As summer yawns long days full of haze and heat and the trees are all leaves and light finding a tiny bird can seem increasingly difficult. One trick for finding tree-buried birds goes against our natural stalking instinct. When the sound or movement of a bird can be seen mid to high up a tree it is often better to circle the tree in a steady circumference rather than actually walking up to the tree. While it would seem natural to get “closer” to a bird to see it, walking up to the trunk of the tree often makes it more difficult. The bird is suddenly at a higher angle, harsher on the neck, and is now above even more limbs and branches. If a bird is nesting in the tree the presence of a predator at the tree’s base may also flush the bird.
Instead, walk a slow circle around the tree, holding a steady radius from the trunk. This allows small holes to open up, like some cosmic alignment, between the leaves and branches while the bird retains it’s height in the tree so we don’t loose sight. Also, by circling the tree towards the sun’s position, it is often possible to get the bird into “goodlight” by putting ourselves between the sun and bird.
While this trick doesn’t always work and the bird may go unseen or even fly off practice
mantra, “birds have wings and they use them” and you will find some semblance of