Yard birds from a blind

by John Briggs on March 26, 2009

in Bird Photographs, Blog

Ameristep Outhouse Blind | Click for larger view

Ameristep Outhouse Blind | Click for larger view

At first look of the photo on the left, some would think that a blind needs to be placed in more natural surroundings and not against a house. For the common birds that visit our yard, they could care less. (Ameristep Outhouse Blind)

I sat the portable blind up yesterday in an area of our yard that is free of snow which happens to be next to our house and 20 feet away from one of our feeder stations. As most of you know, I am off work on disability for the time being and when the weather is half decent I get stir crazy. The light-weight blind springs into shape effortlessly. Metal pin stakes, which push into the ground with your foot, keeps the blind from blowing away. Inside, a swivel chair with backrest gives a 360° view when needed and is above all, comfortable. When finished using it, it folds up and is stored in a backpack type bag.

After setting up, I left the blind for an hour so the birds could get used to it. It didn’t even take that long. As I watched from inside the house, birds returned immediately to the feeders. With camera in hand, I entered the blind, had a seat and waited.

The first bird was a Blue Jay who apparently watched me enter the hide. All it could do was sit in a tree and screech at me. Pine Siskins were next. They eat all day long from the thistle feeder. I began taking photos.

What I love about the blind is that any movement that I make is hidden from the birds. I actually took my coat off while inside and didn’t spook any birds. I even sneezed and they were still there! At one point, I heard a bird on the top of the blind walking around. I later learned it was a Chickadee.

During the hour that I spent in the blind, I took over 300 photos. Yes they are common yard birds that can be found in yards all over the northeast U.S. But I had fun, and I was up close and personal with the birds even though they had no idea that I was there which in turn caused them no stress.

Enjoy the photos and remember, clicking a thumbnail will bring up a shadowbox with a larger view. Tip: hit f11 to open your browser to its fullest top to bottom size to view photos in fullest size possible.


Happy birding!



Larry March 26, 2009 at 6:14 pm

Great photos! I bought the same blind but found that I didn’t have the patience. I probably should have started off with the yard birds. I am going to try to make my own blind in a birdy area this year.

Kallen March 26, 2009 at 7:46 pm

John, fabulous photos!!!! All of them seriously!!

I LOLed reading about the blue jay and the chickadee landing on it. I love chickadees because they are so brave!

Dawn Fine March 26, 2009 at 7:53 pm

I think it is so cool that you have a blind..and can take those great close up birdie shots…I love common feeder birds too.

judy March 31, 2009 at 11:27 am

Dear John,

What a boost to see your blind! I bought one but have been too scared to put it up because it would have to be in the open, but yours is just where mine would be! Now I will follow your lead and set mine up right in the open. Your bird shots are great, and thank you for sharing your experience with all of us, Judy

The Zen Birdfeeder April 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Hurray for the common bird! Just think how dull our lives would be without those common birds. Thanks for taking a stand and keep having fun with your blind.

The Zen Birdfeeder April 2, 2009 at 9:41 pm

Re-reading your comment about being ridiculed for posting so many yard birds really stuck in my craw. So I’m back to add another comment.
Birders, bird watchers, bird feeders, should be in this FOR THE BIRDS, not for themselves. When ‘birders’ turn their nose at ‘bird watchers’, they are snubbing literally MILLIONS of people who just like them love seeing birds, want birds in their lives, and who work to protect birds and their habitats. It’s not about the list, it’s not about the picture, it’s about the birds. Too bad too many people who call themselves ‘birders’ don’t recognize that.

Lynn April 21, 2009 at 1:45 am

Found a blinded house finch fledgling last week that had been blown out of its nest by the strong spring winds here in S CA high desert. Its eyes had been pecked out by my free range chickens. I’ve been feeding it cooked egg yolk mixed with soy milk, rice flour and crushed seeds with an eye dropper. I’m 70 years old and my hands are a bit shaky, so its hard to satisfy the birds appetite as quickly as is needed. So the bird refuses to open its mouth if I keep missing and splatter the mixture all over it. Then after a few hours, after its ready to eat again, I try again and finally it opens its mouth. Praise the Lord. It flies very well. I have a few acres and have set it free to practice flying several times. It flies high and far and eventually I find it lying somewhere on the sand. It doesn’t aim for the ground when it’s tired of flying-it just flutters down as I pray it doesn’t land on a Joshua Tree or a Yucca or a cactus. So far its been lucky. PS I found your site searching for blind bird. Thank you for your patience and your bird blind photos of “common” birds. Any suggestions for weaning this little bird onto seeds and water will be gratefully appreciated.

Lynn April 21, 2009 at 1:52 am

Please leave comment if you like at my email address

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