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Being a wildlife and nature photographer living in the big city of Dallas, Texas
provides me with one huge obstacle. I don’t have deer or bald eagles stopping by for their photoshoot. But I do have one place that is peaceful, quiet and has very few distractions. It’s a little place I like to call my backyard.
A few years ago I converted my backyard into my very own little wildlife studio and bird sanctuary. Think about it for a minute. You can have flowers, insects, and birds right outside your backdoor. It can truly be your own personal wildlife haven. What better place is there to hone and improve your photography skills?
Here are some ideas for turning your backyard into your very own wildlife photography studio.
1. The best advise I can give you and probably the most important. GO NATIVE! Only plant bushes, trees and flowers that are native to your region or state. Why? It’s very simple. Native plants and flower attract native insects like butterflies and bees. Native insects attract native wildlife like birds and lizards. It sounds simple and it is. When I went native, my photo opportunities increase ten fold. So, I’ll say it again. GO NATIVE!
2. Bird Feeders. Lots and lots of bird feeders. Do the research to find out what the birds in your area like to eat. Black Oil Sunflower Seeds are always a favorite. Pick up some hummingbird feeders for spring and don’t forget to grab some ears of corn for the squirrels in the area.
3. Use props. When you’re out and about and you see a limb on the ground that has interesting moss on it or maybe some brightly colored leaves, grab it. You can use a bucket; fill it with sand or rocks, and presto! You now have a stand for your prop. Place your props close to your feeders and get ready. It might take a little while for the birds to get used to them, but soon they will be using it as a perch before they go to your feeders. The more the better and be creative.
4. Have a water source. Water is a must for wildlife all year round so make sure it stays full of fresh water in the summer months and it doesn’t freeze in the winter. Most birds like running water. Anything that makes the water move or ripple will work. I started with a Water Wiggler but my dogs kept eating it. I finally designed my own bird fountain and the birds love it. Tracy and I always get a kick out of watching the birds splashing around and I’m sure you will to.
These are just a few ideas I’ve tried over the years. Be creative. It’s your backyard! What are some of you ideas?
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Until next time, keep the sun behind you and the birds in view
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