Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Bluebirds in the Neighborhood

It's a wonderful thing to be able to look out into the backyard and see Bluebirds flitting about. The flash of their bright blue feathers is always a welcome sight. This summer, here in southeast Tennessee, we have had an abundance of Eastern Bluebirds, which is refreshing after four years in a row with very few. None of us seems to have any real explanation for this years' increased numbers, but we're thrilled to have them.

Needless to say, their presence has been wonderful for this bird photographer. Not only are they here in large numbers, but they seem much more approachable this season than any I can recall. With minimal effort on my part, I have been able to get dozens of photos that meet my personal standards for genuine fine art photography. It's been a real joy, and I am grateful for the time I have had with these remarkable little birds.

My resident backyard pair is now working on their second hatching, and it looks like this year we'll certainly see at least three nestings. Even with the extremely hot conditions, this pair of birds seems determined to reproduce as many young as the season will permit. For me, that means more photo opportunities, so check back with us often and I'll continue to share this adventure.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Secret to Locating Birds

I get ask all the time, "How do you find so many birds in those interesting places?" Well, it really isn't that difficult if you take the time to learn about birds, and you're willing to spend lots of time in the field. Like so many things in life, it pays to know your subject well. In that regard, I have spend most of my life studying birds and paying attention to their habits. The knowledge that I have gained from this endeavor has made my job so much easier, and so much more enjoyable. I love what I do, and I love the time I spend with the birds.

Knowing where and when birds feed is key to my success as a bird photographer. I spend as much time looking for food sources as I do searching for birds. Finding locations where birds like to feed is critical to successfully capturing the kind of images I want. Knowing when birds are most likely to feed is another piece of the puzzle that aides me in my quest. Birds tend to feed more in the early mornings and late afternoons than any other time of day. Concentrating on those times is much more productive. Immediately following a thundershower you can find increased bird activity, and that can mean finding great shots.

You can waist so much time looking for birds, but if you think about food sources and feeding behaviors you can greatly increase your own odds of making some great shots.