Trying My Hand At Hand Feeding

Most of the time when I'm filling the feeders at Mr. Neil's, the birds zip around my head and many land directly on the feeder as I'm hanging it on the pole. I've read how to get birds to feed from your hand but have never really put it into practice before, but think I might this winter. I did some preliminary experiments this morning and considering that most books say to do it when it's cold and all the feeders are empty...I got off to a pretty good start. It was sixty degrees today and all the feeders were full and yet, I got some brave birds landing on the feeder while my hand was on it. I figured they were used to flying in and so would be used to my hand. That tufted titmouse in the above photo, however is suspicious.

I did get a black-capped chickadee to take one nut from my hand. I got the photos by setting up the WingScapes motion sensitive cam in front of the feeder so that way I wouldn't be freaking the birds out while holding a point and shoot. I'm encouraged to see what will happen.

And, I'd like to thank my husband Non Birding Bill for filling in for me for a few days. I'm lucky to be married to such a talented writer who sees when I get stressed over the blog and offers to step in. I love doing the blog, but the way I blog has changed and who knows how it will continue to change with the trends on the Internet.

Everybody needs a vacation from what they do and I'm so grateful to have a husband who can step (or the many readers who have guest blogged during our contests when I have been out of the country).

Early on, there were few bird related sites and blogs. Blogs were a means for birders to share bird news stories, talk about research, share personal birding stories, encourage others to share. Now, there are a TON of great birding blogs out there to choose from. There's no need to feel the pressure of sharing a bird related news story because one--several other bloggers are already on it and two--more blog readers are internet savvy and can set their news readers to find the bird stories for themselves.

And then there is the challenge of fresh material. I'm fortunate in that I get to travel and can share new birds, but when I'm not traveling and I'm reveling in watching basic bird many times can I show a photo of a chickadee and have it be interesting? What else can I say about the 180th dark-eyed junco that we've banded (unless it has an interesting injury).

Now, there is Facebook and Twitter to contend with as well. I wasn't sure how I would use Twitter, but I find I use it as often as I blog. I started by using Twitter as a preview area for photos that I might post later in the blog, but I also use it for real time bird banding photos and to answer birding questions, or even share links that I formerly would just post in the blog.

I'm not sure where this blog is going...I don't think any of us do, that's a challenge the media is facing with the internet: how do we make it all work and still earn a living too. As long as I find blogging interesting, I'll keep doing it. And thank you to everyone who stops by (whether you leave a comment or not).

If there's something you'd like to see blogged about--please let me know. I try to take requests when I can.