Winter Birds by Feeder | Blue Jay Native to North America, the Blue Jay stays around all winter. They are very aggressive and sometimes mean to other birds. Still, they are beautiful against the snow. They mainly feed on nuts and seeds so they show up every day to the bird feeder; particularly, when snow covers the ground. To see the entire story with all seven images, go to Winter Birds by Feeder | a 7 Image Story.
Winter Birds by Feeder | a 7 Image Story Colorful winter birds cheer us up during the long, cold winter months. My bird feeder gets used heavily in the winter; particularly when show covers the ground. In fact, sometimes there’s so many birds, it seems like they need a control tower to direct air traffic. They do have their own version of “see and avoid.” The smaller birds give way to the larger ones on the feeder. Many just fly down to the ground beneath the feeder to get leftovers. When a Blue Jay arrives, all birds clear out or given it wide birth. Of course, many more than seven bird species visit the feeder during winter months. For this post, I’ve chosen some of the more colorful birds as well as the more frequent visitors. Perhaps, another post will be needed later.
First things first, why not call the red-bellied woodpecker, a red-headed woodpecker instead? You might not have noticed the rose coloring on a red-bellied woodpecker’s breast. Whoever first named this bird must have had a strange sense of humor. I’m not a birder so I don’t get it. Still, it’s call a red-bellied woodpecker. And, why are Blue Jays mean? Because they are. For that matter, why do some birds stick around for the winter while others leave to warmer climates? Experts tell us that birds can and do survive extremely harsh winters. The primary reason for migration is food. Some birds can forage for insects in the bark of trees and find enough other food to make it through the cold winter months. In fact, in some areas even a few American robins stay through the winter months.
Winter can be a difficult time to capture wildlife images particularly small birds. Sure fewer leaves on the trees make it a bit easier to capture an image of the species remaining. Getting close enough to the bird with a long lens still remains the biggest obstacle. Placing a bird feeder close to windows and doors make a big difference. Even then, shooting images through windows takes skill and post processing software. These seven images were captured with a 70-300mm lens, equivalent to 189-810mm using a 2.7 crop factor on the V1 & V3, at a distance between 5 and 15 feet. Little birds tend to have big lenses pointed at them.
Each image will be posted individually this week with a bit more narrative under category Winter Birds by Feeder.
Click any image below for a slide show!
The Blue Jay is native to North America and tends to stay around all winter. They can be very aggressive, actually mean to other birds, but it’s still nice to see them against the snow. They mainly feed on nuts and seeds so they tend to show up every day to the bird feeders when snow covers the ground.
Blue Jay This common songbird is familiar to many folks in northern Illinois. They seem to stick around all winter. Blue Jays are well known for their intelligence and tight family bonds. Their fondness for acorns helped spread oak trees after the last glacial period. Thousands of Blue Jays migrate in flocks along the Great Lakes each year, but little is known about their migration. Young jays are more likely to migrate than adults, but adults also migrate. No one has determined why they migrate when they do or why some migrate while others do not.
Blue Jay Ya, I like Blue Jays.
Capturing a Blue Jay turns out to be harder than one might think. Sometimes, it’s easier to be lucky than to be good.
Blue Jay This time of year finding a good wildlife image in northern Illinois can be demanding. Although today turned out to be one of those grey overcast days, the Blue Jays made the morning more fun.
Blue Jay Colors This Blue Jay seemed to be looking for trouble. A birder once told me he thought they were arrogant and self-centered although beautiful. This image focuses at their tail feathers.