Holland's Blue Jay

Photographing feeders from the warmth of your home can be very rewarding and safe. This Blue Jay huddles up near my feeders on a cool, breezy spring morning.


It’s now the last days of March 2020, and the whole world is in a lockdown due to a fast-spreading global virus called COVID-19.

We all remember the disaster movies where the world is threatened by either a giant monster or a worldwide plague. This time it is not a movie, but a real worldwide concern. A potentially life-threatening virus has spread throughout the entire world, putting many people at risk.

I usually don’t worry much when I hear of such outbreaks, but this one made me sit up and take notice. I am at the age where I might be vulnerable to contacting this virus, or for that matter, any virus. I have been trying to adhere to any warnings that are in place by limiting my travels and contacts. Travel is definitely out, so what is a person to do?

Being an outdoor person, I do feel safe hiking some trails, fishing, and of course, photographing nature. The reason I feel fairly safe doing these things is the fact that I usually never have any contact with humans on my photography trips. Now remember, I’m usually close to home, take snacks with me, have a phone, and I’m aware of my surroundings. I always let someone, usually my wife, know where I will be. This is just a time in all of our lives we have to be cautious.

This is a good time to check your photo equipment. No matter what the world situation is, be ready. I spend the cold and rainy days cleaning cameras and lenses, making sure batteries are fresh so I can grab my camera and be ready in an instant.

Right now camera shops are having some great sales, not only on cameras, but on lenses. I was lucky this year in the fact I picked up a few accessories before the world shut down. Not to panic, mail order is booming right now.

If you have bird feeders in your yard, take advantage of any springtime visitors. First, because time is on your side, it’s a good time to clean your feeders and bird baths plus check your supply of seed and suet. Some of my best bird shots were taken out my kitchen window near my feeders.

Springtime will bring rose-breasted grosbeaks, orioles, titmice and many more. Indigo buntings will stop at feeders in the spring, and maybe passing redpolls. Remember what I mentioned about springtime visitors: You never know what species will show up. They are all hungry migratory travelers at this time of the year.

Ospreys were spotted last week near Red Bridge, which I believe is really early. Spring migration is just beginning, with a lot more to come. Remember, the warblers won’t even show up around here until the first of May. There are also deer, hawks, owls, bears and don’t forget spring wildflowers.

Observing and photographing nature is not a cure, but for now seems very safe. When you bring a beautiful portrait of a deer, bird, or scene up on your computer, for that brief moment in time, life is good. Until my next adventure, be safe.

Any questions or wildlife sightings, email me at rocky.holland1@verizon.net.