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Creating a Bird Studio in Your Backyard

It doesn't take much to turn the average backyard into a haven for birds where it can be much easier to delve into bird photography than while on a hike in nature. If you live far from a field or wooded area and your yard is perfectly manicured with few plants, it will be worth your while to invest in a variety of native shrubs, trees and flowers in order to create a welcoming habitat filled with perching and hiding places. Also, for pleasing natural backgrounds, you will want to consider what will function as a backdrop around your feeders and water source.

Our heated bird bath is quite popular on cold winter days when nearby water is frozen over.

bird bath robins

My husband and I recently bought a house in Colorado that backs up to a field and a small forested bluff that is home to fox, coyotes, skunks, about a dozen deer and plenty of birds. We have seven deciduous trees in the backyard, but no shrubs and few flowers. In this setting it only took two weeks of hanging one tube feeder, a window feeder and placing a pie tin of fresh water on our deck to attract a dozen house finches along with a few robins, bluejays, juncos and sparrows as daily visitors during the fall.

Sometimes birds compete for space on the platform feeder. Here the flicker refused to move for the blue jay.

platform feeder with blue jay and flicker

I searched for more popular feeders and bird food. One month later we added a platform feeder on a post, a sock to hold thistle, one suet, a heated bird bath and little piles of millet and black oil sunflower seeds outside our door. We now get at least 14 varieties of birds that come in waves each day. Our new guests have provided us with hours of entertainment and many opportunities for taking bird photos. Setting up roosting and nesting houses encourages even more traffic and makes life comfortable for these delightful creatures.

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