Sunday, February 10, 2008

Birds in Our Backyard-A closeup look at the backyard bird cam

Hi nature lovers. Did you have a good weekend? Megan and I rounded out our Sunday with a trip to the OSU campus to watch the basketball buckeyes take on the Indiana Hoosiers. Well, we came away with a loss, but it was great fun watching people run all over the parking lot after the game was over. It was so cold and the wind was blowing so hard, people were just running everywhere to get to their cars. You just don't see people running like that every day.

Even though our backyard thermometer read 17 degrees and reported a wind chill of -6, I thought I would head into the backyard and try to get a few shots of the birds that frequent our backyard feeder. The yard was hopping today, presumably because of the cold weather! Cardinals, Carolina chickadees, and downy woodpeckers were feasting on the bounty that is black oil sunflower seeds.

For those of you that have watched my live bird webcam (see link on the right sidebar), here is your eye to Megan and I's backyard. I place sunflower seeds on the brick ledge below the camera, and the cardinals and house sparrows gobble these up within a day. Here's a shot of the ledge, the camera and a male northern cardinal.

And what was the web camera seeing at that very instant? Me and my camera. There I am in my bright orange coat. You can also see see the top portion of the male cardinal's head.

My position next to my neighbor's garage was an excellent shooting position. Even though I wasn't in the sun, I was sheltered from the flesh-numbing wind. Being in the shadows seemed to render me invisible to the birds, and they flew above me and into the crab apple tree without seeming to notice my presence.

This male downy woodpecker was extremely cooperative. What a beautiful creature. He was gathering seeds from the feeder and hammering away at the box-elder tree from which the feeder hangs.

A beautiful female cardinal and her partner alighted above me in the crabapple. The female cardinals are really starting to become my favorite birds to photograph, especially in the warm evening light of winter. Really, these birds are breathtaking and certainly under appreciated.

The male is always striking. This guy's crest was being held high by the winds.

As I downloading these pictures, sitting at my computer, I tried to keep one eye on my computer and one on my blog and one eye on the bird cam, but that can be almost impossible. The window is too high to see the feeder while I'm sitting at the feeder. Well, a female cardinal must have understood that I just wasn't done seeing birds for the day. As curious as I was with my camera, this girl landed on the thistle feeder I have attached to the window. She looked in, straight at me as I typed. I reached for the camera. Moving too quickly, she was spooked and flew away. I waited a few seconds and sure enough, she came back. I had the camera this time and I was able to get shots of her as she looked in at me. I'm sure she was thinking "wow, it really looks warm inside this nice brick house, maybe I can spend the night in there? do I get in?"

A beautiful and very birdy, albeit cold Sunday evening. I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend, we have a few more hours left!


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  1. It was "Bloody" cold, as they say. I couldn't believe how fogged your glasses were when you came in! Great pics!

  2. love your webcam and great to see these guys up close! Also, your cardinal shots are perfect! BRAVO

  3. thanks for accepting my virtual-friendship, definitely your blog is one of a kind. I am very fond of people who loves nature, because it is in their nature to be loved... continue to remind us of nature's beauty...

    good wishes,

  4. Brrrr that's cold! Love the Woodpecker & Cardinal shots, especially the latter, since we don't have cardinals here in the west!

  5. Megan- It WAS bloddy cold

    Thanks Tom, I got lucky with these cardinal shots.

    Pete, Thanks for the nice words.

    Adam- Interesting. I didn't realize that the west coast was cardinal-less. It is nice to have such spectacular bird be so common here in Columbus.


  6. Great shots of the cardinal, especially the female.

    (Too bad you didn't have a parking lot cam to show us all the semi-frozen homo sapiens scurrying about.)

  7. Thanks Marvin,

    You are funny! I need a small pocket camera, and at least if I had that I could have taken a few still shots of the people running about.


  8. These shots are great. I haven't been too lucky with the bird photos. By the time I get my camera aimed and get them in the viewfinder they take off. Must be camera shy. :-)

  9. 2Sweet-

    Thank you. I find that bird photography takes a ton of patience coupled with a knowledge of bird behavior. Knowing where they are, where they are going, where they came from, and how to get close to them without scaring them are all key to getting good pictures! Good luck, thanks for stopping by and commenting.