February 17, 2016

Tips: Bird Feeders for Photography

If you like taking pictures of birds, you probably love being able to photograph them from your windows. Over  the years I've increased the number of feeders in my yard so I get to watch the birds and squirrels during the winter. (I don't feed them in warm weather because bears are attracted by bird seed!)

Here are a few tips I've picked up along the way.

1. Set up feeders in clear view of your window, but not so close that you'll invite rodents to your doorstep.
2. Try to place them around the same distance from the window so that you don't have to refocus constantly. (This is important if your camera is painfully slow at focusing like my Nikon P510 is.)

3. Have at least one window without a screen in it that has a clear view of the feeders.  Keep the glass clean and place the lens close to the glass.

4. Select photogenic feeders and poles. I have a squirrel-proof feeder too — well, squirrel resistant. (Nothing is totally squirrel proof!)  Provide both seed and suet and keep the feeders well-stocked when snow is forecast.

5.  Provide additional places for birds to perch, especially if you aren't blessed with nearby trees that have open branches.  Here you can see a metal tree-sculpture plus a little branch that I stuck in the ground as an extra perch.

Although not all birds will perch on my devices, the ones that do can look charming! Photos of birds at feeders become repetitious so  other poses add variety. 

We even planted a little shrub this fall that I chose for it's attractive branches. I selected it's location to be the same distance from the window as my feeders.

Bonus tip: If possible select a window that's shaded or at least not facing the sun most of the day. Glare can be a problem. If it is, don't worry. The position of the sun changes and sometimes clouds move in, so just wait a while. If the birds' favorite time to visit is at the time of day when sunlight hits the window glass,  you might even consider an awning.

Of course, on a mild day you can go outside, sit quietly, and wait. Position yourself in the shade or use a lens hood.  The bolder birds will come back to feed.


  1. Good set of tips! I would find the windows with no fly-wires a problem - but I'm sure I can get round that.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  2. you are a wonderful photographer dear,loved all these

  3. I want to send along my thanks [even tho I'm in my personal, Hootin' Anni blog admin right now] --- thanks for stopping by this week and adding your link to my bird photo blog, I'd Rather B Birdin'. Always so very much appreciated.

    Great photos...and to have a lot of feeders, you probably can see them from just about any window from your home? ---I did not know that that bears are attracted to the bird seed/food!!

  4. Hi, You are so correct about there being NO squirrel-proof feeders!!!!! ha ha....

    My "Bird Kitchen" is an arbor on my deck. I have about 8 different feeders there ---with a big sliding glass door there --so that I can see the birds year-round. Love watching our little birdies..


  5. I tried a few things to keep the squirrels away. I finally had to buy more seed and feed them.

  6. This is great advice. How clever that you even thought to plant a shrub with interesting branches!

  7. Hi Linda, those are great tips. Thank you! Love your photos of your birds and your feeders.

  8. Hello Linda!:) I have been a little off colour these last few days, and haven't blogged at all for three days, but came as soon as I read your comment. Thank you for all these usefull tips. Your bird images are so beautiful, and I especially liked the last photo. I really like your feeders, but unfortunately I can't seem to find anything as original or pretty as yours.
    Have a great weekend!:)

  9. what a great idea and it looks good :)


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