Leeds couple builds backyard bird sanctuary

Nelda Faulkner's bird photos have been published in national magazines.

Nelda Faulkner has loved photography since she worked at her school’s newspaper. She has also loved birds since her mother gave her a book about the creatures when she was six years old. The result is captivating images of all kinds of birds coming to her feeders on a regular basis. 

The birds visit for the food, but perhaps some of them know they will be the subject of her stunning photography. A few of her award-winning photographs have been published in the national Birds & Bloom magazine. She proudly displays a few issues on her coffee table.

“I just love the birds so much, and I love photography. It’s just natural for me to take these pictures,” Faulkner said showing me a few photographs in the magazine.

Some of the species that frequents her feeders are cardinals, chickadees, blue birds, titmouse, rufous towhee and others, depending on the time of the year. 

“We had a winter hummingbird stay in our yard from November until January. An expert came and watched it saying it probably came from Alaska. It’s very rare to have a hummingbird in the winter,” Faulkner said. “We feed them three or four times a day.”

Faulkner and her husband, Harold, love watching the world of birds commune in their backyard. They fill the bird feeders throughout the day, and they buy bird food in 40-pound bags – two bags every month. 

“They’re entertaining, and they’re beautiful with different personalities. I can tell if the same birds are back. One time, I had a bluebird eat out of my hand. I also had one with a problem with his foot. He stayed in our yard three years,” Faulkner said.

Faulkner attributes the plethora of birds to the huge trees in the yard, and to the old house which seems to provide a comfortable stop for the migrating birds.

“They love our place. There’s always lots of water and food, and they adore the bird bath. I can watch them for hours taking a bath and playing in the water,” Faulkner said.

The Faulkners sit in their screened porch overlooking the many feeders in their backyard and watch the birds. A pretty good hobby, and they contribute to the beauty of their neighborhood. 

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