Photo Gallery: Backyard Bird Images
Photographers featured in National Wildlife magazine share more of their images, and tips, with readers online
As promised in “Candid Cameras,” an article in our April/May 2012 special issue on Gardening for Wildlife, we’re sharing online additional images taken by the backyard photographers featured in that story . . . and as an special bonus, a video starring one of them. All three photographers offer one critical piece of advice to anyone just getting started making images in their yards: Make sure to provide birds and other wildlife the high-quality habitat they need. If there’s food, water, shelter and places to rear young on your property, the birds and other animals will come!
Hazel Erikson took these photos of a downy woodpecker (top) and eastern bluebird (bottom) in her wildlife-friendly yard on the shores of Lake Norris in Tennessee. "When we moved in nine years ago, we didn't plant grass," she says. "We let whatever was wild grow, which has attracted a wide variety of birds. Erikson and her husband also maintain feeders and birdbaths year round.
Bernie Friel uses a complex high-speed flash system to make dramatic images of birds in flight, including this pileated woodpecker (top) and northern cardinal (bottom), in his Mendota Heights, Minnesota, Certified Wildlife Habitat® site. "It's unique because of the extremely short duration of the flash, 1/33,000 of a second, which allows me to freeze birds in flight," he says.
Howard Cheek’s 6-acre Certified Wildlife Habitat site in Texas Hill Country provides food-producing plants, supplemental feeders, birdbaths and a small pond with waterfall, ideal features for attracting common and not-so-common birds such as this blue jay (top) and painted bunting (bottom). His property is located along the Central Flyway, a major migratory route for many North American bird species.
To learn more about how Cheek takes his photos, and maintains his habitat, take a look at this short video: