Backyard Bird Inspiration

Finding inspiration in nature, and sharing it with others, is part of everything I do.  This crazy Covid year has given me a chance to find some of that inspiration closer to home, and I wanted to share a little with you this week.  Like many of you I’m sure, I have had bird feeders in my back yard for years.  But I haven’t focused much effort on photographing the birds that frequent my yard.  When it snowed back in April though, and then again in late October in a freak early snowstorm here in Massachusetts, the peaceful, beautiful backdrop for these common birds really got me going on photographing them.  So please enjoy the images below. 
When you take time to pay attention and learn more about your backyard birds, you’ll find they’re pretty amazing, like I a few things I learned reading more about chickadees that I share below.

Blue Jay on a Snowy Day.  Blue Jay feathers have structural color that reflect blue light, and almost seem to glow in certain even lighting like this.
Cardinal on Snow Covered Branches.  Although I’ve traveled the world seeking out exotic birds, I’m still stunned by the color of the cardinals!

Black-capped Chickadees.  Active, acrobatic, curious, resilient little songbirds that can somehow survive cold winters despite only weighing 12 grams.  Here are some fun chickadee facts I learned from Cornell’s All About Birds website, and Jennifer Ackerman’s great book “The Bird Way” (highly recommended by the way):
• Chickadees hide seeds to eat later.  Each item is placed in a different spot, and they can remember thousands of hiding places.
• Every autumn, Chickadees allow neurons with old information to die, and grow new ones to store new information (like where they put all those seeds).
• Chickadee calls are complex and language-like, including predator alarms and contact calls, and even including subtleties like the number of “dee-dee-dees” at the end of the call indicating the level of threat.  Other species of birds cue in to and understand their alarm calls as well.
• Seeing a chickadee print on your wall can make you smile and give you a jolt of inspiration (I made that one up, but its true).

Thanks for your following along.  Enjoy your own backyard birds wherever you may be,  and stay safe everyone!