Wanamassa Birds

I frequently stroll the streets of Wanamassa, NJ, with camera at the ready to take pictures of birds.

My Photo
Location: Ocean, New Jersey, United States

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Feeder Fun (Part 2)

The next day was also sunny and I was able to get this very good look at a female house finch.

This feeder results in a lot of spilled seeds which attracts birds to congregate under the feeder. Here's a song sparrow taking advantage.

The male finch was braver this day.

At first, I was very pleased with this shot, but it represents the beginning of the end because here come the house sparrows. Once they find a feeder they dominate it and make it much harder for the other, more interesting, birds to get a look in.

It's amusing to think that the birds were hiding from me as they conspired to frustrate my photography, but in truth, I suspect it was a somewhat unpleasant confrontation under way here:

Sadly, but inevitably, it was the house finch that backed off.

The next day, I experimented by using the 2x converter rather than the 1.4x I normally use. This gives me (in 35mm terms) the equivalent of a 900mm lens. Given the number of pixels I'm capturing and the size of the images I'm publishing, it's probably not worth it. The first shot is of a male house sparrow. From then on, there's been three different communities of house sparrows squabbling over the feeder. One lot come from out the back of our house, another from the industrial part of Doris Ave., beyond the fence at the western end of the street, while the third live near Logan Road at the eastern end.

This other male house sparrow employs a different technique.

He was joined by a female who seemed equally at home with this novel technique.

Meanwhile this female took the more traditional approach.

I was pleased to see that the tufted titmouse was still on the scene.

Make that titmice.

Now this is what I call a tuft!

Feeder Fun (Part 1)

At the beginning of July, we installed a couple of feeders on the relatively new tree on the west side of our front yard. Here they are from left to right when viewed from the house.

The one on the left is of the traditional kind where the seeds flow through holes at the bottom into the tray. The birds then perch on the edge of the tray to eat the seeds. The idea of the right feeder is that the birds cling to the mesh and pull the seeds through. In retrospect, I put the wrong kind of seed in that feeder. They're too large to fit through the mesh.

The start of July is not a good time to put out feeders for the first time. By then, all the local birds have established where their food sources are and they have generally lost interest in seeking new sources. So, for a few days, nothing happened at either feeder. What's more that was a wet week so we didn't pay a lot of attention to the outside for most of the week. It took eleven days for the birds to find the left feeder. I first saw these two finches enjoying the seeds.

But as I tried to get closer, they flew off.

They soon overcame their fear of me. Here's a shot of a male house finch with seed in its beak. This shot illustrates one of the challenges of photographing birds on a feeder using a zoom lens: the depth of field is so narrow that if the front of the feeder is in focus (as here) the bird is slightly out of focus.

Later that day, the sun came out and I was very pleased to see that a tufted titmouse had found the feeder.

The titmouse was happy to take a seed at a time up into the tree to eat.