Blue Jays in Winter – Photo Tips – Prune Those Trees

Bluejay-L3

An Information Packed Post

The fast flash of blue, the short dash of white, the blood curdling call. You know when they arrive. Or do you?

Blue Jays, like Starlings, (Sturnus vulgaris) recently featured here on GWGT, can mimic the call of hawks. This can be very alarming to the song birds and it is believed that Blue Jays do this intentionally, deceiving song birds into fearing that a hawk is looking for prey. And sometimes they are…

Sharp_Shinned_Hawk

Sharp-Shinned Hawk in my pear tree 1-2-13.

f5.6 1/1250 ISO 500 – 300mm

The calls may signal other jays that a hawk is lurking. This brings more jays to gather and mob the intruder. So, when the jays get noisy, it is time to pay attention.

That is exactly how I saw this hawk today. The loud chatter let me know it was in the garden. I was surprised to see it in the pear tree and not on the fence where it usually lands.  One thing is certain, jays are boisterous, chaotic, but always fun to watch.

Blue_Jay

Blue Jay

These birds, Cyanocitta cristata, are in the Family Corvidae, which is where crows reside. Starlings are in the Family, Sturnidae, but they still have the same mimicking skill. It is no match to the skill of my cockatoo, who can mimic the crows outdoors. He lures them to his window and they sit screaming at each other. He has quite the vocabulary too, yelling for me by name.

cyan_cris1_AllAm_mapAbove is the range map of the Blue Jay. Out west, they have the beautiful Steller’s Jay.  (source – Cornell Lab) Honestly, it was news to me to see Blue Jays at the tip of Florida year round.

With a little cock of their crest, you know who is in charge at the feeders. But every now and then, they show pensive curiosity. These images have a bit of story.

Bluejay-P1

Blue Jay Looking at Snowflakes

f5.6  1/200 ISO 1000 – 300mm lens –  about 20 feet to the subject – Thru a window

Experiencing Their First Snowfall

This family of Blue Jays were hatched here last summer. There are three siblings that are experiencing their first snowfall.  Often, the three travel together to show up in my yard. It is not possible to tell the males from the females until they start pairing up in Spring, so I can’t tell you if we have boys or girls.

Blue_Jay-2

Blue Jay in a Pear Tree

In this series of photos, the one above is intently watching the snow fall. I have two of the siblings pictured in this post. Want to know how to tell one from the other?

The black bridle across the face, nape, and throat varies and may aid Blue Jays in recognizing one another.

Bluejay-1

Blue Jay Portrait

f6.3  1/200 ISO 1000 – 300mm lens – about 20 feet to the subject – Through a window.

Jays are intelligent birds, and I can only imagine what they must be thinking being exposed to their first winter.

What Do They Like to Eat?

Blue Jays in summer will eat insects, but will also occasionally take the eggs and nestlings of other birds. In winter they eat nuts, especially acorns, and seeds from trees, shrubs, or those foraged on the ground. They will also eat grains, but most of their diet is composed of insects and nuts.

Blue_Jay_Snowflake

Blue Jay on a Branch

f6.3  1/200  ISO 800

In my yard they love the peanut hearts and cracked corn, and have no problem filling their beaks with shelled peanuts, three at a time with the jay on the left.

Jay_Siblings

f5.6  f200 ISO 400

Jays will eat safflower seed, but Cardinals savor safflower. Blackbirds, grackles and squirrels typically do not like it. Yippy for that, and it is why I use a lot of safflower seed.

Backyard Photo Studio Tip – Perching

Yes, the tip for today is… trim those trees. Open up the branching. Birds go to open branching and we want to control where they land.

The single branches on the Pear tree that you see them perching on have been stripped clean of side branches to encourage the birds to perch where I choose. I pruned the pear tree from the perspective of my camera’s viewing position indoors.

Shap-Shinned Hawk on a pruned branch.

Sharp-Shinned Hawk on a pruned branch.

f5.6  1/1600 ISO 640  – 220mm

Another important thing to remember is that where a bird perches is proportional to the size of the feet. When they land, the “knees” bend and the feet clasp. This is an action of the flexor tendons and is automatic when they land on a perch. These tendons are attached to muscles above the bird’s heel, like what we view as a backward knee.

Size matters. If you want big birds, prune big branches. Note from comparison images the size branches birds will use for perching.

Background defines the subject…and Keep Pruning

So check that you have light falling on the subject and have a background that does not distract if possible. Above, I would have preferred the scene without the white sky, but I did get time to reset the exposure, like in the first image of the hawk in the post.

BlueJay_With_Seed

Compare the first few images of jays and the one above that are cluttered with branches to the birds on a stripped branch. It is hard to get a clean shot of a bird unless you can position yourself to have them without branches blocking the subject, especially the face like the photo of the jay above.

So if you prune a few perimeter branches, you have an instant perch, easily accessible to the birds, you and your camera. Birds like clean perches because they are easier to navigate to and from.

Many nature photographers will improve a shot in this way if it is not a photo that must be kept completely natural. Some even carry clippers in their bags to remove foliage from a composition.

The photographer that I learned this technique has a special way to prune the branches. He knocks off side branches in a backward swinging motion with a long broom handle rather than using clippers. It makes for a more natural appearance. I, on the other hand, clip them to avoid unnecessary tearing. It is better for the tree’s health. Just saying…

Bluejay

Blue Jay Watching the Snow Fall

f6.3 1/200 ISO 1000 – 300mm lens – about 20 feet to subject – Through a window.

Add Yard Props

Below is another prop added to the Backyard Photo Studio Shooting Gallery. It is a saw cut poplar log for birds to land on, and elevates them by two feet. As a prop, you can move it anywhere to make for a good photo. You train the birds to come to it with the enticement of food. Being poplar, it is very light to pick up and move, and having been stripped of bark, it harbors no insects.

This is the second sibling, a bit trimmer than the other one. Maybe it’s a girl!

Bluejay_On_Log

Blue Jay in a Snow Pile

f7.1  1/200 ISO 1000 – 240mm – About 9 feet to the subject – Taken indoors through a window.

See below, cracked corn is a favorite.

Bluejay_On_Snow

Blue Jay with Corn

f6.3  1/200 ISO 1250 – 270mm – About 8 feet to the subject – Taken inside through a window.

Next post, Cardinals in Winter – Photo Tips – Fabricating Perches. This is a post on making a natural perch using cut branches and also backyard objects used for perching.

After a few species of birds get their featured spot, I will show you some of the things you are seeing in context, plus a whole lot you haven’t seen. I will explain the setup more fully.

Starlings in Winter – Photo Studio Introduction

Let’s recap tips mentioned so far.

  • Buy seed specific for the species of birds you want to attract and that squirrels don’t like.
  • Install plants that feed and shelter the birds.
  • Design the garden to benefit and protect wildlife.
  • Place feeding stations deliberately to aid in photographing.
  • Add natural props.
  • Prune out plants for unobstructed landing perches.
  • Clean branches of obstructing side branches and pick the branch size to prune by the sized bird you hope will land there.
  • Learn the habits of your subject.
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About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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99 Responses to Blue Jays in Winter – Photo Tips – Prune Those Trees

  1. Great shots and such fascinating info not to menton the info on how to photograph birds in your yard…lots to keep in mind as I get ready I hope to use the new camera soon.

    • Thanks, Donna. I do get a lot of birds and how I set up the back garden is why. BTW, no bird was injured in the making of this post. 😀 The hawk came up empty as he/she always does. I cannot tell the sex of the bird, but they are differentiated by size and this one was kinda big, so I am guessing a female. Your new camera will get a lot of use this year.

  2. great bird photos 🙂

  3. This is such a beautiful photo study of blue jays. I love your advice on how to set up your garden for better birding photography. My garden is ok, but certainly can use some changes to help with photos.

    • Funny thing about designing with photographing in mind. It never crossed my mind until I took the classes. The garden was designed to bring in the wildlife, but had I known what I know now, I would have a few shrubs closer. I can use the 400mm lens, but that means a tripod. I tried it inside and I am better with that lens handheld outside. The window glass screws up the slow focusing.

  4. Blue is my favorite color so I suppose that is why I have always liked Blue Jays, photographs of them anyway. I will have to take a look at my trees and see about pruning them as you instructed. The problem for me is that most of my trees are 30-40 ft. tall and the birds like to sit up high. Last month I did spot a red-tailed hawk sitting on the shepherd’s hook that holds a bird feeder. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my camera and set it up fast enough but I thought it was rather ironic. I am enjoying all the tips for photographing birds, Donna. Fantastic photos!

    • Blue Jays, get a bad rap and one not always so deserving. They are not as bad at egg stealing as often reported. At the feeders they are pretty courteous. They may bluff, but I never saw them attack other birds. Now the Sparrows are the bullies in my yard. They are mean to each other and even will go after the bigger birds. Having trees so large is a problem. We have a 55 foot Black Walnut and a 40 foot Mulberry where many of the birds hang out and that is too far even for my 400mm. Can you plant some understory trees? That would help or even large shrubs. I have the same problem as you with the hawks. They come in, but being so wary leave at any motion. Today the hawk let me go outside, but as I started to inch in closer, it took off. The first image of it was right before it left. I did get maybe 40 images off in rapid fire though. Continuous mode is a great feature.

      • We have understory trees but I never see the bigger birds resting on them, usually just the song birds. We only see the occasional blue jay in our garden. I agree that continuous mode is a super feature to getting a great shot of creatures especially when they tend to move around a lot. If I get a capture of one of the bigger birds or even birds of prey I consider it such a feat!

        • They will but it depends on their flying and attack methods. This hawk is smaller than the Cooper’s hawk generally. It is a great flyer too and will attack the songbirds in the thicket areas. It takes them on the wing too. It flew into my lilac and Juniper to try for a meal. The Red tailed can’t maneuver the yard as well. The Kestrels are the ones that get the birds, but I have not seen them yet this year. They also, being small, can get around and into the shrubs. No bird loss yet even though hawks are through my yard a few times daily. They have a poor track record here. Mostly that is because the yard is heavily landscaped with places for the little birds to hide. When a hawk is in the yard, they are all either completely quiet, if not hiding, or all yapping up a storm if secure.

  5. A.M.B. says:

    I love these pictures! I particularly like the picture of the blue jay looking at the snow. Blue jays and hawks are favorites in our house. I’ve never seen a Sharp-shinned hawk in our yard, though (only Coopers Hawks and Red-tailed hawks so far).

    • That was exciting to see. Most would think it boring, but I was amazed at how intent the jays were. Like looking at each flake individually. I am glad you like Popsicle. I have to work up a story that at least is in the right time period. He was supposed to be last of his kind after the Ice Age, but the movie Ice Age came out after I drew him many, many years ago, and now my story needs to be more original.

  6. Andrea says:

    Hello Donna, Happy New Year, and may you reap the full blessings this year! I have not been online these holidays and i felt i missed a lot from the blogs. Maybe blogger friends already forgot me too, but I am back! Even if this bird and information are not for me, as we don’t have them, your ability to capture them beautifully always inspire me. And of course the 300mm lens is a dream! Keep warm Donna!

    • You were not forgotten Andrea. Like me, I bet you are very busy and only have so much time. I try to visit everyone visiting my posts and sometimes that is overwhelming. I visit Blotanical maybe once a month and really depend on those visiting here, so I don’t see new posts at Blotanical. My blog has been spanning the photo and science blogs so I do have a lot of ground to cover. I have many recent posts, so if the birds are not your thing, there are others. My 300mmm lens is a cheap one. I hope soon to get a pro model 300mm. All my pro lens are very sharp. This and the 400mm are not.

  7. What a perfectly delightful post! I can’t wait to see the cardinals!

  8. You would think these Jays were your pets–you got so close to them and have them so well-trained! Great ideas with the trimming and the props. How do you get such great photos from indoors? My photos from inside always have too much distortion from the glass..or maybe it’s the dirty windows. 😉

    • You have to watch shooting on the angle. This does make it look like the window is dirty. The light passing through the glass thickness makes the haze. You can see that in some of my images, especially the cardinals up next. Honestly, I like the softness it brings to the image, like using a filter. But some of the images should be really sharp, like the hawk for instance. I went outside for some of them before she took off. Try to stay perpendicular to the glass and watch for glare. Glare makes the image fade. Trimming is a great tip. I always want to know what the photographers from the big magazines do. Some of the tricks are really simple.

  9. nicole says:

    Very interesting! You know, I never knew all of the tricks of the trade when doing photo shoots for birds! It makes sense now that I think about it to have such props to get a clear uncluttered photo of the birds. Your shots of the Blue Jays are lovely…I especially like the image of the Jay taking in the snow fall.

    • When I took the classes, I was just like duh! Why did I not think of this….especially since I design gardens. I have been shooting wildlife forever and always thought they kept the image honest. Surprisingly, many pros even do this for magazine shots. When I read that I was astounded. I always shot the scene no matter what was in it, not Photoshopping the image at all. The photographer I am learning from, when on location for Nat Geo and other magazines where he sells his images will NOT disrupt or alter the scene or resulting photo in any way, but in his backyard, he will. He always says to be honest about how you got the image.

  10. Great post! I love bluejays, even though they are terrible gluttons and do make an unholy racket. They have been scarce here for a while, but I have been putting out peanuts, both in the shell and out, in hopes of seeing them.

    • Others have noted the jays scarce too. I can say that seems true here generally. If this family was not born here, I thin I would see very few. The parents flew south I think, but the kids stayed. Can you get acorns? I read they like them very much. I see them at the Falls’ parks with acorns.

  11. Bluejays are something we have a lot of but I can never get a good photo. They enjoy the acorns in the garden. They are so pretty up close in your photos. I never thought of using a prop for them to land. Good idea! Happy New Year to you Donna!

    • Keep up with my posts in this series. You will see a few more pro tips on shot setup. I have a tree that I scoped out many years ago at Niagara Falls. I baited the birds to it and many of my favorite images are from there. The bark is pretty, the background is pretty and the tree is only 10-12 feet high and very open branched. I should have thought of this for my own yard sooner. I have a miniature crabapple which will assume this form backed by arbs. So in about four years I will have a similar setup. I can go to the falls really easily, but it is darn cold. I am not that dedicated of a photographer. If magazines were paying me thousands and sending me to exotic places I might change my mind though. 🙂

  12. alesiablogs says:

    What a wonderful post. I am afraid I do not see your blue jays here in the Pacific NW. We have a much bigger version that comes into my back yard and they are loud when they arrive! They are such a beautiful blue. I love seeing them. I tend to have a family of them with usually 8 at a time. It is a restful time for me to sit by the window and enjoy them…I do not have the camera like you do! AWESOME photos.

    • You have the Steller’s Jay. They are just as striking, maybe even more so. Their blue is electric! They often travel in groups, to as the post notes, keep from being a hawk’s dinner. And hawks prefer jays and doves because they get more meat for the expended effort than they do with little song birds. Kinda makes sense. Why risk getting injured on a mere morsel.

      • alesiablogs says:

        I will try to get a photo sometime for you of my backyard when the stellars ( I forgot that is their name) are out. They are big! You are absolutely right. We live near Lake Washington also so we occasionally see the Bald Eagle. They are masterful!

  13. Aww, they are beautiful!!! wonderful wonderful shots, Donna!!!!

  14. Nadezda says:

    Donna, I love these blue jays to see them on your photos, because they don’t live here, in Europe North. The information you posted is useful to take photos of any kind of birds. Thank you!

    • Yes, I should note that. My series is on all birds that visit and the general information is relevant to all of them. But in perching, size matters, especially to a bird like say a hummingbird with really tiny feet. It also matters when a bird is sleeping. They need the right size perch to get the most secure hold on a branch.

  15. flora says:

    beautiful , beautiful blue jays!

  16. Great tips. I like the idea of shooting right through the glass. If any birds ever come to my new bird feeder, I’ll try that.

  17. gauchoman2002 says:

    As always, amazing pictures and a fantastic post. I will second what you said about pruning, it’s a pretty simple act that will encourage not only the birds to come to your yard, but to get an optimal viewing of them. When I lived out West I loved the Stellars Jays, so striking with their big crown and black/blue coloring, they were very fun birds to watch.

  18. LyndaMichele says:

    Beautiful BlueJay shots! I have not seen a single Blue Jay in my backyard yet, and I know they are here in my neck of the woods! I have gotten Cardinals, Junco’s, Purple Finches, Sparrows etc…..and now I am waiting for that Blue Jay! Loved all your bird shots!

  19. lucindalines says:

    Oh how beautiful. I love Blue Jays and this post is perfect. I can’t wait to share it with my daughter, who finally has a nice camera.

    • Your daughter will have fun photographing birds. I find it so relaxing, except when I see a hawk or a bird not known to live here. I get all flustered setting the camera, I often don’t get the best shots.

  20. Carolyn says:

    Donna, I’ve always been envious of your cardinals… but Blue Jays, too? You are so blessed! Our birds aren’t quite so colorful here, but I do enjoy taking their pictures. You’re always so gracious to share your tips. I’ve discovered some of them on my own through trial and error… mostly error. I’ll have a post or two up soon. I’m having such fun.

  21. gardenerat60 says:

    A big treat for the eyes! I have never seen any blue jay, and found the photographs so pretty. Thanks.

  22. Christy says:

    Hello. I was a guest on Tina’s blog and now I’ve started my own blog. Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking!! We love the wildlife in our garden and it looks like you do too! I’m looking forward to following your blog and hope you check out mine too.

    • Yes, I do remember the post done on your property. How wonderful you are starting a blog. Being a designer, my garden was designed for the wildlife and where I live allows it to frequent my gardens. I am right next to the Niagara Gorge and Niagara Falls State Parks. All within walking distance for me, but much quicker for the birds that visit here. I will check out your new blog. I am very good about visiting those that are kind enough to visit here.

  23. b-a-g says:

    The third from last photo of the bluejay is just too cute.
    I’m tempted to encourage some smaller varieties of birds to my garden after reading your posts but I’m concerned that they would make a lot of noise (during the times when I’m not interested in birdwatching) and leave droppings everywhere.

    • I have no problem with noise or bird droppings here. My neighbor on the other hand has a tendency to complain, saying the birds dine here but use her property as their toilet. I think it is just whining and an exaggeration.

  24. Patty says:

    Some of the Blue Jay shots are quite charming. Pruning and more shrubs is now on my list. Can’t wait for the next post.

    • I am glad you liked them. The birds are very photogenic. Pruning is great for the trees as you know, but I never really thought how good it is for photographs. Cardinals in Winter is a good post. Today, not photographing, I had a yard full of them. I was really shocked at the number. I know there are three pairs that visit daily, today for whatever reason, there was at least four more pairs.They are wary birds, so when they saw me, they took flight.

  25. You take such beautiful bird photos!

  26. Also, I once worked with an ornithologist who had switched from the jays to goldfinches…his reason? “Never work with an animal that is smarter than you are!” They learn to recognize the scientists and then give them hell all the time.

    • That is really funny he would say that. The jays are very intelligent birds and like my cockatoo, will do some really clever things that make you just shake your head in disbelief. They say crows are smart too, so their cousins the jays keep the trait in the family. I know the three jays know me. So do some of the other species, like the Black Capped Chickadees. They dive bomb me at the feeder if I am taking to long filling it. They actually bounce off my head. I laugh because what is such a tiny bird thinking.

      • Those little Chickadees are real stinkers. When you get them in the net, they bite the heck out of your hands, and they’re real good at getting the delicate skin around your fingernails and between your fingers. Jays bite *hard.*

        • The jays (not that I have been bitten by one) don’t bite as hard as a cockatoo (which I have been on numerous occasions) though. Now they pack a real punch and sometimes they just bite for kicks. Then they act all apologetic. It sounds like the chickadees are fearless. They can be in a way because they are so darn fast, like little bullets flying by.

  27. Marguerite says:

    I’ve never really thought about it but it makes perfect sense that a large bird would need a large branch to land on. You seem to have figured out the jays very well, I have the hardest time catching them on camera. They are smart enough to consistently elude me.

    • They are really crafty. I have so many photos of them giving me the evil stare. They seem to do that right before they fly off. It is like a big ‘middle finger’ they are giving me. A cardinal did that to me too which is kinda rare for them to give me such a mean look. I have that image in the next post.

      I guess I am annoying the birds a bit too much lately. I am going on my trip to St. Lucia soon, and will hopefully get to annoy some prettier birds. I will only have a Coolpix along, so I am not sure of the photos I will be getting of them though.

  28. Cat says:

    You’ve captured some beautiful shots, Donna. I know many don’t care for Jays but I like when they visit my garden. I especially liked them last spring. It was the jays that alerted me to the male screech owl roosting in the jasmine on the patio. The owl was so well concealed, I wouldn’t have seen it right away without the Jays help.

    • Jays are like the Paul Reveres of the bird world. They squawk about everything in their environment that annoys them. If the seed is not out there that they prefer, they don’t shut up until I am out there putting out more peanuts. But what they really like is my cockatoo’s seed mix. It has dried fruit and a variety of seed and kibble. My cockatoo is so spoiled, he waits for when I cook his meals. It is so bad I even cook him eggs and bacon in the morning. Go figure, the little cannibal. He loves chicken for dinner too.

      You are lucky the jays told you of the screech owl. That is a wonderful find. I only ever saw one owl in the neighborhood. I had to call animal conservation for it because it was in the Norway Maple during daylight hours and that is unusual. It was gone before they arrived. I never took a photo either. I get so wrapped up in the predicament an animal is facing, I forget it could be a great photo opportunity.

  29. Phil Lanoue says:

    Absolutely outstanding photos of the blue jay and hawks all in wonderful settings! Very well done!

    • Thank you very much. That is high praise from a professional such as yourself. I have been tying to learn more and more about bird photography. I will be getting your e-books. As a designer, I created the garden just for wildlife. Living next to the Niagara Gorge gives me lots of opportunity to photograph them in their natural habitat as well. My best shots have always been from Niagara Falls Parks, which I walk to often. The wildlife is very accustomed to people so it is very easy to get close.

      I hope my readers stop in on your blog. I am so glad I found it. I follow Moose Peterson and took his classes on shooting backyard birds, plus his other ‘on location’ nature photography. I am sure you know who he is. It is fun learning from talented individuals such as him. I can tell I will learn quite a bit from you too.

  30. We have dark blue Stellar Blue Jays in the Pacific Northwest, western Washington. They like to eat peanuts and black sunflower seeds.

  31. Victor Ho says:

    We have blue jays around the feeder. Of all the birds gathered, they are the most skittish. I never seem to have more than a moment to get a shot. Your shots are really appreciated. Even the woodpeckers hang around longer though they come far less often.

  32. Sisah says:

    Was für schöne Vögel! Really some of the most beautiful birds I have ever seen, pity they can’t be seen here in our region in Germany! So enjoy your most excellent photos instead! Thank you for sharing.
    Liebe Grüße
    Sisah

  33. Excellent explanation of all your tips. I think blue jays are one of the most beautiful birds. Many people don’t like them I guess because they predate nests?

    • Thank you, Carolyn. You are right, they are not a beloved bird, but the species is not quite as bad as the reputation that precedes it. What I have read and observed myself, the bird is not deserving of such constant criticism. I agree, it is a beautiful creature.

  34. Malinda says:

    Your photographs of the birds are wonderful. We have StellerJays here and while not quite so stunning are very similar. I think that they have a lot of personalilty and always look forward to their visit. We usually have a family late summer. You’re post is very informative and interesting.
    Thank you for all your hard work!!

    • I think the Stellers are prettier, but that is probably because I have seen so few when I was out west skiing. Our jays seem ordinary with so many around. It is all what you are used to I guess.

  35. This is a beautiful kind of blue! Happy new year to you!

  36. Alistair says:

    I would never have become acquainted with Blue Jays had it not been for my blogging. Wonderful pictures, and who would have thought of bespoke branches, must get out there.

    • There is a lot I have never seen either until blogging. It makes me wan to be more of a world traveler. What most don’t realize about the selected pruning is it is just what the birds are looking for.

  37. You caught the blue jays personalities, as well as the hawks. Fantastic photos as always.

  38. Beautiful series of pictures. The soft blues, the drifting snow and the bokeh work well together to create a mood, and evoke memories of winter walks and cross country skiing when I lived in bluejay territory. I can almost hear snow crunching under my boots.

  39. We have a flock of Blue Jays around here. Love the flashes of blue. When a hawk shows up in the vicinity, all goes quiet. When we have all the birds disappear, we start looking for one of the birds of prey that hang around our end of the lake.

    • I get quite a few hawks – and the birds, if hiding, squawk like crazy. If they are still in the open, they remain still. I can believe where you live that you get many birds. Thanks for letting me know how you know the raptors arrive.

  40. Brian Comeau says:

    Beautiful images and some fabulous information Donna. You have such a wealth of knowledge, so very impressive! I love the images of the hawk. It’s also a new type to me. Looks like you are having a wonderful winter.

    • Thanks Brian. The hawk image in my Cardinal post is my favorite. I love the lighting in that shot. Bird wise, it is a wonderful year so far. Snow wise, I want it to stop so my plane gets off the ground.

  41. Fossillady says:

    You’ve got some great shots of Bluejays here Donna, I especially like the one where one of them has three peanuts in their beaks. Great tips on pruning and points of interest! They are a noisy bunch but love them nonetheless!

    • Pruning is the key. Birds like clean branching. It is a guarantee they will land on a pruned branch. The hawk is an excellent example of this point. They keep using my pruned branch rather than the fence now.

  42. All images are looking very pretty and I really like location hawk. You have good knowledge about tree pruning and nicely described by you. It is the best time for tree trimming.

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