Four Tips for Bird Photography
Here's some traits that make a good bird photographer. Patience, perserverance, research, and understanding animal's behavior. Patience is key. There's been numerous times where I've been out looking for one bird and I've sat there for eight hours before even getting a shot and even sometimes you don't get the shot. It's really, really critical that you have patience and then if that one doesn't work out, the next one. Perserverance, also equally as critical. I've actually been to this spot multiple times, still trying to get the black swift in flight photo. Still gonna come back next year and I'm gonna try cause that's just what you have to do. Sometimes it works out to where you show up birds there, you get your shot, two seconds in you're done. Often times you need that patience and that perseverance. Research comes in really before. So before I even get here, I'm looking at kind of what my habitat is, what I might be able to find there. And usually my research is done through eBird...
. eBird is a really, really great resource for birders and bird photographers to look up what birds are in that area. Once you get to the area and you've done your research, the next part is the behavioral aspect. So, when you get to a pond, I know that there's gonna be ruddy ducks here cause they were on the eBird list. They swim around the edges, they dive down, and then they grab whatever they can at the bottom and then they come back up. So what I do is, I watch just for a little bit and I actually time them when they're down at the bottom, see how long they're down there for, and then right when they dive I count it in my head and I slowly make my way over to where I want to shoot them from. If I can't make it to the spot, I stop, I sit and I just wait for them to pop back up or for them to go down. And then I rush over to the spot and I lay down, get my water-level shot. That way you're approaching the bird when they're underwater. That's really, really important when you're doing duck photography especially, because if you just walk right up to them you're gonna spook 'em. They probably think you're gonna hunt them or eat them. So it's critical that by understanding the behavior, you can get a better photo. Specific seasons are really important as well. So for instance, right now in July it's a little late, but in mid-July all these birds are breeding and nesting, so I know going in I'm gonna be looking for nesting birds and I'm gonna be looking for nesting bird type behavior. So, bringing food bringing food places from far away. Chicks calling, the kind of squeaky high notes. That kind of thing will really help you in your photography.