While isolating in her home during the COVID-19 pandemic, wildlife conservation photographer Carla Rhodes ended up getting closer to her neighbors—the animals in her backyard.
Using a technique called “camera trapping,” where the camera senses the animal’s motion and automatically takes a photo, Rhodes was able to capture her animal subjects’ natural behaviors without human interference. Much of her work to get the best shot involves setting up the camera with ideal lighting, background, and creating an inviting space for the subjects to enter the frame. When they do, the close-up shots of their faces, wings, and tails delight and astonish.
The project, titled “Beneath the Birdfeeder,” captures familiar birds, squirrels, and other backyard critters in an intimate, formerly unseen way. Rhodes hopes that by getting to see animals “on our level” we learn to love, respect, and protect the wildlife we normally see from a distance.
Become A Bird-fluencer
- Be inspired by the birds in your area and help researchers by participating in crowd science efforts through The Cornell Lab of Ornithology Center for Engagement in Science and Nature.
- Participate in community projects such as Project FeederWatch, the Great Backyard Bird Count, Nest Watch and Celebrate Urban Birds.
Customize your bird seed to save money, attract your favorite feathered friends or to avoid peanut allergy concerns.
Explore common seeds for outdoor feeders, discover what seed different species prefer, and learn ways to keep your feeder clean and safe for visiting birds.
Produced by Luke Groskin
All stills by Carla Rhodes
Additional footage by Pond5 and Carla Rhodes
Music by AudioNetwork.com
Meet the Producer
About Luke Groskin@lgroskin
Luke Groskin is Science Friday’s video producer. He’s on a mission to make you love spiders and other odd creatures.