Tuesday, January 11, 2011

for the birds

Remember I told you yesterday that I saw a ton of birds in the back yard? The trees were filled with them. They weren't the usual flock that hangs out here though. I'm not sure where those guys took off to.
Anyway, I got quite a few pictures of them in the front yard.
When we went to the store on Saturday I bought a peanut butter flavored suet cake and that was the big hit on Sunday. Here there is one bird on it and 2 more waiting their turn.

Isn't this one pretty? He was quite patient waiting but eventually had enough of the others hogging it and decided it was his turn.

The crew on the ground

This was my personal favorite from the day. I just loved this picture.
I could show you more but the others don't look much different from these.

A question for those of you who know more about cameras than I do.
I really want to get a new lens for my dslr. I want to be able to get in closer to the birds. So what should I be looking for in a lens? Any recommendations?


Sandee said...

I so love birds. We feed our birds year round. It's one of these things we just enjoy doing. You sure got a nice bunch of photographs. I'll bet they made you smile too.

I know nothing about cameras or lens, but I know a pro. I'll ask her if she can help you with your question.

Have a terrific day. My best to Duke. Tell him his puppy kisses has really helped my eye. :)

♥ Sallie said...

We love your shots!


Helen said...

I agree the one with the orange head sure looks pretty.

Doris Sturm said...

Those birds are awesome - I wish I knew their names, especially that woodpecker and those speckled birds in the last photo. Since moving to South Georgia, I have seen more birds than anyplace else I've lived and I actually purchased a "Birds of Georgia Field Guide" and I have been using my binoculars to spy on them...I love them so much and when there is no bird song, I actually notice the absence of bird's singing...it sounds like Paradise here in the summer. I wish I knew more about cameras. I wish I could afford a good one that allows me to zoom in on those critters better than the one I have now.
Thanks for sharing. I loved your photos.

Julie Harward said...

That one with the red head looks like a wood pecker...you are sweet to feed them ;D

LAC said...

Hi, Sandee sent me over. I hope I can help. Without knowing what type of DSLR you have, the best thing to get is a zoom lens, that is in the range of 70-300mm. I personally use a 55-250mm from Canon that I love. I even use it for portrait sessions. Another option to consider, which is slightly more affordable is something called a teleconverter. It basically is an extension, like a large filter that you screw on the end of your biggest lens and it can double, triple or quadruple your focusing distance. For example, the most common teleconverter is a 2x, which would make a standard 70-300mm lens work like a 140-600mm lens. The downside is quality of image. You need a tripod or a very steady hand, especially in lowlight situations. The further you zoom the less light you have to work with for your image. With a tripod you can slow the shutterspeed to allow for more light, but not too much or you will have blurred movement from birds moving.

I hope that helped. Feel free to email me with any questions, I love to help when I can. star8278@gmail.com

Ann said...

Great pictures! If you can take such good shots without a zoom, I can't wait to see what you'll capture then.

livintheblues said...

Zoom Zoom Zoom...:)

Ginny Hartzler said...

Wow, these are great pictures!! The first one is a red bellied woodpecker, I think! And starlings. We are birdwatchers, so I love bird posts!!

BeadedTail said...

Great photos of the birds enjoying their snack! We don't have any snow here so our birds tend to blend in with the ground and trees so it's so pretty to see them against your snow.

Miawa said...

Beautiful pics! I know nothing about lenses. Hope they don't head to N Florida thinking it's warm here. In the 20's here at night and to me that's brrrr-cold (bet that's warm to you)

Lin said...

I like starlings even though they are just common birds. I really like the little noises they make. Did you know that they imitate other bird calls?

Lovely photos, Ann!

Anonymous said...

You're right - that last photo is super!

gayle said...

Oh wow your bird pictures are beautiful. I think if I don't have to work tomorrow I will see if I can take some.

tahtimbo said...

Those are fantastic shots! I think I need to have you come over and take pictures of our birds. My pictures just don't do them justice.

allotments4you said...

The first two birds are beautiful!!

Your starlings look identical to ours...we have lots of these but they are great for the gardens as they eat loads of nasty bug!!

Do you know that starlings aren't targeted as much by predators as there natural food are ants and because of this they omit a nasty taste through the oil in there feathers putting other animals off eating them!!

Unknown said...

You went out to the store to buy a special peanut butter-flavored suet cake for a flock of strange birds, but refused to give your own sweet, sweet little white fluffy puppy a piece of bacon after all of joy that he has brought into your life?

Duni said...

I love birds, and we also have a fair number of them hanging out in our garden - but none as colourful or unusual as yours!!!

Philippa said...

I love the woodpecker. What a smart bird!

Catherine said...

Cute photos Ann!

I have a 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS zoom lens. I really like it. There's lots of good lenses out there and quite a few good lens and camera review sites. Plus, you can take your camera to the store and they usually let you try a few lens at the store. Don't be afraid to ask!

Happy Wednesday!
xo Catherine

Donna said...

The bird sure are fun to watch at the feeders this time of year! That's a nice red-bellied woodpecker in the 1st and 2nd picture.

I don't know what kind of lens you are using right now. I use an 18-200mm about 99% of the time. My husband has a zoom lens that goes out to a 300mm. Make sure that you get one with vibration reduction. Of course, it is good to use a tripod and get the lens as close to the window as possible. A good zoom lens is going to set you back in money, but it will be one that you will use day after day after day. So it is worth it in the long run.

MadSnapper said...

had no idea birds liked peanut butter, our dogs love it and so do we, so why not birds since it is made from nuts.
i have a Rebel Canon SLR and my long lens is the Canon 70-300, and I love it. depends on your camera. but a lens that goes to 300 is afforadable, to go to 400 or 800 is really expensive.

Unknown said...

Hi lady! Love the birds! The top one with the red head is a woodpecker I believe and I would not be inviting him around. lol Anyway it looks so cold there. It is only 34 here but it feels a lot colder. My eyes were watering when I took Chance out this morning. The wind just chills you to the bone. Makes me want to snuggle on the couch under a throw and finish a good book with a warm drink close at hand. But alas I have to work. Such is life. =)
Stay warm!

Russ said...

Great pictures Ann. The birds are looking good. I like the woodpeckers the best.
Did you send this snow our way. We have fifteen inches on the ground and some parts of the state are going to get up to three feet. Plus 40 mile per hour wind.
Have a good day.

Out on the prairie said...

I believe you ave the sony Alpha so the zoom lens 70-300mm is the best, Many brands are able to be used so plug in zoom for your camera model and see who has the best buy.It is amazing at the same lens or camera not being the same price.You would think Sony would have the best but they don't, I used to buy only from them.

Daisy said...

Woodpeckers are cool!

Tammy said...

I love your bird pictures. I have a nice SLR camera but I don't have any extra lenses.

Leeuna said...

Oh, My! I love these photos. I especially love the bird with the red head. Birds and snow just seem to go together so well. I wish I could help you with the lens question, but I don't know that much about manual cameras. I'm still with the point and shoot. I just snap the photo an hope I get lucky.

PS. Love the new header and background on your blog.

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

I wish those juvenile starlings didn't grow up to be starlings... they are so pretty at that stage.

Ann said...

Sandee me too, they are so fun to watch and thank goodness my husband is so good at keeping the feeders filled so they come around all winter. Thanks for asking your friend to help

sallie, thank you

helen isn't it though.

doris I've had birds before but this year we have had the biggest variety and it's so fun to watch them

julie yep that's what it is. He's been coming around for about a month or so now.

Lisa thank you so much. I really should get to know my camera better and figure all this stuff out but I just like playing and doing things the hard way :)

Ann I can't wait either...lol

livintheblues yes that's what I need to do

ginny I knew the woodpecker but didn't know the others were starlings. We both enjoy the birds here too

beaded tail they do really stick out against the snow but I would rather see them with a green background

miawa I'm afraid that even by our standards 20's is cold

Lin I like all of them, even the ones that everyone says are pests. No I had no idea they could imitate other birds, how cool

Grace thanks, it was my favorite of the bunch

gayle thank you, that sounds like a good way to spend a day off

tahtimbo my pictures don't always do them justice either. I usually fix them up before I post them here. Maybe some day I can take a good shot without having to fix it

allotments4you they are I especially like the woodpecker . You and Lin are a wealth of information about starlings. I didn't know that either, very interesting

fishhawk yes but I also bought a treat for Duke at the store too. I told him before we left I would buy him something. When we were walking past the pet section my husband said,"you told Duke you'd bring him home a treat didn't you?"

duni this is the first year for some of these around my house. It's been fun to watch them

philppa and pretty too. Hmm I wonder if you could quill a woodpecker? I'm betting you could :)

catherine thanks for the advice.

donna the lens I have now is just the one that came with the camera. (18-55) thanks for the advice. I appreciate it

sandra I didn't either until I read it somewhere and I can't blame them because I love peanut butter too..lol As for lenses I have to go with affordable over really expensive...lol

tammy I think our temp was somewhere around 20 today but can't be positive, all I know was it was too cold. I want to do the same thing.

russ I love the woodpecker I was thrilled the first time I saw him out there.

out on the prairie good memory, yes it is the sony alpha. I've looked briefly before and did notice that sony is pretty pricey on lenses.

daisy sure is

b boys mom I don't yet but I've been thinking about one for quite some time now possibly ever since I first bought the camera...lol

leeuna birds do look good in snow for some reason but I wonder how they feel about it? Believe me I snap and hope I get lucky all the time

sharkbytes so these are the juveniles huh? Maybe some day I'll be able to tell all this stuff or then again I may just always depend on you guys to keep me straight :)

RW said...

Those look cool out against the snow. gotta love the bird shots!

Carole Barkett said...

don't know anything about lenses but love the birds

Ann said...

Roger, thanks. I love trying to get them anyway. it's not always easy

country mouse studio same here on both counts :)

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