Saturday, February 26, 2011

Challenges to getting Critter Photos

I was sitting down already when a cardinal landed on the window feeder this morning, so I thought I'd be able to get a photo that included the head.  The color showed up beautifully, but the focus was off.

I decided to take the top shelf down to get a better view of the feeder.  Still, I was too slow to get both of the birds eating, and the rosemary plant was in the way.

A sparrow and a black capped chickadee came next.  I'm sorry I cut your head off, birdie!

Well, there are still some obstructions due to the ice on the window.

Here is a female cardinal, and I still wasn't smart enough to move the rosemary plant.

After I thought to move the rosemary, no more birds came around for awhile.  I kind of like the look of the feeder with the cap of snow on it. 

 After a couple days of snow, I threw some seeds out for the birds this morning.  The squirrels had destroyed the sock thistle feeder we had put out after Christmas, so I put a pile of thistle down to see if any birds would eat it from the ground.  In less than five minutes, the sparrows and dark-eyed juncos noticed the fresh food.  The mouse did, too, but I wasn't fast enough this time to get it in any photos.

After a few minutes, the female cardinal flew in for a brief snack.

When the male arrived, the female left.  I got more photos of the male, because it stuck around longer.  The only birds I saw eating the thistle seeds were the dark-eyed juncos.

When a couple birds did come to the window feeder, they didn't stick around long.  I'm sitting in the dining room to do this post, looking up at the feeder, which is not currently attracting birds.  I wonder if they don't like being able to see into the house.  

I keep going back to check to see what critters are out in the back yard.  This blue jay came to eat for a few minutes.  I know the behavior of blue jays is not supposed to be so great at times, but I think they are pretty.

Larry had seen the squirrel earlier, when he went out to put 2 new suet cakes into the double feeder, and refill another feeder, but I didn't until early afternoon.  This one seems to prefer the sunflower seeds in the bird food over the corn Larry put out for the squirrels. 

It was sunflower seeds in the window feeder when the squirrels knocked it down.  That's why we put safflower seeds in it when we put it back up, because they say squirrels don't care for it. 

I don't think the woodpeckers have noticed the fresh suet yet.  Larry put the piece of uneaten suet cake left from the suet feeder with the corn he had put out for the squirrels.   This junco spent quite some time munching from it.

Larry moved this feeder to where we could see it from the back door. It's supposed to be squirrel proof, but they still tried to mess with it when there were sunflower seeds in it, and I'm thinking they've knocked it down before.  They are not bothering it with the safflower seeds in it.  I enhanced this photo of the sparrow on it in my iphoto edit program.  I didn't see the manual adjustment feature I used to use before the last update.

Finally, some black capped chickadees came to the feeder, as I was typing, but still didn't stick around long enough for me to get great photos of them.  I guess I'll take what I can get.

 While the above photos were being loaded, one came and stayed awhile.  It was pecking the edge of the tray for some reason.

It is a pretty bird.  I love the striped look of the feathers.

I had been thinking about participating in the Great Backyard Bird Count last week, but was not feeling well, so I didn't get it done.  I am tickled, though, over the variety of birds in our area, and that I get to see them from time to time.  I haven't seen mourning doves lately, but expect to soon.

(Added at 5:57:  Look what I saw out the door at suppertime! It was darkish, and I did the "enhance" thing again.  Oh, and Larry showed me where to go if I want to adjust things manually.)

I have been working on this post off and on much of the day, and need to get it published so I can participate in Misty Dawn's Camera Critters. The link is in my sidebar.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend!


  1. Hmmm, I think there is a blog gremlin. I've tried posting 3 times hopefully this will work! I love you pics, great post. The cardinals and the squirrel are my favorite pictures. I love how you can get such great shots from the comfort of your own home.

    OOoh, I got a treat in the mail today. Your seeds arrive, thank you very much! I love how you packaged them in their own little envelopes, too.

    I can't wait for spring!!!!

  2. You could use your vehicle as a blind. Put something over you window to block movment and lower your window so you can get a shot. The less movement the better, they scare easy.

  3. Great shots and I love that window feeder. You do have a nice variety of yard birds. Maybe you cna do the GBBC next year.

  4. Wow that's a lot of beautiful critters.

    Camera Critter Post at my page. Have a nice weekend!

  5. I thought about maybe doing the GBBC, but just couldn't get into it this year. Maybe next year. I do very much like watching the birds though. Like you, I have a lot of pictures of headless bird butts. I think blue jays are pretty too, we don't have any in the PNW. We have Stellar jays instead, but they are not as colorful.

  6. I love your bird feeder and while I'm not a fan of winter and the cold, it's looks rather beautiful:)

  7. Lovely pictures of critters through the glass....

  8. With such a wonderful array of birdlife and other small wildlife, I'd never need/want to leave home, or indeed, actually get on with any chores! Watching and enjoying them all must be like having a mini-holiday every single day. They have the ability to lift one right out of the ordinariness of day-to-day existence and fill ones soul with joy, happiness and magic! What a wonderful post, Sue!!! You have created your very own mini-paradise!!!

  9. Looks like you are having a lot of fun. You have the same birds that I get at my feeders. You really help the birds survive the winter when you feed them. It leaves them in good health when spring arrives for breeding. Keep on feeding and clicking.

  10. I like seeing your Rosemary plants in the shots. Perhaps it gives the birds a sense of "privacy".

  11. Great photos Sue. I love your little feeder on the window. We haven't seen many squirrels at all this winter. Sound like they are all up at your house.

  12. Such wonderful photos -- I really loved this post since I love all the birds you were able to catch. And I really like your feeder -- I want one of those! :-)

  13. You captured some great critter shots. I've been so good this winter and making sure our feathered friends had plenty to eat. :)

  14. You have some great pictures of the critters.

    I think the birds will finally get used to seeing you near the window and you will get even more great shots.
    I turn off the inside lights hoping that helps.

  15. Hello Sue,
    You are very right saying it can be a big challenge taking shots from critters.
    our digital camera is just too slow, to get a few good action shot of birds or other critters in our backyard. My hubby always says, we never have the cam handy or ready, when there is really a good chance for good shot. LOL
    I think you took some really nice pictures.
    I like the one of the squirrel the most. The squirrels belong to my backyard just like the birds and the plants and flowers. I wouldn't wanna miss them. I know, some people hate them in their gardens - I love my squirrels.
    Best Regards
    Paula Jo

  16. I've thought about getting one of those stick-on window feeders, but wondered if it would be falling off the window all the time. Does yours stay in place?

  17. Great bird shots, Sue. Isn't it fun to watch them? I am entertained all winter by having so many feeders. This year I did count for the GBBC but I haven't submitted my results. I'm not sure if it's too late at this point. My count was kind of low, as it was really windy here that weekend. Wind gusts up to was keeping all the birds away from the feeders. I love to watch them whether or not I actually send in my 'numbers'. I did it the last 2 years so missing this year probably isn't a big deal. I'm glad you are able to have such great views of the birds from your windows'-)

  18. Squirrels are so cute, I wish they had better manners, and then I wouldn't dislike them so much. They climb into the fruit trees, pick a piece of fruit, take one bite, and then drop the fruit to the ground to pick another. One year, a squirrel stripped every fruit off my peach tree.

    My bird-feeding attempts attracted a pidgeon. Oh, they are so messy.

    I do love the Cardinals and the sparrows, robins and wrens we get. There are barn swallows, killdeer and it's almost time for the purple martins to arrive...

  19. Looks like your visitors can always expect a banquet! Nice.

  20. When I saw a Brown Thrasher and a Mockingbird in the Redbud tree outside my kitchen window, my first thought was that Sue would get a pic of these beauties.

    Alas, the window and screen were dirty and the birds swiftly flew when they noticed me.


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