the birdhouse blues…

The biggest problem with having a birdhouse, bird feeder, and a bird bath right by the front window (not to mention a flower-covered arbor) is that you can never get decent photos of the birds. If you move suddenly, while in the dining room, they’ll fly away. So, it’s only after sitting still at the table for some time that they’ll come back.DSC_0160

And then, if you could manage to find a good angle to take the pictures from, will your camera focus on the outside, or on the window? And what if the window has pollen on it? Will it show up on the camera? These are all moot points, however, if you can’t be anywhere the birds won’t notice you. It did occur to me that I could try setting up my tripod at a low angle, but that was only after I seated myself in front of the window.DSC_0162

Our front windows are rather large, and the bottom sections have screens, so before the air-conditioning was turned on, we had them open. So, rather than deal with the possibility of a smudged window, or having to hold extremely still while standing, I decided to see what the camera did while aiming through a window screen.DSC_0166

It actually worked pretty well, as you can see. Aside from a tiny bit of blur, the camera at that range, like my own eyes, does not focus on the screen itself, but what’s beyond. So, knowing that I can hold a camera steadier if I have my elbows propped on something, I found a sort-of comfortable position, with my elbows on the window sill.DSC_0167

I started with taking pictures from the right-most window, and then moved to the middle one. So, the third picture from the top was taken from the new angle, and there is no bird in that picture. Just in case you were looking. I thought it would be nice to include a picture where you can just enjoy the loveliness of the arbor and the flowers.DSC_0169

Still, even at this seemingly close range, my camera doesn’t zoom too far. My brother even offered me his camera lens, but I was too involved with holding still to take him up on it. I had to be quiet and still, and be alert to when the mother bluebird returned to the birdhouse.

Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that. This year, we had a bluebird build a nest in our birdhouse, the first time a bluebird has ever done that. So, if you want to, you can watch the flashes of blue, coming and going, all day long. But when the first nest of birds had hatched and flown away… a few days later, the mother bird came back and had some more eggs. DSC_0170

After some research, we discovered that bluebirds will have two or three hatchings in a year, not just one. And if they like the location, they may come back, year after year. Sometimes, the first set of babies will even help the parents feed their younger siblings. So, if they go for round 3, we still have more babies to see.

One picture includes what might be a female cardinal, but the picture really wasn’t close enough to be sure. Almost all of these pictures were cropped on Picasa, because my zoom lens didn’t show enough detail. I also had to brighten up the colors, so you could see the mother bird, perched on the birdhouse. Some days, we’ll have birds in the feeder (which is above my head, just outside the window, but not in the pictures), a bird in the birdbath, and babies cheeping from the birdhouse. And with cardinals visiting us regularly, we’re awash with color!DSC_0158

I need to look through my other photos some more. I’ve attempted to get pictures of the babies, from the hole in the birdhouse, but they usually retreat into the shadows. But I keep trying, and their mother hasn’t dive-bombed me yet.  Stay tuned, I’ll see what other bird photos I’ll manage to dig up, now that I’m watching through the windows!     DSC_0172

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