Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hungry Birds

There's nothing better for a photographer who likes to take pictures of birds than a nice, fluffy snow. Suddenly the natural source of food for the birds is buried and the feeders we hang near our house becomes much more attractive. Take this female cardinal for instance:

She is usually quite skittish about my standing on the other side of the window and watching her feed on the suet. Even today she made it clear that she would have preferred that I back away. But when I didn't, when I was still there every time she landed, she decided to stay and eat. A hungry bird is a photographed bird.

This shot (above) is particularly appealing to me for the way she has her tail feathers spread fan-like. She's merely balancing, of course, but it shows the true coloration so much better: russets, oranges and deep shades of red. The male may be the more striking but the female cannot be overlooked for her spectacular shades.

Here she can be seen with snow attached to her beak. Everything on that side of the window is snow-blasted. It's a harsh, hungry world today.

The pair of Downy Woodpeckers were feeding, too - both the male (here) and the female. They are mostly frightened by the Red-bellied Woodpecker for his great size but they are not in the least afraid of me. They will always stay and feed while I am there. This nearby maple tree serves as a sort of staging area where they'll wait if need be until the last bird moves on. After a short patience, they'll move over to the suet anyway.

Who needs to pay for entertainment while there are creatures like these?