photography and digital scrapbooking

Watching Winter Birds


The window feeder is getting a lot of traffic these days. At various times of the day I check out the activity and photograph the birds as the light changes. The House Finches are fun to watch. The female sometimes feeds the male. I included three photos showing him waiting, leaning forward for seed, then seed hulls around his beak. I was shooting high-speed continuous, but missed the exact moment she gave him the seed!

When I saw the black areas around the American Goldfinch’s head, beak and eyes, I thought he might have Avian Pox, a common disease of finches and other feeder birds. But after doing more research and comparing photos, I think those areas are due to molting which happens in late winter and again in late summer.

A Carolina Wren visits, but she is so fast I miss her every time. Cardinals are checking out the feeder, but are reluctant to land. Maybe they will get braver over time. A Cooper’s Hawk sat on our fence last week and ate his catch. I was not able to get a photo, but enjoyed watching him through the binoculars.

Have you seen interesting activity at your feeders this winter?

All photos Canon 60D.


Author: Karen Chandler

Metal clay jewelry, nature photography, and digital scrapbooking are Karen's passions. She is mostly self-taught, enjoying the learning process as much as producing her works of art. Karen's jewelry features fine silver, copper, and bronze. She sculpts and refines metal clay, then kiln fires her pieces and polishes them to perfection. The process allows for exciting interpretations of symbols, shapes, textures, and combinations of metals. A long time user of Photoshop, Karen loves to create digital layouts with her photos. Her layouts and albums are a diary of sorts; documenting milestones, recording happy times, and celebrating her love of nature.

21 thoughts on “Watching Winter Birds

  1. Hey Karen! Seems to me that the birds love you only! πŸ™‚ You’re doing a great job with this window-feeder system. I may try it too! Is the feeder in the first floor or second? Let me know please.

    • Thanks, H.J.! The feeder is on a first floor window, but we have to use a ladder to reach it. We purchased the feeder on the Audubon Society website. For photography, the window glass has to be kept free of the bits of seed hulls that the birds stir up, so we clean it about every other day and replenish the seed every day.

  2. Great photos! We don’t have any finches this winter, although I’ve put out thistle in one feeder, which the Chickadees are happy to eat. I really enjoy watching the finches, so I hope they return. We had an adolescent bald eagle hanging around today, so the birds didn’t seem as active as they have lately. I saw him circling around the yard this morning and then again when I drove into town.

    • Thanks, Tricia! I hope your finches return. Bald eagles are never seen here – at least not by me! The Cooper’s Hawk scared the birds last week and they stayed away from the feeder the rest of the day.

  3. Pretty visitors… Love the chickadee!

  4. I loved the photos, Karen. πŸ™‚ Beautifully captured. Especially the Tufted Titmouse πŸ˜€

    • Thank you, Nandini! The Tufted Titmice visit more than the other birds and really love the peanuts. I watched one pick up peanuts and reject 3 of them before he found the one he wanted!

  5. Great photos Karen…I love the light that you were able to capture!

    • Thank you, David! Strong backlighting most of the time. And the light changes minute to minute sometimes, so I stay in manual. Looks like I got some ghosting on the finch photos. I was shooting in high speed continuous with a class 6 memory card. Maybe I need a class 10 for this type of shooting. Will have to keep experimenting!

  6. This post reminds me of my Grandmother, Karen. She loved to bird watch and in the last few years of her life she spent so much time looking out her kitchen window or sitting on her porch catching glimpses of hummingbirds.. and I’m sure others (!) but I don’t know my birds very well. Thanks for reminding me of this!

  7. Such a gorgeous group, I wish we had more of these small birds in my area.

  8. A great feeder roundup here! Interesting that the female House Finch is feeding a male- I’ve seen male Cardinals feeding females before.

  9. I live down in Florida and soon it will be time for many of our little birds to make their way back up north and I know I’ll miss them. I like seeing that other people, out there in internet land, enjoy watching the birds as much as I do. πŸ™‚

  10. Beautiful shots, Karen! I went on a walk this evening and was noticing all of the beautiful bird songs during my walk! I love bird watching–and I love the bird-themed digital journaling pages in your following post πŸ™‚

    In the back of my mind I still have plans to get photoshop and try digital scrapbooking for one of my nature art challenges! I love your work.