Photographer captures wildlife in her bird feeder


The pandemic has prompted many people to reassess their surroundings. When you’re stuck at home more often than you’d like, you start to pay a lot more attention to what’s going on in your own backyard.

This type of introspection inspired the fauna photographer Carla Rhodes for a closer look at the furry friends who live near her home in New York’s Catskill Mountains.

What she found was magical.

“The winter of 2020-2021 has been particularly brutal for humanity. After months of enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, we were now collectively going through winter. Due to being stuck at home, I focused on my immediate surroundings like never before, ”Rhodes said in a statement.

Rhodes placed a DSLR camera trap under his bird feeder to get an up-close glimpse of the wildlife that came to taste its delicious seeds. The results are an incredible series of photos of birds and other woodland creatures from a vantage point that most people never see. Rhodes calls his project “Beneath the Bird Feeder”.

Photos of the bird feeders have also given new insight into the behavior of several species of birds and rodents that inhabit the Catskills.

“As I went through the project, some intriguing observations emerged,” Rhodes explains. “I noticed distinct repeat visitors such as a Slate Junco with an overgrown beak, a deer mouse with a nicked ear, and an outbreak of red-breasted nuthatches. The black-eyed Juncos always showed up at dawn and the Northern Cardinals were always the last visitor of the day as dusk turned into evening.

Here are 15 of the most captivating photos Rhodes took under her bird feeder.

1. Junco with black eyes

Going through Carla Rhodes

“Often overlooked and seen as birds that feed on dull ground, Black-eyed Juncos hold a special place in my heart due to their fun and curious behaviors. Every day they were the first to arrive under the bird feeder, ”Rhodes explains. “Black-eyed Juncos were one of the most frequent and curious subjects under the bird feeder.”

4. Bushy tit

Going through Carla Rhodes

According to All about birds, the crested tit is “common in eastern deciduous forests and frequently frequents feeders.”

5. Mourning dove

Going through Carla Rhodes

“Watching the mourning doves was a daily pleasure, especially when they came together to form a cleaning crew under the bird feeder. Mourning doves are monogamous and can mate for life,” Rhodes writes.

8. Blue Jay

Going through Carla Rhodes

“The Blue Jays are known for their intelligence and complex social systems with close family ties,” Everything about the birds says. “Their fondness for acorns is credited with helping the oaks spread after the last ice age.”

9. Northern Cardinal

Going through Carla Rhodes

“The northern cardinals were always the last to show up under the bird feeder, shortly after dusk every night,” Rhodes writes.

10. Black-capped Chickadee

Going through Carla Rhodes

“Small flocks of black-capped chickadees enliven the winter woods with their active demeanor and cheerful sounding chick calls as they fly from tree to tree, often accompanied by an assortment of nuthatches, lianas, wrens and other birds, ” the Audubon field guide to the birds of North America said.

12. Eastern Gray Squirrel

Going through Carla Rhodes

Eastern Gray Squirrels are important members of forest ecosystems as they play a vital role in seed dispersal.

13. American red squirrel

Going through Carla Rhodes

American red squirrel is famous for its distinct bushy and dark red tail with hints of white outline.

14. American red squirrel

via Carla Rhodes

15. Short-tailed shrew

Going through Carla Rhodes

If you see a short-tailed shrew, be careful. It is venomous and paralyzes its victims with poisoned saliva. In humans, a bite can cause swelling and severe pain.

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