Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Birding in a pandemic


I think I’d be happy spending the majority of my days photographing birds. Or trying to anyway. And I’m lucky that, even with the pandemic keeping us home more, I still have lots of birds to study, right in my own backyard.

I get a lot of images like this. Not intentionally.

Of course I am frustrated by reflections in windows, and sheltie girls that move just as I’m getting that shot, disrupting the carefully posing feathered ones.

The male cardinals get so much attention, but if you really look, the females are just beautiful.

I’ve tried to get around the sheltie interruption by sneaking past her when she’s sleeping, but it sure seems like she only closes one eye lately and she’s always up to see what I’m focused on. She assumes there’s trouble outside if I spend too much time at the window, and she feels a responsibility to handle it for her mama.

Look at all the different colors she carries around with her.

And of course I’d love to be outside with the birds, not shooting through a window, and I’ve tried that. The birds aren’t too frightened if I stand in the far corner of the deck and stay still. I’m sure they’d get used to having me around and come down from the trees when I put out fresh food if I keep trying.

A dancing chickadee comes down for an irresistible peanut.

But then again, there’s the sheltie-girl who puts up a howl when I’m outside and she’s not. So more sneaking around might be in order.

OK, the guys are pretty too. It’s just that they’re so OBVIOUS about it.

Once I tried taking her with me out on the deck and only the chickadees would tolerate her. Plus she doesn’t know how to stand still. She’s a princess you know, and a princess does not stand in the corner.

My first time seeing a Carolina wren at my feeder. She (I decided it’s a she) was sooooo cute!

And I’m thinking about getting a longer lens so I don’t have to crop so much. So much detail is lost, and so many interesting things are just outside the reach of the lens I have, though it’s a very nice lens.

Lots of people don’t like these starlings, but just LOOK at the color!

Still. I have so much fun trying. I’m pretty sure you don’t mind looking at my birds either, right?

This little guy used to be shy but now he’s one of my vocal visitors. Especially if the feeders are empty.

Katie says she thinks you’d rather look at her, and that might be so, but this is not called Katie’s blog, so once in awhile I think we have to focus on something else.

Now this is another prevalent bird…er….how did HE get in this series?

But don’t tell her that, I don’t need a mutiny here at home. Especially during a pandemic.

So much fun to watch!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

36 thoughts on “Birding in a pandemic

  1. I never get tired of looking at birds! I agree that female cardinals are lovely. And wonderful about the Carolina wren.


    • I am always so excited when I see a new bird at my feeders. Sometimes, I’m sure, especially with the little ones, I just think they’re all the same, but the wren has that curved beak and that distinctive eyebrow, so I looked her up in my book. Very excited she’s around. The suet brings in different birds that I don’t see when I only have seed out.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Those are great!


  3. I appreciate your birds even more now that I no longer have my bird tree outside my window. Your photos are marvelous!


  4. Those are great shots – even taken through a window! There is so much beauty in the details of bird feathers. I think the starling is eye catching! Those speckled feathers! The Carolina Wren is one of my favorite birds. They nest in one of my bird houses each year. The male chooses a house and then busies himself gathering twigs and pine needles to make his nest. Then he will sit atop the birdhouse and, sing his little heart out, looking for a mate. In my mind he is saying, “Ladies: I’m a good catch! Look at this beautiful home and custom built nest! All that is missing is you! Please stop by! “ 😊

    Princess Katie would be neglecting her duties if she caught you staring out the window and did not sound the sheltie alarm! 🤣


    • I have a wren that nests here every year too, don’t know if it’s the Carolina wren or the other one we have here in Michigan. I know they sing all day long, they are a real treat. I’m always pleased when they move in.


  5. We have lots of wrens here they make a unique noise. We rarely see the starlings. We have snoopy dogs to that have to see what I am looking at out the window. Lots of times if they see me grab the camera to head outdoors they are trying to go with me and I have to say no because no birds do not like barking dogs. Cricket will lay on the back deck and watch birds for hours never barking or chasing them she is amazed by them. Love your pics and your birds.


  6. Read you post and thought, “Nobody puts Katie in a corner!”
    My birds have mostly gotten used to my duo of mutts accompanying me, although the crows have started barking back at Chaco, my chocolate lab mix.
    Nice shots. Wish I had a bit of snow for a day or two.


  7. I love the birds. You get a nice variety too, so that’s awesome. I have two friends that can get the chickadees to eat out of their hands. Birds are always fin to find, and shoot and something I enjoy a lot too.


    • I have gotten a chickadee to eat out of my hand 2x here. I haven’t worked on it much, they will only do it if I’ve left the feeders empty for a day or so and they are desperate. They will do fly-overs first, checking out the food in my hand. Then then will move closer and closer on different tree limbs until they’re very close. Then they’ll think about it for a bit, maybe fly around my head some. And then they swoop down, grab a seed and zoom away. That is so unlike the birds at my favorite park that are used to eating out of people’s hands. Those birds, several varieties, will sit in your hand for several moments, depending on the bird, and will hover over your head as you’re digging seed out of your pocket. They are quite demanding there! 🙂


  8. I’ve never seen a black squirrel like that! Ours run to reddish-brown or even gray. Love the wren and chickadee and you’re right — the cardinals (both of them!) are beautiful. And showy! I’m with Katie though — you can’t expect her to tolerate photography of birds when SHE’s the princess!!


  9. Yes, I do enjoy seeing your bird (and other) pictures too! Tell Katie she is still the most beautiful picture ever, although I’m sure she knows that very well. 🙂


  10. Such pretty photos! Those Starlings have to have some good attributes! 🙂


  11. First of all, wonderful shots of your birds, Dawn! So many to see! Secondly, you might like Lisa’s bird weekly photo challenge. Birds with brown feathers is the theme this week. I linked to her post on my Sunday Stills blog if you would be interested 😊 With all your feathered friends and photo skills, you would enjoy the challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You have black squirrels!! I missed them when we moved here, and then discovered one in the woods one day. I don’t know what happened to him or her. I haven’t seem him or her this year. Your bird photos are all so beautiful. I know what you mean about reflections or interruptions (in my case, it’s either one of the cats or my husband who chases away what I’m trying to capture).

    Liked by 1 person

  13. They are all fabulous captures! The squirrel was so cute!
    I do feed “some” of the birds here. Finches. We can’t get too much other kinds of Bird feed out onto the ground here as it brings in the Pack Rats. And they love to eat wires of cars and hot tubs.
    So seeing all your backyard luvs feels my heart with joy!
    Thank you Dawn. Have a lovely week…!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I like to think we have really good birds. 🙂 Used to be our feeders brought in raccoons and skunks, but for several years we haven’t had a problem. We might be getting too built up for the other animals to stick around.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great photos. I have trouble getting a good look at my local birds up close as well. And I probably need to use binoculars because they want to stay high up in branches.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Beautiful bird photos and nice variety, Dawn. Thanks for sharing them. I hope you consider joining my Weekend Coffee Share blog link-up. It’s on every week, Friday to Sunday. Everyone is welcome in any week. Details on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Such an uplifting, make you smile post Dawn. And love that Carolina Wren!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that little wren too, she’s been back almost every day. Yesterday she was actually at the seed feeder rather than the suet feeder, mostly because the suet feeder was empty I suppose. 🙂


  17. Your love of photographing birds makes me smile. By the way, we had put away all our Christmas cards but today I dug out your little card and put it back up in the living room again.


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