I have come to discover that photographing backyard birds is not as easy as it would seem. Those little guys move quickly, are usually shy, and you can’t really control the light, or tell them where to perch, or direct them to pose a certain way. Yep, I’ve decided that shooting birds in the backyard is a real challenge.
You can however control where they feed by placing your bird feeders in the areas of your yard that get the best light, and trim back a few little branches to encourage your feather friends to perch where you would like them to. You can also put out an assortment of feeders with different types of seeds and even fruits and nuts to attract a variety of birds. (I’m still learning what kinds attract what birds but I do know that the birds around here really like the mixes with fruits and nuts!) Use traditional feeders with seed mixes, suet feeders, and blocks or bells. Some birds even prefer to eat off the ground or enjoy a pile of seeds placed on a fence post.
Once you start to see your new feathery friends visiting your yard all you have to do is sit back and relax. Have some fun watching them and learning how and when they come to feed. When you get a feel for the traffic at your feeders head outside and stand or sit quietly and wait. Just wait for them to show up. It may take a few days of sitting out there for an hour or more before they get comfortable with the idea of having you hang around but they will eventually relax a bit and enjoy their free meal while you enjoy your photo session.
All the trees that we have planted in our yard are finally getting big enough to look inviting to the passing birds, the few feeders I have out are usually busy, and I have finally started to get a few good shots. I think that the next step will be to add a bird bath or something so that they will have a source of water for the summer.
I think that my feeders paid off yesterday when this little woodpecker came for lunch in the rain. He was a lot less shy than his girlfriend who has been coming around for a couple of months now. He let me walk right up close for his very first photo session. Hopefully he’ll invite some friends next time!
I hope you are all enjoying the wildlife in your backyard, from toads and bunnies, to bees and birds there are lots of critters out there to shoot!