Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Do you Bird Blind???

Source: http://www.michigannature.com/kwikcamo.html for product and pricing information.


I have heard a lot about bird blinds lately from fellow bloggers who use them. Based upon the fabulous pictures they both take, I am guessing they are a great way to photograph birds who may otherwise be skittish of your presence. Birding in Maine And Country Captures if you want to see this great photography for yourself.


Anyhow, I was at the library this evening and grabbed a book on nature photography to browse through as my son studied for an exam and they had a whole chapter on bird blinds and suggestions on how to dress for nature photography. One thing they suggested was a good pair of cammies. HA! I thought to myself......I can do that. I pictured how chic I would look on the bike path with my cute cammies and matching green top along with a cammie wide brimmed hat. I would look like a nature version of GI Jane!! Yes this is definitely something I could do once the snow is melted. I picture the look on my kids faces as I leave for the morning decked in my outfit and I giggle a little. My son glances up from the book and I blush and bury my face in the book again. Must go to the second hand shop to buy some vintage cammies.


They also showed some elaborate bird blinds that I would never have thought of on my own. For instance, did you know there are some birders out there who set up bird blinds in tree branches!!!! Yes, I saw it myself in a photo. What they do is use plywood to jimmy amongst a couple of branches for a seat and then use the cammie netting to hide themselves even more. The book showed some of the incredible photos they took and I was intrigued at the possibilities. Hmmmm......How does one get the plywood into the deep woods???? And what would happen if I fell out of the tree??? Would I get cell service to call 911 and if I did what would they think of me when they found me on the ground with a camouflage sheet wrapped around me???? Perhaps not........Plus, what would fellow hikers think of me as they passed me by...........

The last one completely blew my mind it was so clever!! Most birders know how challenging taking pictures of waterfowl can be. For one thing, many times they are too far into the water and away from land for a decent photo. They are also skittish little birds who take off once they make eye contact with you. Not anymore!!! What the book suggests you do is get one of those sturdy rubber rafts that come with paddles and get out in a pond with the camouflage netting wrapped around you like the photo above! Of course you paddle to your destination before you put the netting around you and then you wait for the waterfowl to pass by and you get wonderful, up close photographs! I can hardly control my excitement thinking of the possibilities and I am beaming in eager anticipation. I can see my son looking at me with that worried look he gets when I am about to embarrass him. I start thinking of the small pond nearby that has a ton of waterfowl that I have not been able to get close enough to even identify much less photograph.

Hmmmmmmm.........I wonder if that raft I bought for the kids is still in the garage. I picture myself in this get up and remember that the pond is in the middle of two roads with lots of cars and I giggle thinking of the drivers who would pass by and see someone in a raft in the middle of a pond decked out in cammo netting with a little hole to take photos. Soon the giggling turns into uncontrolled laughter and I am crying in a library as my son sinks lower into his chair and people are giving me dirty looks. I can't stop so I run into the bathroom to compose myself some.

My son tells me he will never go to the library with me again........I think for now I will stick with the cammies. Allthough I may buy a little of the netting just in case. I have a feeling birding will be very interesting come spring......

29 comments:

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Leedra has a blind, Kim... I don't think she's had time to use it much yet. I'd love to have one on my deck--but that will probably never happen. It's a great thought for a 'dream list' though.
Hugs,
Betsy

Ruth said...

lol!! Don't do this to your kids until they leave home! The real serious bird photographers with their blinds and camo lenses can intimidate me when I come upon them on a trail. Some of them are like territorial hunters.

Lynne said...

If you put that boat blind together I want pictures!!!!

dAwN said...

LOL>>>great post Kallen..If it wasnt for the fact that I only wear brown and beige..I would buy me some of those cammys..oh gee maybe they make them in brown and beige...
lets go floating...tee hee..

Susan Gets Native said...

You know, any fabric store sells camo fabric. A few yards of that would be cheaper than a pre-fab thing. I think I have just given myself an idea.

Rich said...

Hunters do it all the time to get close to birds, makes sense for taking pictures too.

Kelly said...

My husband just gave me a portable bird blind for my birthday!! It's all I asked for. It's supposed to be easy to set up. I'm going to blog on it in a couple of days. Hopefully I'll have time to set it up on Thursday. I can't wait to get in that little hut and spy on the birds!!

Red said...

I like the fun of stalking the birds in my bright color t-shirts :) It's actually amazing how close I can get anyway. I've learned how from the cats, seriously!

madcobug said...

Now you have me giggling. Imagine being out in a boat all wrapped up like that with a peek hole. That would really be seeing the world through the eye of your cameras. What a lens that camera has though. I would love to see the pictures that big thing takes. Helen

Kallen305 said...

A blind would be nice in my yard too Betsy, allthough my kitchen window kind of serves as one.

Ruth, I have never come across a photographer with a blind. I imagine I too would feel as intimidated.

Lynn. I could NEVER be in the middle of a pond with that get up one. I would be afraid a huge snapping turtle would come anc capsize me and I woldn't even know it because I couldn't see a thing. LOL

Dawn, they make cammies in all kind of colors now. You would look adorable in a pair!

Susan, I would NEVER have thought of going to a fabric store for it. Thanks, you just saved me a ton of $$!!

Rich, you are right about that. Allthough I hope I never come across one while in the woods! ;o)

Kelly!!! You hit gold w/ that for a birthday gift. Can't wait to read all about it in your blog.

LOL Red!! I love my bright colored t's and wear them during the summer too. I too prance around like a cat with careful steps around the birds. I know they see me, but half the fun of photographing them is devising ways to sneak around.

Madco, it is so funny to think about. My town would officially think I have lost my mind. They may be right!

Jayne said...

I've contemplated a blind too, but figured it would be great in the winter, but sweltering in the summer...lol! Can't wait to see what you come up with Kallen!

ShySongbird said...

Hilarious Kallen and beautifully written but spooky as only yesterday I said to my husband I wish there was a way I could get nearer to the birds in the garden to photograph them and he said you need one of those portable hides (as they are called over here). It's very tempting but the neighbours would think I'm even madder than they do already!!

All good wishes from the UK.

Shellmo said...

Kallen - the scene you set up with youiin the raft in camo and people seeing you made me laugh! Then I thought - wait! She's on to something! I think I could put camo on and the netting and go out in my kayak to get closer photos of the loons...oh the possibilities are endless!!

Mildred said...

A very interesting post - I learned something new today. Hope you have a wonderful day!

Lynne said...

Kim- Your comment about the boat and a snapping turtle made me think of a friend who trout fishes. She told me about a piece of equiptment that trout fishers use. It's a big inner tube with waders attached that let you float out into the water at water level for fishing. She said they came both with the rubber legs or without (just a seat thingy) NOW think of that big snapping turtle!!!

Kallen305 said...

Jayne, you are so right about the summer. I didn't think of that. Hmm.... Maybe one could develop a fan of sorts to put in there.

Shy, HA! I guess a lot of us have the blinds/hides on our minds right now. Who cares what the neighbors think. If they ask tell them you are doing an important study on the biological feeding and perching habits of native song birds. That ought to shut them up and impress them at the same time. ;o)

Shelley!!! OMG!! I am so picturing you in a kayak doing this for loon shots!!! Another nifty tidbit of info I read yesterday was that some waterfowl are attracted to white. A few birders have had success getting waterfowl closer to them by waving a white hanky. For some reason the birds are so curious they have to get closer to you for a better look. I say you go out there in your kayak with the cammie netting and wave a white hankie. Please be sure to post pictures and video if possible. HA!! LOL!! ;o)

Lynne: I can't even imagine. My uncle used to tell me all kinds of stories about the mean snapping turtles in the lake we used to swim at. Now I know they were all stories to scare me, but I am still scarred by it!! ;o)

ramblingwoods.com said...

LOL....I think it would be great fun if nothing else. I have sat on the deck in the late afternoon covered in a mosquito net trying to count frogs for frogwatch...It drives my hubby crazy...

John said...

Blinds work, but you need a lot of patience to get really good shots.

Cam said...

I never have, but lord knows if you try photographing birds, you will need to consider doing it lol.

Deborah Godin said...

Make sure you get someone to take photos of you (from another blind, of course, so they don't scare YOUR subjects away!) And yes, don't fall out of the tree! That is one 911 call you probalby don't want going viral on YouTube!

MaineBirder said...

Nows the time to go to Dick's Sporting Goods to get camo. Spring is always a sale time for cammies.

It is amazing how close birds get to you if you wear full camo and walk slowly and quietly. If you have a long lens, there are camo covers for them too.

Believe it or not, while walking slowly and wearing camo, whistle a tune softly. Nothing harsh like rock or rap, just a little soft tune. In doing this, I have had birds land within touching distance.

Also, again while wearing full camo, stop beside a tree and do some phishing. You wouldn't believe the response you get!

MaineBirder said...

Forgot to add...

As John said, it takes a lot of patience when birding from a blind. I have spent hours in one only to see very few birds.

Best time is early morning after sunrise and an hour or two before sunset.

Heather said...

Kallen, I bought myself a blind just after Christmas, it was a gift to myself. So far I've only used it once, but I was pretty happy with it that one time. It's pretty large though(5ft square), so I'm not sure how well it would do "in the field" (I had a hard time finding a large enough spot to set it up in my yard!) If you'd like to see more info about my blind experience, just type the words "doghouse blind" in the search field on my page, and the post should come up. Personally, I'd love to see you out there on a pond in your floating camo! Now, I think I'll have to follow MaineBirders advice and start looking for cammies on sale for myself!

Kallen305 said...

Thanks for the additional tips all on blinds and cammies!!

LOL Michelle, frog watch!!! I can just picture you near the pond with the netting!! So funny but for a good cause!

John, I am learning patience slowly and I can only imagine you patient you have to be to sit in a bird blind all day and wait for a bird to land somewhere so you can get a photo.

Cam, I am telling you it may be the only way you can get decent bird photos based on some of my experience lately. Especially water birds.

LOL Deborah regarding the YouTube comment!! I would DIE!

John (Maine)- I am so going to remember the whistling a little tune. I am really bad at phishing so maybe this will work better. There is nothing cuter to me than a curious bird so I want to see if it works for me.

Heather, I am telling you the best place to find them are vintage shops!! I used to wear cammies in the 80's and only bought the vintage ones because they were so soft from being washed so much!! I am going to Savers this weekend to see if I can get a pair. I will definitely check out your blog for the doghouse blind because I am very curious!

Steve B said...

I must admit that I have never used a blind and my lenses are relatively short for bird photography. I have nothing against them, I just shoot what I see when I'm out walking around. If I needed to make a living shooting wildlife, I'd use a blind.

Leedra said...

Betsy said it. If the birds are back in Rockwood tomorrow I will have it out in the backyard. It is suppose to be in the 60s, so that is the plan. Trouble was today (my first day there in 5 weeks) the birds were not anywhere around. But I filled all the feeders, and spread the peanut butter and birdseed on the side of the tree. My husband bought me mine this past Christmas, it is not as mobile as the photo you showed. I have only tried it one day so far, due to weather. Mine has a seat in it. Actally a two seater. I might post a photo of it soon.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

Mary said...

LOL! I loved reading this! Have fun in your cammies! I somehow don't see myself draped in a blind like that one in the photo. The stupid birds would probably sit on my head and I wouldn't get any shots anyway :-) And when I got a cramp in my leg and started wiggling around....well, it's just not a sight I want to think about.

Leedra said...

I know I commented on this yesterday, but I just had to come back. As I sat out in my blind today(mine actually has a chair built into it) I was thinking about you talking about being in your cammies and falling out of the tree stand and being found. If you are in your cammies nobody will ever find you because you will blend in. Gives some thought to wearing (not) cammies in the woods.

Leedra’s Photos For Fun

Leedra’s Greeting Cards

Photography By Leedra

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