Practice, Practice….Shooting a Chickadee Nest

Author:  Vicki Uthe

Home_Garden_June_2014-15013I live in Flagstaff.  Kachina Village to be exact.  My backyard has four large, above ground flower gardens with bird feeders and birdbaths.  I also have eight ponderosa pine trees.  The one right outside our back door has a birdhouse that is right above a sitting area. It has attracted a chickadee family the past two summers.

Last year I noticed a couple of small birds flying in and out of the hole in the house on a regular basis.  Eventually I could hear the weak chirpings of baby birds.  Thus began the work of the parents to feed their family.

One morning, while having tea on the back deck, I decided to grab my camera, tripod and Canon 70-300 lens.  I chose a spot in the yard that gave me a good angle on the birdhouse, specifically the entry hole, and aimed my lens.  I then attached my wireless shutter release and waited.  As I sat next to the tripod, drinking tea, I peered up at the house waiting for some action.  Each time the mom and/or dad (I can’t tell which is which) appeared in the hole they looked around before entering the house to feed the babies.  This was the perfect opportunity to depress the shutter release and capture an image.

I must have done this a hundred times over the next hour.  The two pictures you see here are the best ones I was able to get.


The lesson I learned?  There is just no need to go very far to practice our craft.  There are images all around us just waiting to be captured.  So get out there and shoot!

Vicki Uthe is a trip leader for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.