It is wonderful if you can establish a bird attracting garden to assist you in getting more opportunities to photograph a wide range of birds. Over the last 12 to 15 months with the dreaded Covid19 causing major disruptions to our normal way of life, this project has become of major importance to me. I am really pleased that we have established a wonderful garden to attract the wildlife to our back yard. I have spent many hours out there enjoying and photographing birds nearly every day.
Generally there are two things birds need to be attracted to in your garden and that is food and water.
Water can be provided by providing a bird bath. A bird bath seems to attract many of the smaller varieties of birds such as wrens and finches and we also have a water dragon that will regularly visit our gardens bird bath.
The provision of food will also help attract birds. I find that one of the most natural ways is to grow lots of native varieties of plants such as flowering grevilleas and variety of banksias. These types of vegetation will be excellent for birds such as honey eaters. Take great care with the food that you provide for the birds as some food for human consumption will not be good for the health of your bird visitors.
I always use a seed mix of wild bird seed to attract the seed eating birds. Many birds are also attracted to a mix of wild bird seed and crushed walnuts and also add some raisins. Raisins are a type of grape that has been dried for around three weeks. The grapes darken as they dry, which gives raisins their dark brown color. A range of grape varieties are used to make raisins. Raisins are a naturally occurring fruit and do offer the birds some natural nutrition.
Some times I will also provide a perch for the birds, as in the image below, by hollowing out the perch at the top and place some seed mix in the hollowed out section, this makes it look more natural in the final image and will attract some of the seed eating birds.
There is a camera accessory brand called, “Small Rig” that manufacture photographic support rods, clamps, joiners, etc that can be made up to support such a perch. The image below shows an example of something I have made up as a perch.
Below is a capture of a Common Sparrow sitting on a perch which I have provided with a few seeds at the top to attract the Sparrow.
The sparrow has been attracted by the seed on the perch and I have set the camera up on a tripod and taken the image with a remote cable so that I am some distance from the bird. This set up ensures that the birds act more naturally and are not affected by any human presence.
This Blue Faced Honeyeater below has been attracted to our garden by the many native flowering plants.
The Little Friar Bird is also attracted by the flowering grevilleas.
Sometime I have a wonderful experience; for example the white bellied Sea Eagle below, flew overhead carrying the fish it had caught. I had been out with my 200-500mm f/5.6E telephoto lens photographing honey-eaters on the flowering shrubs when the eagle flew overhead and I as able to quickly focus on it as the lens was out and ready to shoot. This type of image is really a chance shot as normally I would not have had my camera and lens ready to shoot.
A small bird house like that below can also be provided to be used as a feeder for the birds. Also birds need to be able to find shelter in your garden if required.
Some of the birds I have been able to photograph in our backyard are as follows
- Crested Pigeons,
- Spotted Doves,
- Superb Blue Wrens,
- Brown Honeyeaters,
- Blue Faced Honeyeaters,
- Rainbow Lorikeets,
- Little Wattlebirds,
- Magpie Larks,
- Noisy Miners,
- Masked Lapwings,
- Noisy Friar Birds,
- Pale Headed Rosellas,
- Spur Winged Plovers.
Also as we live near the water we see many water birds and also birds flying overhead such as:
- White Bellied Sea Eagles
- Pacific Black Ducks
- Black Swans
- Pied Cormorants
- Royal Spoonbills
If you are interested in nature photography, try some of the above methods to get stunning images.from you.r back yard