Getting great photos of your backyard birds

by Joe Smith
Whether you’re a photographer or just a birder, inviting birds to your backyard feeders is a great way for some leisure birding. Be on the lookout for some that may not be regular visitors, such as the Orange-crowned Warbler and the Pine Warbler that came to my suet feeder in January.
The Orange-crowned Warbler is an early migrant to Texas, so it was likely migrating when it stopped over in my backyard. It foraged for food in the shrubs before snacking on my suet feeder. The Pine Warbler could have been either a migrant or a resident. I typically see them in my backyard only in January or February. While I don’t have pine trees, there are plenty in my subdivision. They normally feed on pine seeds but will eat suet from raised feeders.
So, what’s my secret for getting good shots of these birds? It’s simple. I sit in a patio chair with my camera and telephoto lens on my lap, usually while reading a book. When I see or hear a bird arrive, I slowly pick up the camera and take my pictures. Point-and-shoot cameras with lenses that can zoom from 500mm to 1000mm or more can produce great shots for posting online.
Photos by Joe Smith
Joe Smith is a nature photographer and Houston Audubon member, Advisory Board Member, and former Board Member.
We’d love to hear your tips and tricks to get that perfect bird photo in the comments below.
You can invite more birds to your backyard by:
  •         planting native plants for birds
  •         creating inviting habitats
  •         limiting dangerous threats

Visit birdfriendlyhouston.orgfor more information.

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