Through the glass

Nuthatch 1  

I looked at my oldest pictures of a White-breasted Nuthatch that I made in 2007 today. I was happy about them at that time, even if the bird was not more than a gray dot hanging on a bird feeder. It was still my first year of serious digital photography and I believed that wildlife photography was the result of just being there and good luck. More than five years later I know that it is all about biological knowledge, good preparation for a shot, sometimes endless patience, and yes, still a little bit of luck.

The cold temperatures we got here in Iowa at the moment draw a lot of birds to the house because we provide food and water for them. A heated bird bath is necessary and many birds we have here during the winter use it frequently for drinking. I also built some perches for the birds to rest on before they approach the water and feeders. This is not just a benefit to the birds but also part of my preparation for bird photography in any weather.


Black-capped Chickadee


At the moment it is too cold to leave the doors or windows open for an extended period of time but who says we can't make the click through a clean window? All images I show you today were made through the glass of a door and with just natural light. A nice side effect is that you don't have to deal with fogging of the lens or camera and you also have no problems with heat shimmer from warm air that escapes the house. Am I getting lazy and want to stay home all the time? No, I don't think so, but this set up and preparation allows me to do some bird photography even if my time budget is very limited because I need to get some other things done in my home office and can't go anywhere. If you like to have success you still need to move very carefully and slowly behind the window. A wrong or fast move may spook our feathered friends away for some time and you have to start all over again.


Nuthatch 2