People often associate birds with the concept of freedom because of their ability to fly. Aside from this, another feature that makes these creatures so fascinating is the diversity of their species. They come in all sizes and colors, making them a favorite subject among wildlife photographers.
When Lisa M. Ca moved from Germany to Michigan in 2012 to be with her husband, she was thrilled to discover the community of birds frequenting their backyard. The sight was so amazing, and it didn’t take long before she fell in love with her winged neighbors.
Lisa wanted to capture every moment, so she took photos of the birds using her DSLR camera. However, doing so proved to be challenging because of their elusive nature. That’s when she thought of a brilliant idea: installing a bird feeder camera in her backyard.
The equipment, which consisted of a macro lens, battery, and action camera, was placed in a weatherproof box to ensure its safety.
“There was so much color and diversity, different from what I was used to in city life,” Lisa told The Dodo. “I wanted to share them with my family in Germany and so I started feeding birds and taking photos.”
Lisa’s usual evening routine involves reviewing the photos and videos captured by the camera. And what she finds in the camera roll every time never fails to impress her.
Since installing the device, she has been enjoying close-up shots of the birds’ secret moments. She gets to watch them build their nests, lay eggs, and raise their babies. Sometimes, the scenes are not too sweet, such as when starlings come to steal all the food or when doves fight over it.
Nevertheless, Lisa said she finds all these moments “quirky and interesting.”
“They are very special to me and the best is when their babies are old enough to be brought to the yard by their parents and get taught how to eat mealworms,” she said.
She also saw birds she had never seen before—like the “exotic” hummingbird—and observed their unique behaviors and expressions.
Lisa eventually set up multiple cameras around her property, and one of her favorite times to watch the recordings is during migration. That’s because she never knows who might show up. One time, birds such as the Summer Tanager and the Palm Warbler showed up in the camera roll. Lisa knows they’re only passing through, which makes seeing them more exciting.
It didn’t take long before other wild creatures caught wind of the feeders in her backyard. Chipmunks, opossums, groundhogs, and skunks also began showing up.
Her growing collection of adorable bird photos was too good not to share, so Lisa posted the snapshots on a local birder group and created a public album on Facebook. That’s when the images started going viral.
Aside from getting a closer look into the birds’ everyday routines, this project also helped Lisa become more aware of her surroundings and the wildlife that inhabit it.
“The whole hobby with the birds has helped me understanding our impact on nature more,” she said. “And it made me want to know what I can do to help preserve it.”
Check out the gallery below to see 10 of our favorite snapshots of these Michigan birds.