Songbirds and Sunflowers

July 24, 2015

Here in Missouri, a drive along any country road this time of year might reveal a field of shining sunflowers. Sunflowers are typically planted as food plots, especially for dove hunting, but they also provide food for a variety of other wildlife including deer, turkey, raccoons, opossums, and other hungry critters. I’ve watched whitetails stand on their hind legs and pluck the entire head from a tall sunflower and chomp it down in short order. Raccoons are notorious for carrying off prized sunflowers from around bird feeders and gardens, just when they are looking their best.

My favorite “sunflower lover” is the American goldfinch, featured here atop a throne of black, oily seeds. The yellow on yellow combination is always a sight to see and I can sit for hours watching the goldies methodically clean the flower head, one seed at a time. As you can see from the image, taken a few days ago, this bird has already made a good start on a nice sunflower from my mother-in-law’s garden.

Sometimes I’ll sit for hours with my camera, watching the goldfinches until a great shot appears in the viewfinder. In this case, the male finch, startled by another, fluffed its feathers for just one click of the shutter. That was all I needed.

Once the sunflowers are picked over, the goldfinches will move on to coneflowers, a feast that will endure until the chilly days of autumn. As usual, our front yard is covered with purple coneflowers so you can bet I’ll be sitting on the porch trying to get the newest, greatest image of the colorful action.

Every year, season by season and even month by month, something new is going on in the natural world. The process repeats itself but no two images of a doe and a fawn, or a finch and a sunflower, are quite the same. The subtle differences keep a wildlife photographer inspired and motivated.

Thanks for looking,


Email:  NatureFrames@Rocketmail.Com

Gallery of Images and Prints:  Here

4 comments on “Songbirds and Sunflowers”

  1. What an amazing shot, Danny. You have such patents, to sit there for hours on end, to get the perfect shot. That’s what separates you from the amateur’s.I love to watch the American Goldfinch fly back and forth, to feed on my Finch feeder, as well. You have given me a great idea, which is to plant some sunflowers, in my lower garden, along side my field of daisy’s. Then maybe the Deer will leave all of my other flowers alone.Thanks for sharing.


  2. Amazingly beautiful!

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