Hey everyone, my anxiety has been growing as the weeks keep passing without me posting a new article. Sadly my recovery is forever rockier and SLOWER than I had ever imagined it would be. That, plus COVID precautions, parks being ridiculously overcrowded with people who do not seem to understand social distancing and sprinkle in a healthy dollop of rioting and you find me at home for the better part of ten months, missing my park adventures and birds!
I hope you are all doing well and staying safe! The other night I was stressing out over not having any new content to share with you all when I realized that there are probably a fair amount of you stuck in the same position as I am. So, let’s talk about backyard birding. I know it is not the same as our great adventures and dates to escape to the woods and find the cornucopia of birds hiding amongst the trees, but, when the CDC gives us lemons…
My backyard is set up in a very bird-friendly fashion; multiple feeders, birdhouses, birdbath, a pond with running water, lots of bushes and flowers, tall trees, and fruit/vegetable gardens. I set up a chair in a shaded area along the fence and waited to see who would stop by for a visit. Immediately I spotted the two species that would dominate the day, Blue Jays and House Sparrows. House Sparrows currently occupy four of our birdhouses so I knew I was going to be seeing plenty of them, but the amount of Blue Jays was honestly shocking. At any given time there were at least three hunting around the yard, scaring off other birds and attacking the feeders.
Most of you can probably already guess my next visitors, as there are a pretty common group of backyard birds here on Long Island. Northern Cardinals, Common Grackles, American Robins, and European Starlings. Don’t get me wrong, if you watch your yard every day you will surely spot some pretty cool birds here and there, sadly, I didn’t manage to spot anything out of the ordinary on this day. There is still something nice about photographing birds in your yard though, as they seem far braver and more willing to come up close to you for nicer shots! I purchased a portable pop-up bird blind a few years back that I have never really used, if I am not able to get back to a park sometime soon perhaps I will give it a try in the yard and see if that helps get me any more exciting results.
So, other than enjoying some backyard birding what is a birder to do during a quarantine? Well, I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what I have been keeping busy with. Recently I have been going through some of my photos and doing a few colored pencil studies! I have to say, it has given me a whole new appreciation for the beauty and complexity of our fine feathered friends.
I hope you all are staying safe, healthy, and happy. I hope to get back out to our wonderful parks soon but until that day can come I will keep you updated with how I am managing to make the most of my birding passion here at home. Until next time my friends, Happy Birding!