Portugal Wildlife

Old Bird Feeder Project

Notes on original bird hide photo project:

I have just started a Bird Hide Photography Project. I have set up a bird feeding pole with six birds feeders, all with different bird foods aimed at attracting as wide a variety of bird species as possible. The feeders contain: Peanuts, Sunflower Seeds, Sunflower Hearts, Niger Seed, General Bird Seed Mix, Insectivorous Bird Mix and Suet balls. I have temporarily moved my lynx project trail camera so that it is aimed at the feeders. In this way I hope to see what birds species visit the food and at what time of day. That will allow me to plan what hours are best for photogrtaphy. I plan to leave the feeders in place for a couple of weeks before I set up my hide. That should give the birds enough time to get used to feeding there. I will then set up a number of attractive perches for the birds to use while then 'queue' up to feed. The techniques I will be using are those advertised by the wonderful English-born American-based photographer Alan Murphy. He takes fabulous photos of numerous bird species in a range of environments from Texas ranchlands to Alaskan tundra. If my photos turn out a tenth as good as his then I will be doing well.

After a week the birds do not appear to have found the feeders. So no pictures on the trail camera and food does not seem to have been touched. I have now installed a small feeder tray which will be used when I start to take photos. At that time I will take down all the large feeders so the birds will be concentrated around the small feeder tray, which will only allow one or two birds on it, so other birds will have to queue up on my perches. I have also put in place four poles to hold a selection of perches collected from the reserve which has an abundance of fallen oak limbs. The camouflaged photography hide is now up so that visiting birds will be well used to it before I start photography. Much help received in getting things set up from Alan, a local blacksmith and handyman, who also made the feeder pole and tray.

So now I am just waiting for the birds to find all the food I have supplied ! The birds are being slow to find the feeders, so at the moment they are not feeding much at the site. I have taken the hide down in the meantime and will put it back in place once the birds are fully utilising the feeders.

Interestingly I have now found two references to birds in Spain (from Andalucian Bird Club) and Portugal (a bird photographer's blog) ignoring food put out for them. So it will be interesting to see if I am able to attract them to my camera hide in this way. Of course it it does not work then I am 100% certain that I will succeed later in the year with a water source. As it heats up water will bring birds in without fail.

Click on the Thumbnails below to see a larger photograph

Alan cutting the pole for the small feeder tray to height; Hammering perch pole into the ground which is soft after recent rainfall; Cutting perch poles to height; Selection of potential perches - Holm Oak covered with lichens; Perch poles either side of small feeder tray with some possible perches and stumps to be fixed to the perch poles; View of Hide, Perch and Small Feeder Poles with Bird Feeder to the side and Trail Camera pointed at Bird Feeder to monitor bird activity; Close up of Hide and small feeder tray; From behiund hide looking ar perch poles and small feeder tray; View from side;

Bird Feeders; Camera Trap photographing Bird Feeder Activity; Bird Feeders and Camera Trap in Woodland Clearing;


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