Huw Griffiths is a marine biologist who spoke to Here & Now in February about discovering sponge-like creatures living far beneath an Antarctic ice shelf. But he has a hobby that caught our interest — taking amazingly clear and close-up photos and videos of the birds at his window birdfeeder.
He tells host Peter O'Dowd how he does it.
Huw Griffiths' Tips For Setting Up Your Own Bird Studio
- Place the feeder somewhere safe for the birds — away from cats, rats or squirrels — and choose a feeder that the birds can see and not fly into and injure themselves.
- Choose a feeder with a cut-out section and suction cups so that sits still against the glass so you can see the birds feeding.
- Get strong adhesive tape or a mount/tripod to hold your camera/phone up against the glass, you will get glare and reflections if there is a gap.
- Focus the camera where the bird will be sitting or feeding, then start recording and leave it running for around 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Stand well back to avoid scaring the birds.
- Take stills or edited sections of video from the recording.
- Try experimenting with your phone/camera settings (e.g. zoom in, use a wide angle, slow motion, etc.)
- If you want a wide selection of birds, try different food types (e.g. mealworms, peanuts, fat/cheese and seeds.)
- Have patience: It might take the birds a few days or weeks to find the feeder and to be confident landing on it.
This segment aired on May 17, 2021.