Backyard Bird Photography with Art Ward

Backyard Bird Photography with Art Ward

A Review by Tom Kallsen –

Club member Art Ward does some fantastic photography of birds, right in his own backyard. His yard is not an estate yard with trees and bushes for great backgrounds but is only a humble city yard approximately 8 meters deep x 15 meters wide, with the normal urban clutter. Luckily his neighbor has some cedar trees that can make for a background at the correct angle but we all know nature never co-operates and poses where we want. Patience is the key.

Art told us he has shot well over 40 species in his yard (sounds awful but let it be known that the only way these trophies would be displayed is in a picture frame). He provided us with a show of them, and some great shots they were. Not just “bird on a stick” but also some mid air fights.

Surprisingly Art had quite a few images of Mourning Doves to show. I say surprisingly because this bird is certainly nowhere near the top of his best liked birds list. I do like them and thank Art for their inclusion. It almost seems you made a special effort, just for me, by including the images of the “Devil Bird” AKA the Morning Dove.

 Art showed us his creativity in how he created perches and feeding spots for the birds with wood, branches, bark, screws and every body’s friend Ty-Raps (aka zip ties or cable ties). Even old broken tripods make a good portable perch with some creativity. Art also has a reflecting pond which he made, squeezed in, with a background behind it to hide the urban scene, using fallen wood, rocks and plants for perches and interest. Art also had some tips on different foods and where to get them; such as at Bulk Barn for peanut bits, but only when they have a spend $20 and get $5 off coupon, or meal worms (but online, not from the Bulk Barn). And not surprisingly he has the weight of the peanut bits calculated so it rings up at the cash register at mere pennies more than $20. When asked if his bird food bill is more than his grocery bill I don’t recall him giving a straight answer, but then again the price of pleasure is worth it, I say.

Thanks Art for sharing your images, the tips and of course the
Mourning Doves!

For those HCC members that missed Art’s Guest Speaker presentation or those members who would like to see it again, please go to the Member’s Only Tips and Tutorials page. A Zoom recording of the presentation is available there, in the Guest Speaker’s Notes & Presentations section. You must be logged in to view this material.