Food? Check! Water? Check! Woodsy habitat? Check! If you provide all three of these essential ingredients for our fine-feathered friends, they will come!
I’ve had an extremely busy Spring this year at the feeders! I’m not really sure why, but the diversity of species this year has been very interesting, as well as fun to watch. I’ve had a pair of Black-headed Grosbeaks, Spotted Towhees, Anna’s Hummingbirds, House Finches, Starlings, Goldfinches, as well as a few other migrants passing through.
As of now, the Finches young have hatched and are eating at the feeders. I am looking forward to seeing the baby Grosbeaks soon. Putting out a variety foods such ad black-oiled sunflower seeds and suet, will bring in a number of species. It is also a good idea to put out a Nyjer feeder that holds thistle, the Goldfinches love this! Having a bird bath is a huge bonus as well. Most all of the species will congregate in the bath at some point, as water is sometimes hard to find in the warmer months, and having it available right along with the food and a safe place to nest, will surely make your yard a very popular place for our avian friends.
As a photographer, the most obvious benefit of having a wide variety of wildlife in your own yard is the chance to not only photograph the critters, but to have a fairly controlled environment to work on technique, composition, and exposure for the numerous brightly color birds this time of year. What is nice is that you know they will be back the next day, so an adjustments you need to make for exposure for example, can be corrected the next time they come in for a snack. The trickiest birds to photograph are the ones with whites, or yellow in their color scheme. These colors will typically get blown out if you don’t account for them in your exposure adjustments. I’ll be covering this subject in a future post, so stay tuned!
The next time you are out, pick up a couple of different style bird feeders and some food. They are inexpensive and will provide much pleasure and excitement in your yard, as well as a way to relax. While you are at it, you might pickup a small bird bath to guarantee a healthy population of birds at your feeders. Just make sure you keep Felix the cat inside when there are birds at the feeders. They will thank you for it, and your cat will have hours of entertainment watching through the window! 🙂