Before last night's rain (it never got cold enough to freeze), a few hours of sunshine fell at our house here in north Columbus. In the morning, I re-filled the "no-no" sunflower feeder after about a week of near emptiness (the birds never seem to clean it all out). I was hoping that they would "re-discover" the feeder by the afternoon so I could shoot a few closeup shots of native birds, but alas, nothing showed up.
However, Lake Belhorn did provide a few photographic opportunities, and I did not have to leave the house.
Haven't heard of Lake Belhorn? Well, this ephemeral body of water comes and goes. It forms at the end of our driveway during rain and snow events. It is a fairly significant puddle, and birds love to play and drink in its cool waters.
Even northern cardinals occasional come to play and frolic on its banks.
The lake is frequented most, by the English sparrow or house sparrow, Passer domesticus. We have hundreds, if not thousands, in our neighborhood.
Although these birds can be serious pests, they do make interesting photographic subjects, especially for those that live in the city. They make for great practice. My reasoning for taking pictures of these birds goes something like this. If I can take good pictures of house sparrows, shouldn't I be able to get good shots of native birds when the opportunity rises?
I would not want to drink from and bathe in the waters of Lake Belhorn, but the sparrows seem to drink it without any worries. This one looks like it having having a ball washing its face.
Here is some co-ed bathing going on.
And finally, why not invite the whole flock?
House sparrows are fun to photograph. They exhibit interesting behaviors, they are tame, readily approachable, and they thrive near people. Although I enjoy photographing native birds, when nothing else is available, try pointing the camera at a house sparrow and see what you get.