My Eastern Bluebird Photography Setup

By | June 25, 2019

I have a nest box that the Eastern Bluebirds like the most and it is at the end of my driveway. These birds are accustomed to seeing my pickup near this nest box and it doesn’t stop them from building a nest. I have two more bird houses but I want use this setup because I am afraid that this would disturb the birds.

My setup for photographing the Eastern Bluebirds nesting in my yard.
How I photograph the Eastern Bluebirds nesting in my yard.

About twice a year they will build a nest in one of my boxes. I am photographing the second batch now.

When the Bluebirds begin feeding their young I will go sit in my pickup. I have my camera and lens resting on a bean bag draped over the open window.

Some type of camo netting over the window would work good but I get by without it because these birds are not disturbed by my setup.

When I get setup I don’t have to wait long before both parents show with food for the baby Bluebirds. Most of the time they fly straight for the bird house opening. They do perch on the post or on top of the bird house when they both arrive at the same time. They will also do this to check things out before feeding the baby Bluebirds.

When I am photographing from inside my vehicle I try not to move or make any noise. I have my camera on silent mode. I also have to stay ready. These birds gather a lot of food to bring to their young so the action is constant. I also use a long lens and this allows me to park a longer distance away.

The bean bag, camera and lens take up a lot of space in the window and this helps me to get by with not disturbing the Bluebirds. I’m behind this equipment and it breaks up my human form. I also pay attention to what color shirt I wear. I like natural colors like green, brown and gray. The inside of my pickup is gray so I wear this color the most.

I only stay for about and hour or two in the mornings and this is for the first two or three days when I begin seeing them feeding. I will stop photographing these birds as soon as the young start peaking out of the nest box. I don’t want my activity to cause the young to fledge prematurely.

Here are a few current images I have made with this setup:

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