Washed Ashore Photography | Backyard birding 101 and how to start

Backyard birding 101 and how to start

April 26, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Several years ago I purchased a very nice bird feeder pole for my backyard. I say "very nice" but I have to admit this is the Cadillac of Bird Feeding Poles. This tall pole has two arms jutting out from the base, a small metal suet holder and a small dish near the middle perfect for either small seeds or extra nesting material. It even has a red cardinal weathervane perched on top, calling to its live counterparts to drop in for a snack. The pole has been staked into the ground for about 5 years or so and hasn't let me down yet. Problem is I neglected it and the bird feeder tubes have been barren for quite some time. 


So this past weekend I started my bird feeding station off with a bang. I purchased two long tubes for the two metal arms leading off from the pole and filled them with basic bird seed. I'll most likely switch one of the tubes out with either black sunflower seeds or a berry bird seed. I then added a small thistle seed sock for the middle of the pole, perfect for enticing finches. Even though is springtime the birds still go for suet so I put in a fresh sunflower seed suet block to add some variety to the station.  Soon I'll be adding another extension pole for other seeds and maybe "squirrel repelling" cone (lets see how well it does!)


Any suggestions for my new/old bird feeding station?  I'd like to get a total of three or four seed options for songbirds. The area around the pole is empty; no trees or shrubs within twenty feet or so. My task for this week is to take some old sticks from the yard and prop them up around the base of the feeding station. I've been doing a lot of research on attracting birds to feeders so I know I need a few resting areas. My goal is to have a few angles to photograph birds from as they come in to feed. I'm planning on photographing birds more often so my feeding station needs to be up to standards, so to speak. A lot of tutorials say placing sticks or wood in the ground without any leaves or stray branches on them is better for taking pictures. This way I can get a clear shot at the bird as it rests after eating a beak full of sunflower seeds. So far, my feeders are still full so maybe word isn't out about the newest bird restaurant in town!  


A trip to Wild Birds Unlimited in Toms River should help out with the missing bird conundrum. I'll have to post more updates when I finally have visitors to the feeders. Don't forget, our next show is this Saturday, April 30th at the New Jersey Folk Festival in New Brunswick, NJ. The event also happens on the same day as Rutgers Day which drew approximately 20,000 people last year! The festival will be held on the lawn of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at 191 Ryders Lane. For more information visit: www.njfolkfest.org.  


J. R.


Washed Ashore Photography


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