The Bad Seed
More accurately, a bad choice of seed as a lure at the Birdcam can produce unexpected results. In a previous post I mentioned setting up the Birdcam station with a mix of sunflower and safflower seed. This was done in an effort to catch another photo of a Red Crossbill. The lure was successful, but not in the way I anticipated. It became obvious now was not the best time of the year for this mix of seed.
On the first day, I got more than 1,200 shots, but no Crossbills. On the second day, the Birdcam captured over 1,500! From last Friday, I was facing 1,729 photos which was almost the full capacity of the SD card. Obviously, the word was getting around in Birdland that there was a great new restaurant in town. In all those photos, not a single Red Crossbill could be found. Instead, I was getting mostly House Finches and House Sparrows together with dozens of their fledglings.
The biggest problem was the prospect of dealing with numbers approaching 2,000 photos a day. The chore of scanning through them, renaming the keepers and deleting the rest was becoming an ordeal. In that number, there may be only 20-30 pictures worth keeping. So the quest for a Red Crossbill has been temporarily put on hold. Getting photos of House Finches is not the problem. Getting 1,200 photos of House Finches in a single day is.
Targeting a specific bird species for capture by the Birdcam can become a bit like Waiting for Godot. I have decided to set up again for Hummingbird shots. I'll try for Crossbills another time. When I bought the first Birdcam, I feared it was a gimmick that wouldn't really work. Believe me, I shed those fears long ago.