February 5, 2011
I just got a new Canon Rebel Tii and have been practicing daily. This photo was taken on February 5, 2011, in my backyard. I used my 55-250mm telephoto lens. I live on a farm in Simcoe, Ontario, Canada.
I've been feeding the wild birds for 10 years now so I have quite a crowd with lots of variety. We have open fields surrounding us but deep woods around the edges. I have six pairs of cardinals that visit daily. I particularly love the colors of the females. This one was after the seeds that the jays kicked out of the pole feeder. The females stay on the ground a lot longer than the males so are easier subjects to capture. I was only 3 yards away from this one. I'm lucky enough to be able to stand inside my house, open the sliding glass door about 4 inches to accommodate my lens and snap away. Skies were overcast and it started snowing hard about 2 hours after I took this. All the birds were eating frantically to store up energy before the storm hit. They are less likely to spook then since their focus is elsewhere.
Tips and Tricks
- Shoot in the late morning under overcast skies to avoid having to raise the ISO so high your pictures get grainy.
Melissa Mayntz, Birding / Wild Birds Guide, says:
Backyard birds do need extra calories to help keep their body temperature up in the winter, and choosing the best winter bird foods such as sunflower seeds, nuts and suet can help them get the nutrition they need. Providing winter bird shelters is also a good way to help portect them from storms and devastating cold.