One thing I noticed pretty quickly after I got started feeding birds is not all birds feed the same way. Some prefer to use the feeders and politely pick through the assortment of seeds, some use the feeders but throw seed all over the place hoping to find a morsel of their favorite food and some primarily scour the ground beneath the feeder for whatever is tossed aside and falls to the earth below.
The dark eyed junco, a primarily ground feeding bird from my observations, is one of those birds which do visit the feeder but spends most of its time on the ground foraging through the leftovers in search of a meal. This has added something new to my bird photography efforts as before now I have never really photographed many ground dwelling birds in the yard. I have always sought after perched profiles in a natural setting on a branch or limb.
When I photograph birds I try to find ways to get a fairly level shot of the bird if at all possible, which makes ground feeding birds a bit different shot than what I am used to shooting. Another wrinkle added to the mix by my sparrow-like feathered friends is ground feeding birds tend to move around a lot in search of food, making photographing them a bit tougher since you can’t anticipate where they will be at like you can near a feeder, thus making setting up the desired shot much more difficult.
I have tried to capture the ground feeding style of these unique and varied birds and still have a ways to go before I get it to where I like it but I do like this challenge of photographing something new for me, like it has been photographing the dark eyed junco on the ground. I am really liking these common but beautiful birds. I have learned they come in a wide variety of plumage colors and patterns which makes photographing them so much fun. I have learned a lot from this unique bird about photographing birds and as an added bonus I never get tired of saying the word junco. It’s a win win situation.