Fun With a New Birdfeeder!

Ever since my wife and I moved away from suburbia we’ve been admiring the wildlife which surrounds us. We’ve seen plenty of white-tailed deer, rabbits, skunks and other various wildlife. We’ve also seen a huge number of different birds in the fields behind our house.

Just recently, we decided we might as well take advantage of these birds and get a couple bird feeders. We selected a humming bird feeder, a thistle feeder and a regular bird feeder. These got mounted on a pole system to our deck railing. Let me tell you — I haven’t had this much fun taking photos in a long time!

The location of the feeder is just outside the kitchen window. What this means for me is that I can setup my camera on a tripod inside the house and shoot through a window screen. While I realize this is less than optimal, it’s convenient and fun! Plus, it doesn’t tend to scare away the birds.

Tufted Titmouse Photo
Tufted Titmouse
NIKON D200 @ 300mm — 1/160 sec , ƒ/ 6.3 , ISO 200

One of the first birds we saw was a Tufted Titmouse. This cute little guy is one of our favorites! The tuft on the top of his head is ‘retractable’ for lack of a better word. Sometimes, it’s sticking up like in the above picture. Other times the top of its head is almost perfectly smooth.

Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
NIKON D200 @ 300mm — 1/40 sec , ƒ/ 5.6 , ISO 200

One of my favorite birds we’ve seen thus far is the Rose-breasted Grosbeak. These are a bit bigger than the tiny titmouse and are great fun to watch. Ironically, the female looks almost nothing like the male except for the head shape.

Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
NIKON D200 @ 300mm — 1/40 sec , ƒ/ 5.6 , ISO 100

Clearly the same head / beak shape — totally different coloring which actually isn’t all that surprising. After looking through the bird book, it seems there are many species where this is the case.

One of the more common birds we get are finches. American Goldfinches are numerous as are Purple Finches and House Finches. Ironically enough, it’s quite hard to tell the difference between the latter two.

Male purple Finch on a Bird Feeder
Male purple Finch on a Bird Feeder
NIKON D200 @ 300mm — 1/45 sec , ƒ/ 11 , ISO 100

From all we can tell, the above is indeed a Purple Finch. They are quite bright and really fun to watch. However, as much as I think we’ve got the males of the purple finch / house finch debate figured out, the females are even more difficult. Both are brown and beige and neither has any real distinctive markings.

While all of the above photos were taken through a screen, I think they came out pretty good and hey — I had fun!