Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Beneath the Bird Feeder

Photographer Carla Rhodes: “Wintertime allows me to partake in one of my favorite pastimes… Feeding the birds! During the warmer months, it’s simply unethical to hang a bird feeder in my area (Catskill Mountains, New York, USA) especially as they attract my curious, hungry neighbors… Black bears. “Beneath The Bird Feeder” is a photographic project starring many feathered (and furred) visitors. Subjects were photographed daily via a DSLR camera trap positioned underneath my bird feeder during the winter months of 2020-2021. This project reveals insights into species behavior while showing the viewer a new perspective on a common pastime. Ethical considerations were at the forefront of this project. This included hanging the feeder in a tree away from house windows. If not cared for properly, bird feeders can be a vector for diseases, such as salmonella. To avoid this issue I regularly raked beneath the bird feeder (and turned the soil below), rotated the feeder to different branches, occasionally allowed the feeder to be empty, and regularly disinfected the feeder with dish soap and dilute bleach solution. Additionally, my garden stays ‘wild’ during the colder months, offering options beyond the bird feeder. I strongly believe if you engage in feeding the birds, you should do it responsibly! Throughout this project, I asked myself many questions. What kind of ecosystem does a bird feeder create? As a result of birds dropping seeds, what other creatures would this attract? When the sun went down, deer mice would gather the aforementioned seeds, caching them in a stone wall near the bird feeder (often helped along by the adorable yet venomous Northern short-tailed shrew). When day broke, an assortment of looters (from birds to squirrels) would raid the cached bounty. Insights into behavior continually intrigued me. Dark-eyed juncos were always the first birds to show up at the crack of dawn while Northern cardinals would always show up at dusk. I started to recognize regulars and grew particularly fond of a deer mouse with a notch in his/her ear, who I eventually named ‘Notches.’ “Beneath the Birdfeeder” is slated to be published and this page will be updated accordingly…” [See also her Instagram site]

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.