Watching the Snow Birds

A trick I learned from Moose Peterson’s book Captured: Lessons from behind the Lens of a Legendary Wildlife Photographer is to setup up some of our many birds feeders in a manner that makes the most of the photographic opportunities. So last spring I set up a feeder and bird bath in the midst of a few young trees we had planted in our yard. Because of the setup, I could sit in a near blind under a tree and get some fun shots. It also gives me the opportunity to continue practicing my skills as I learn the habits of the different birds.

After eight years of trying to entice a Western Tanager into our yard for a photographic capture, I was able to get two males and a female in the new trees and observe their behavior.  A few days of observation and I was ready to sit in my hideout and wait for the opportunity.  For few hours each day the males would visit the feeder and sit in the trees we had set up. I finally had my shot. Thanks Moose!

Male Western Tanager

With the snow falling today it was time to again head to my spot and capture some of the winter visitors to my little forest setup.  There is a peacefulness that I enjoy watching the activity of the birds. They come in waves, landing in the highest branches in the tall cedars in the yard. Slowly the bravest (or most hungry) make their way down to the young trees surrounding the feeder. Eventually they are rewarded with a meal. I do not take any pictures yet. I wait for the second and third round of visitors. By then the urge for the food overcomes the fear of the SB-900s flashing.

Male Chestnut-backed Chickadee

Female Dark-eyed Junco

Male Spotted Towhee


3 responses to “Watching the Snow Birds

    • Based on this is one of a pair that has been has a nest behind our yard in the trees near the lake. The female is a little thinner and last year sat in the nest for days at a time.

      But I could be wrong.

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