Saturday, May 7, 2011

Camera Critters: Birds And Scenery Make Good Subjects

 Rushing Mountain Stream Makes For Great Scenic Opportunity
I spend most mornings  in a blind by a rushing mountain stream, waiting for the wily, elusive Eastern Wild Turkey Gobblers to appear.  Many times the birds do not co-operate, but if one is not totally fixated on the turkeys and looks about for other photo opportunities, they may find other subjects that are as rewarding to photograph. These opportunities range from capturing scenic shots, to photographing other birds or animals that may appear.

While I have seen Eastern Towhee's for years, I have not had many opportunities to photograph them successfully, as they usually inhabit brushy areas where they scratch among the leaves on the forest floor for food.  This changed in April when the birds began utilizing the area around my blind.

Eastern Towhee
This bird used to be called the Rufous Sided Towhee, which still sounds like a good name to me, but for some reason it was changed.  Whatever the case, they are a beautiful bird and it was a thrill to successfully photograph the species.

The Northern or "Yellow Shafted"  Flicker is another bird that frequents our area, but has been difficult for me to photograph until this spring when one stopped by on an April morning.

Northern "Yellow Shafted" Flicker
The birds came near the blind because I sprinkled a mixture of bird seed and sunflower seeds around a nearby stump and on the forest floor.  It is perfectly legal to feed birds and turkeys, but one must not do this if they hunt turkeys from the blind and they may not hunt in the area around where the feed is spread.  They must hunt far enough away that the actions of their quarry is not influenced by the food source.

In Pennsylvania, regulations require that all bait and residue thereof be removed at least thirty days before hunting is done in that area.  This is not a problem since I have not hunted for nearly thirteen years, having found observing and photographing wildlife to be a much more rewarding means of enjoying the outdoors, so if my ex-compatriots in law-enforcement stop by the only weapons they will find will be the cameras and long lenses.

Partially Hollow Stump Makes Both A Good Background And A Natural Bird Feeder
For more Camera Critters photographs, Click Here!

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill


Anonymous said...

What wonderful photographs of the birds! I have a blogging friend who takes birdseed with her, while on vacation. She will sprinkle the seed on rocks, deck railing, whatever is nearby the cabin. She enjoys watching birds at home and wants to see them while on vacation too.

jo©o said...

Very artful portrait of the Flicker.
Lovely setting and so clear as are all you pictures.

Gary said...

Great shots especially of the Flickers. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Frank said...

I always carry a little seed in my pocket .. just in case. Super portraits Willard. Personally, I also prefer 'Rufous Sided' ... far more descriptive.

Dave said...

Great shot of the Flicker, the colourations are very striking with the bright red blaze on the back of the neck. Great set of photos.

eileeninmd said...

Wow, gorgeous photos! The birds are great too! The scenery is gorgeous.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

These shots are perfect.I love seeing the birds so close.

Feral Female said...

Georgous shots Willard, I really loved the flicker and the small waterfall!

Becca said...

I just saw a Northern flicker on another blog...I love it! :)

Misty Dawn said...

Outstanding photographs! The Towhee caught my attention, because I have only ever photographed one, and that was during a walk with Dad in Ohio. It's a really, really bad photo as the Towheed was up in a tree in a very shaded area.

HANNIBAL said...

Loved these photos! Great opportunities are everywhere! We just forget to look, while focusing on other cool things! Great series of fine photos!