You All Know These Love Birds

These are common birds that appear at our backyard feeder every day. They like to eat the birdseed that falls to the ground, but they also enjoy sitting on a perch and even sitting on top of the bird feeder!

The Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura, are present year-round in a majority of the continental United States. They are a medium-sized bird with mostly brown colors. The eyes are deep black with a blue/green circle around each eye. Females have a bit of iridescence on their neck, which can be seen in the bottom photo–the last photo of my blog entry today. Interestingly, the small black mark on the face of the Mourning Dove distinguished it from the Passenger Pigeon ,which is now extinct. Banding studies suggest that a pair of Mourning Doves will mate for life. The doves’ cooo-cooo-cooo call is unmistakable, as is their flush and wing-beat in the air. All this makes the Mourning Dove very easy to identify.

I enjoy photographing these birds, but their drab, brownish color makes photographing them difficult because they easily blend into their environment much of the time.

I see these birds nearly every single day and if they will let me, I will keep photographing them in an attempt to get some better quality photographs.

 

More Backyard Birds

I spent a couple hours in my backyard blind again today. The birds were cooperative and I am slowly learning how to capture better bird photos. It’s not easy because birds are quick! I am more accustomed to photographing elk, which move a lot more slowly!

Today I learned an important lesson: don’t set up the camera too close to the birds. The problem wasn’t being too close that I scared the birds, after all, I was in a blind. The problem was that I was inside the minimum focusing distance of my zoom lens! I re-situated my blind this morning to get better angles on my perches, but I actually set up too close to the action. After some frustrating results early in the evening, I moved the blind back about six feet and then photographs became much more clear!

I continue to learn and am intrigued with the challenge of bird photography. I hope to be back out in my blind again tomorrow!