In “Creating Backyard Bird Photos Part 1” I said to buy a quality bird bath so the other critters wouldn’t knock it over and break it (we figured this out by experience). Another benefit of attracting birds however is the critters themselves. You can create some great photos of other critters while waiting for the birds or just forget the birds for a day or so and concentrate on the critters.
I had just filled our bird feeders and was watching through our dining room window waiting for the birds to show up. It usually takes them about ten minutes to get over the fact I was in “their” yard. George the squirrel showed up first so I took advantage of the situation and created “George Eating Maple Seeds In Winter”.
While visiting friends in Southwestern Nevada I spotted a lot of birds I had never seen in the wild before. Their backyard is literally the Mojave desert. The Lake Mead National Recreation Area is only a few hundred yards from their house. I was sitting with my back against the cliff side of a twenty foot high rock outcrop, and facing Lake Mead. The back of their yard has several ten foot plus tall saguaro cacti. The humming birds love to perch on the spines of these cacti so I was confident I could create at least one good hummingbird photo.
After about forty five minutes or so, and no birds to be seen, I heard something rustling in the bushes near me. Getting up to look around I saw a lizard about six inches long foraging for insects and seeds. I laid back down on the ground so I wouldn’t scare him. I created “Lizard in the Desert” while crawling on my stomach and following him.
I did eventually create at least one good hummingbird photo.
Next time you’re out trying to get that great backyard bird photo pay attention to what else is going on around you. You might just reward yourself with some great backyard critter photos.
~ Daniel Kmiecik
Next week: Urban Nature Photography – Keeping warm and getting the shot