That is a nice shot! That chickadee is using its beak to open a shell against the branch of that tree.
These are very interesting little birds, they often hide the seeds that they do not eat, and they can remember where they put them. Which I find quite amazing, given the size of their tiny brain.
They often quickly take sunflowers from my feeder, to a branch in my maple tree and jack-hammer style open the shell of the seed, because their little beak lacks sufficient strength to crush open the shell. Your photo is an excellent capture of a chickadee doing just that. I have not gotten one of them opening a shell.
It almost seems they expend more enegy opening a sunflower shell than they obtain from consuming a seed.
My shot is taken through my dining room double pane window.
SD14 70-200 dc os hsm at 2.8mm 200mm
Exposure Time - 1/1250 seconds
Thanks Tony and Robert,
The chickadees are fun to watch and I love their call. We've got a feeder out front with sunflower seeds too.
They're very interesting in the way they come in and take a seed and fly up into the branches. Other birds like the robins just sit there and eat. And the chickadees have a pecking order too, and they time it like clockwork. As soon as one is off the feeder another comes in.
For the birdfeeder picture I was about 6 feet away from the feeder. It seems if you hide your face behind the camera they don't mind as much and come swooping down to get the seeds. But when I'd peek around the camera they'd fly off. Not sure if that's an actual occurrence or if it was just a coincidence. But they aren't to frightened either way.
They are one of my favorites at the feeder, I hope they stay during the summer. I have noticed too that they don't stay long at the feeder, its just grab the sunflower seed and take it off to the tree, and the next one comes right in after the previous. They also don't seem to pay me any mind, and whether I am still or moving, they just go about business as usual. It makes it such a challenge to get a decently composed shot of them. I usually have my tripod set up about 5 feet from the feeder and the SD14 stays mounted.
I have not gotten any shots of them opening the seeds in the maple tree. They usually are too high and the angle is too steep.
this one was taken on a heavily overcast day.
The raw was processed in SPP and then the black and white plug in Andy was used in Bibblelabs
ISO Setting: 800
Shutter Speed: 1/400s
Aperture Value: F7.1
Focal Length: 500 mm (150-500)
You should try going in hand held Robert. I find they don't mind me too much, I can get pretty close. What I did was focus in on the birdfeeder and waited for them to come swooping down. If you stand long enough they start coming in.
That's a great pic of one. You must have timed it right, and you focused in on the little standing peg. My bird feeder has a whole bar across so it's a matter of luck too for them to land in the right place without me going to slower shutter speeds.
There's a Pileated Woodpecker in my neighborhood that I'm stalking. I caught a quick pic of him but it didn't turn out. I hope I get him pretty soon though.
Thank you for the comment. Also, thank you for the advice, that is how I did it, they usually pick the peg that is closest to the maple tree side, and they shuttle back and forth. So with the shot mostly composed and focused on the closest peg, when he lands its just short job for the auto focus motor to jog into position, and if luck holds the composition is still a go and I shoot till the buffer is full or until he is gone.
the feeder though has six staggered pegs, and it can be frustrating my shots when they hope from peg to peg to find the optimum sunflower seed. Or their choosing the best defensive position from predators?
Good luck with the pileated woodpecker, I have a northern flicker that was nesting in my maple tree as of the end of last season, I have not seen him since then. but since last season someone has added another cavity to the tree. I think the chickadees are cavity dwellers too, but are not builders of such. The second hole is visible from my house windows, but I have yet to see an inhabitant.
Last year the flicker kept himself hidden for more than six months before he let me see him. It was really cool.