Winter Birding in Sub Zero Weather

by Laurie Madsen January. 28, 2019 554 views
Strategically Placed Feeders Near Windows Attract Interesting Subjects Even is Sub Zero Temperatures

Strategically Placed Feeders Near Windows Attract Interesting Subjects Even is Sub Zero Temperatures

With the coldest Arctic Outbreak in decades, sub zero temperatures keep even the most adventurous photographers from going outdoors to take pictures.

My husband and I live and breathe photography. Both being native Minnesotans, we have come to expect temps to dip way below zero- so we devised a plan to enjoy our passion for photography even in the coldest of weather. We strategically place feeding stations next to our windows early in the fall and keep them loaded with a variety of food to attract a diverse plethora of birds throughout the winter.

We set up tripods and comfortable chairs inside the house next to the windows, creating cozy nooks to enjoy coffee and record the antics of our winter visitors.

Beautiful Blue Jay Posing for a Portrait

Beautiful Blue Jay Posing for a Portrait

We combine our interest in winter bird watching with our love for photography and use this-otherwise (bone chilling) unproductive-time to hone our photography skills, test our lenses and experiment with the modes and features of our cameras.

Fast Moving Woodpecker Stops in for a Second-Providing a Fun Challenge

Fast Moving Woodpecker Stops in for a Second-Providing a Fun Challenge

We enjoy the challenge of capturing portraits of such quick moving subjects, and often experiment with lengthy exposures and manual lenses for interesting effects.

Experimenting With Long Exposure and Manual Lenses for Interesting Effects on Pine Siskins

Experimenting With Long Exposure and Manual Lenses for Interesting Effects on Pine Siskins

We try to be mindful of using a variety of modes, metering methods and to even test our cameras built in art filters. In the film era, experimentation would have been costly, with digital we feel freedom to create without worry of additional expense.

Starling Displays Interesting Feathers with Metallic Sheen

Starling Displays Interesting Feathers with Metallic Sheen

It doesn't take long before we begin to recognize some individual birds and get to know their feeding habits. Some of them visit like clockwork!

A Beautiful Mourning Dove Fluffing Up to Ward off the COLD!

A Beautiful Mourning Dove Fluffing Up to Ward off the COLD!

So why don't you give winter birding through your window a try? You can hone your photography skills in your easy chair...

Stunning Red Bellied Woodpecker a Shy But Beautiful and Cooperative Model

Stunning Red Bellied Woodpecker a Shy But Beautiful and Cooperative Model

and you will swear that some birds show up just for a portrait sitting!

Which brings me to the subject of my next blog- "Low Key Photography-Modifying Existing Light in Your Camera"...see you there!

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There are 20 comments , add yours!
Krista Meader 1 year, 1 month ago

These are some gorgeous shots!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Krista Meader 1 year, 1 month ago

Thank you Krista!
I really enjoy the motion blur shots of birds. 
I think of it as letting the subject be a part of the final outcome that I don't have a lot of control of.
Puts the Art into the "Art of Photography".
I also like the close ups that show lots of detail!
It's a fun way to keep in practice shooting through the winter!
We go through a LOT of bird food!

1 year, 1 month ago Edited
Sheree Meader 1 year, 2 months ago

You have captured such wonderful diversity of color, texture, individual expressions and you attracted varieties of birds I have never seen before!  What a delightful winter activity!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Sheree Meader 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks Sheree!
It is wonderful to have them visit!
Brightens up our winter days...
Hope you have fun exploring

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Lynn F Medley 1 year, 2 months ago

Beautiful series! Great idea to move feeders close to window 😊

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Lynn F Medley 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Lynn, I'm glad you enjoyed the series!
We have feeders right outside of some of the windows.
The birds get pretty used to seeing us. Some are more shy than others of course.
I just posted a sequel to this blog, if you are interested in seeing more.
I appreciate your feedback!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow! These are such beautiful portraits, as others have mentioned, it's hard to pick favorites! I really like the detail of the feather edges in #6. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Bethany!
I just added a sequel blog-
You can find it on my blog page

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

#2 I love it . Great series .

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Russell-
Thanks! I just posted a "Follow Up"

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Sherry Hill 1 year, 2 months ago

i cannot pick a favourite.. what a gorgeous set.. 
being a bird watcher - i'm in love with these.. green heart

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Sherry Hill 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Sherry, there will be more to follow!
It's nice to share and get such favorable response!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 2 months ago

#7one of my new favorites only took 40 years to see one

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 2 months ago

I agree, she is a favorite! Very pretty poser!
We seem to have a few around here. I don't remember seeing any growing up.
Thanks for your comments and like!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Can G 1 year, 2 months ago

Stunning pictures, Laurie. Looking forward for more

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Can G 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

Well, your strategy works: great photos ! And welcome to PhotoBlog smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you Bjorn!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Kevin Wenning 1 year, 2 months ago

#4 Is my favorite. The focus and detail on the others is impressive but I really like the movement and the story in #4.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Laurie Madsen Replied to Kevin Wenning 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks Kevin! I love those type shots too! It puts the ART back into Photography! I love Photography as ART!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
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