the background. I just pulled 2 quick ones from my flickr for examples. These are both in my backyard by the feeder..


Wet Female Cardinal by krisinct, on Flickr


Red WInged Black bird test by krisinct, on Flickr
 
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jedirunner

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Not sure but I think costalconn was referring to "natural" perches not feeders... things like twigs near feeders and such where the feeders are not in the photo...by placing "natural objects" near a feeder gives a place to land to await their turn at the feeder making for a more interesting photograph. Also as the birds become more familiar with you being in "their kitchen" so to speak they will become quite tame and less cropping will be needed....just my 2 cents. Also that is a great looking addition to any yard..Enjoy!

Doh. Yes, I got that, but when I typed, I typed feeders. :( Thanks for making sure I had it cleared up.

Kevin, I was referring to some strategically placed "sticks". That way if they land on them you have a little control over the light and hopefully the background. I just pulled 2 quick ones from my flickr for examples. These are both in my backyard by the feeder..

Those are great pics. Yes, I've seen various ideas for these, and I have some specific things in mind. It will just take some time to get it together. Thanks for the suggestions and ideas.

Kevin
 

kundalini

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Agree with costalconn. I inherited an old A-Frame type swing set (4x4 treated lumber) in my current diggs and removed all the swings. The down chains made a great way to hang feeders. I then nailed several fallen branches to the frame for perches. I get a lot of traffic at my feeders, plus the pleasure of seeing all the birds flittering about and the songs this time of year. If you have problems with squirrels, I recommend something like the Droll Yankee tube feeders. Squirrel proof... ptfff, none of them are, but certainly adds difficulty for the little buggers. Also, add a bird bath or some constant water supply nearby for them. By giving them their needs, they will return year after year.

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I feed mine black oiled sunflower seeds and various suets, mostly for the woodpeckers but others enjoy also. Good luck.
 
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jedirunner

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Agree with costalconn. I inherited an old A-Frame type swing set (4x4 treated lumber) in my current diggs and removed all the swings. The down chains made a great way to hang feeders. I then nailed several fallen branches to the frame for perches. I get a lot of traffic at my feeders, plus the pleasure of seeing all the birds flittering about and the songs this time of year. If you have problems with squirrels, I recommend something like the Droll Yankee tube feeders. Squirrel proof... ptfff, none of them are, but certainly adds difficulty for the little buggers. Also, add a bird bath or some constant water supply nearby for them. By giving them their needs, they will return year after year.

I feed mine black oiled sunflower seeds and various suets, mostly for the woodpeckers but others enjoy also. Good luck.

Those are some great ideas, and some good shots. Thanks for sharing. :)

Kevin
 

sm4him

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Agree with costalconn. I inherited an old A-Frame type swing set (4x4 treated lumber) in my current diggs and removed all the swings. The down chains made a great way to hang feeders. I then nailed several fallen branches to the frame for perches. I get a lot of traffic at my feeders, plus the pleasure of seeing all the birds flittering about and the songs this time of year. If you have problems with squirrels, I recommend something like the Droll Yankee tube feeders. Squirrel proof... ptfff, none of them are, but certainly adds difficulty for the little buggers. Also, add a bird bath or some constant water supply nearby for them. By giving them their needs, they will return year after year.

I feed mine black oiled sunflower seeds and various suets, mostly for the woodpeckers but others enjoy also. Good luck.

Oh my goodness, I LOVE the swing set idea!! Gonna have to start trolling Craigslist for an old swing set now... :D

Along WITH the sticks and "staged perching" areas, here's another option. I bought this feeder last year and love it. Plan to be another one soon--they came in several different styles. I sometimes have to crop out the pole or clone out the string hanger, but most of the time, it's reasonably easy to get a good, natural looking picture of a bird on this.

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