How to Photograph Birds and Wildlife in Your Backyard

Isn’t it amazing the variety of birds that are attracted to your feeders right in the backyard? Did you ever want to get a closer look? Here’s how.

Start with a nice variety of feeds. Suet attracts many different species of brilliant colored woodpeckers. Thistle is good for the wild canaries and finches. It’s so neat to see the canaries turn that bright yellow in the summer. Any mix with sunflower seeds is a good attractant. Cardinals, blue jays, wrens, and many other birds love sunflower seeds. I have two pair of the giant Pileated Woodpeckers that frequent my yard. They are constantly hammering away at dead stumps in the yard. If you can, leave some dead trees standing. If you live in the right region of the United States, chances are you will see one of these rare and beautiful giant woodpeckers. They are attracted to the numerous insects that thrive in dead wood. Your job can become incredibly easier with the use of the Canon T6i bundle that lets you capture amazing photography.

I put up several birdfeeders in my wooded backyard two years ago. Using binoculars, I got some great views of the incredible details of our winged friends. But I wanted to get closer, and wanted to take some photos too. The birds were very skittish and always aware of my presence. If I attempted to even open the back door, they would fly away. We have an outdoor cat that keeps the birds on constant alert mode. But I can’t get rid of that pesky feline; he keeps all the mice and snakes away from the house.

As a deer hunter, I came up with an idea.

I purchased a tree stand. The kind deer hunters also call a ladder stand. They are made of metal and are usually camouflaged. I painted mine with camo paints so it would stay weather proof. It is twelve feet tall and has a waterproof cushion on the metal seat platform. I erected it, according to the instructions, and strapped it to a nice size tree. I also bought a camouflaged blind. It’s just cloth-like material that a hunter can use on the ground to blend in with the foliage. I nailed together a small frame and attached it to the tree and stand where I would be sitting. Then I tacked the blind onto the frame, creating a tent around my viewing area. This entire project cost me about one hundred dollars.

I hung several birdfeeders within five feet of my new “human crow’s nest”. I waited a week to let the birds adjust to this new addition to the yard. With my new Kodak 10X Zoom Digital Camera (obviously not included in the price of my $100.00 project), I climbed up into my perch. Within seconds I was snapping great close up photos of some amazing birds. I soon realized that photos of birds on birdfeeders weren’t so natural looking, or as pleasing to the eye as a bird on a branch. So I attached branches in strategic areas around the various feeders to get the better shot.

Eventually, deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, and even an occasional raccoon visited my wildlife “photo shoot” area. I’ve enjoyed the photography so much that I’ve even traded my guns in for camera equipment. I get more of a thrill admiring a framed close up of a giant buck that I photographed than I do of a stuffed deer head hanging on the wall, seemingly staring at me in disgust.

I’ve also taken some great shots from birdfeeders that are hanging by the windows. As I type this, a beautiful red cardinal is peering at me from the empty feeder. Actually, I think he is scolding me for not refilling the container. All this is in fact…”For The Birds”.

Julia

Julia

Julia Arostegi lives in California USA. She took Developmental Communication at the University of California and finished her studies in 2012. She is currently the managing director of California Magazine. She is also a blogger, content enthusiast and a photographer.