In the course of the spring and summer months of 2021, I did not do a ton of photography in spots other than my backyard. I have often used some time photographing birds in my lawn, with my favorite matter becoming the blue jay.
Blue jays are a popular backyard fowl discovered in jap and parts of central North America. They are intelligent, pleasurable to view, and incredibly fairly. What is even a lot more wonderful is that they are not seriously blue. The pigment in blue jay feathers is brown melanin and we see them as blue due to the fact of a phenomenon called light scattering. Blue pigment in nature is rare.
The Commencing of My Blue Jay Pics
It all began in March with a couple blue jays on the wires exterior my upstairs window and a couple of shelled peanuts. Throwing some peanuts out the window to them and observing them dive down for them, I made the decision that I wished to be ready to get pics of them traveling. A pair of crimson-bellied woodpeckers also joined in on snatching the peanuts.
I begun out photographing from the window until I realized they had been snug with me. When they began to snatch the peanuts off the window sill with me sitting down there I understood I could test it outdoors so I was not normally seeking down on them.
They promptly learned that I was the peanut provider in that window. They started out to occur nearly each working day no make any difference what the weather conditions was and known as outside the house the window till they received a thing. The woodpeckers also acquired if they sat on the wire outside the window they would get peanuts like the blue jays.
When they began to get the peanuts with me sitting down outdoors I started to master about every individual bird’s behavior and behaviors. And also how they could be determined by the black stripes on the side of their heads. They choose the peanuts in the shells and they generally will have to be unsalted. As an alternative of throwing out handfuls or putting them in a feeder, I stored the bag at my facet managing how much they obtained whilst also managing my backgrounds for my photos.
In April, when forsythia bushes were in bloom I would throw peanuts in the direction of neighbors’ bushes so when a chicken grabbed that peanut I experienced some prospect of getting a awesome yellow history dependent on their flight route.
Studying to Shoot Birds in Flight
The flight photographs did not come about right away they had been the result of fiddling with configurations in my Canon 7D Mark II DSLR and several several hours of observe daily. I would dump so several in the starting and would be satisfied even if I acquired just one photo.
I started off to use all 65 target points in my camera with the target tracking to assist me understand to catch them and their movements. It pretty much sort of appears like it would be manufactured to be quick but it was not at all. The relocating points did not often grab them and I continue to experienced to go and observe them and learn their flight habits.
I begun by attempting to monitor them as they grabbed the peanut from the ground. Because I was in management of the peanuts and only throwing 1 at a time, additional than just one chook would go following the peanut so not each individual shot was a blue jay with a peanut in the mouth.
After getting those photographs down, I moved to catching them as they would dive down from the wire.
Strategically Positioned Peanuts
After a storm one particular evening we had a rainbow and I place peanuts in the route of the rainbow in hopes that one particular of the birds would fly into the tree from the wire. This was the result, the compression from the prolonged lens zooming into the bird would make the rainbow appear nearer than what it basically was.
All through the early summer season when the birds were all gathering peanuts due to the fact the ladies have been nesting, factors truly began to warmth up in between the blue jays and woodpeckers. They usually would have these minor squabbles which always made for great photos. I did commence throwing more than a single peanut out at this time since they have been definitely doing the job to gather peanuts and coming back again extremely fast for the up coming just one.
The Artwork of Waiting and Seeing
The additional I sat out in my lawn, the more I noticed. And the much more I discovered how to capture tiny birds like blue jays and woodpeckers with their flight sample of having dips, the much more I was capable to catch other species.
By the end of the summer months they were being so applied to me they would even snatch the peanuts I was putting on the ground next to me with no panic. They would hop about way too near for me to even shoot. They have returned from their few months absent throughout the winter.
Who knows what this spring will provide. But even if you can not go wherever or have nowhere to go, no subject wherever you are, the for a longer time you sit in your lawn the much more wildlife you will notice all around you.
Always have peanuts on hand for your yard birds, and discovering the behaviors and movements of your property close friends is just as vital as recognizing your camera.
About the writer: Jessica Kirste is a photographer who focuses on wildlife, fowl, and zoo images. The viewpoints expressed in this posting are entirely those of the creator. You can discover additional of Kirste’s do the job on her Instagram. Prints and products and solutions featuring her photos are available through her Redbubble on-line retail outlet.