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on Jan 10, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Where They’d Go?

Dark-eyed Junco
captured by Z7 / 800mm

It’s that time of year when our bird baths (heated of course) and feeders are stuffed with a dozen or more species of birds. Normally I’m somewhere else in the country and not able to photograph at my favorite local, my backyard. Well, this year I changed my schedule up so I would be home to photograph all the great birds in the snow. For the last 50 days, ever since the first real snow of the season, we’ve had NO birds! Now I say no, we’ve had 3 Dark-eyed Juncos, 1 Flicker and a couple of doves. Last winter there was no way of counting all the birds and getting just one bird in the viewfinder was near impossible as there were so many. So what’s a frustrated wildlife photographer to do?

Dark-eyed Junco
captured by Z7 / 800mm

I started by talking with my neighbor, the forest biologist to see if our property was experiencing some fluke or if it was the norm. He relayed to me that there are no birds anywhere right now. Species like our Clark’s Nutcrackers which are nesting now are not even here. Our resident Chickadees that don’t migrate, that have been here every day since we moved here, aren’t to be found! With three Juncos my only subjects, I’ve been working just them right now. I have the Z7 / 800mm set up and when the light and weather is inviting, Sharon & I pace the house looking for one of the three Juncos. In all seriousness, I’ve shot only 78 photos this year on our property of birds! In a normal year, I would shoot that much in minutes. Sharon says I have a real bad case of cabin fever as I pace back and forth mumbling about no birds. All I seem to keep saying is, where they’d go?

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