Pronghorn Productions

A Provider of High Definition (HD) Nature and Wildlife Stock Video Footage, Still Images, Nature Books, and Custom Video and Photography Services.
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Pronghorn Productions now sells its forest songbird stock video footage at:

Filming Forest Songbird Stock Video Footage

There are 3 best seasons for filming forest songbirds. In the spring the videographer can get footage of breeding activity, including birds singing. Bring a good shotgun microphone to isolate the singing bird while minimizing other forest noises (a parabolic microphone is even better, but greatly complicates the process and is best used by having a second person to capture sound). Of course a good telephoto lens is a great help. Fortunately, air distortion from heat waves and other effects is usually not a big issue in filming forest songbirds; however, low light conditions can be, so having a good light-gathering camera and lens is a plus. A calling device that plays bird songs can help bring birds in and/or hold them longer, but use sparingly and ethically. In the summer season the videographer can get footage of adults and chicks at nests. Once again, ethics must of course be practiced. Many consumer-grade cameras can be quite serviceable at this time. Tapeless units are idea because the camera can often be left running at a nest. The Sony cameras with nightshot allow one to film chicks inside of a bird house by cutting a hole in the house (cutting the hole is ideally done prior to the nesting season and then covered over with a removable cover). For nests higher up in trees a telescoping pole with a light-weight camera attached can sometimes be used; you'll want a video wire running from the camera to a monitor on the ground so you can properly set up the equipment. Winter is also a great season for filming birds. Although the bird richness may not be as great, those that are still around quickly come into bird feeders, carrion, and other food sources. Chickadees, finches, nuthatches, and juncos are common winter residents in many areas. Fall is probably the least preferred season for filming forest songbirds because they tend to be less colorful and less vocal. However, it may allow you to film some species that would not otherwise be observed in the area.

The Forest Songbirds

Forest songbirds include some of our most popular and loved bird species such as chickadees, nuthatches, vireos, warblers, grosbeaks, thrushes, tanagers, crossbills, sparrows, and other species. Melodic species such as the grosbeaks, thrushes, vireos, and warblers are especially loved. Some, such as the western tanager, black-headed grosbeak, spotted towhee, robin, and common yellowthroat are also some of the most colorful.

Within the forest many birds are found in specialized niches such as ovenbirds and thrushes on the ground and vireos and warblers high up in the trees. Some species, such as the brown creeper and some of the warblers are typically found only deep in the forest whereas others such as catbirds and towhees are common on the edges.

Deciduous forests tend to have more bird richness than conifer forests; however, the best birding spots usually contain a mixture of habitats including pines stands and hardwood stands (and differing structures of both such as old growth, young thickets, and middle age stands), riparian areas, wetlands, grassy openings, rocky outcroppings, and other habitats.

Forest songbirds have recently become a significant conservation concern because of the long-term trend for many species. The primary cause for the decline seems to be the loss of large contiguous stands of forest. Many species simply cannot do well in small forest stands because of competition and predation from species that proliferate on forest edges. However, part of the decline of forest songbirds could also be due to a loss of wintering habitat in Central and South America. Organizations such as Partners-in-Flight and the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory are leading the charge to conserve forest songbirds.