The Best Bird Photography Tips

The Best Bird Photography Tips

Readers share their secrets to great bird photos.

Indigo bunting photo by Roland Jordahl

    The best time to photograph birds is early morning and late afternoon. That’s when the birds most often eat. Plus, that’s when daylight will give you the richest color. —Diana Kidd, Alexandria, Virginia

    I anchored a heavy cedar post near my picture window just for the birds. On the side, I drilled a hole to hold suet mix. The hole is positioned so that it’s nearly invisible as I take great profile shots of the birds. —Eugene Westley, Lemon Springs, North Carolina

    For a quick photo blind, use a freestanding clothing rack, 30-gallon black plastic garbage bag and some tape. Cut one side and the bottom of the garbage bag so you can open it to form a plastic sheet, and tape it to the top and sides of the rack. Position your camera on a tripod and cut an "X" in the plastic at the height of your lens, and push it through the hold. I photograph a lot of hummingbirds this way. —Pam White, Huntsville, Alabama

    Sit near your feeder for a while each time you refill it. Soon, the birds will accept you as part of the landscape. You’ll find photographing them will be much easier. —Stefan Delloff, Pequannock, New Jersey

    I set my feeders near brush piles and trees. This gives me an opportunity to photograph birds in their natural settings as they rest among the branches. —Stanley Buman, Carroll, Iowa

    When photographing birds, position yourself and your camera at the level of the subject. If you see an American robin pulling up a plump worm, lie on your stomach and take the picture from ground level. —Brandy LaFountain, Marion, Michigan

    Here’s a trick to get great bird photos. I set up a tripod several feet away from my feeders with a small black wooden box mounted to it. I inch it closer over the span of a couple days so the birds become accustomed to the device. Once activity is back to normal, I replace the black box with my camera. A remote cord (an accessory on some cameras) allows me to snap pictures from within a blind or from inside my house. —Jo Ann Sheldon, Arkansas City, Kansas

    Build a movable blind from a wooden pallet. Attach plywood sides to it and paint greenery on it so that it blends in with the surroundings. Cut holes in the plywood for your telephoto lens. As you prepare to shoot photographs, always have someone walk to it with you, and then leave once you’re set. Birds can’t count, so when they see someone walk away, they’ll think the coast is clear. You’ll be surprised at the increased bird activity. —Emanuel Schlabach, Winesburg, Ohio

    For great hummingbird photos, always cover all but one feeding port at your sugar-water feeder. I’ll use clear marbles or scotch tape to cover the ports. That way, I know exactly where they’ll feed and where to focus. —Len Eisenzimmer, Portland, Oregon

    If you can change your camera’s lenses, the best way to get close to wildlife is to use a doubler or tripler (also called a 2X or 3X teleconverter), which is an inexpensive device that mounts between your camera and the lens. It allows you to zoom in much closer. —Richard Howard, Tucson, Arizona

    About dannywahlquist

    I'm Danny Wahlquist and my interests include: bacnet,baptist,blog,christian,church,danny,development,docbook,genealogy,immanuel,Jesus,localization,niagara,pictures,tridium,and web. My genealogy research includes Borum,Brewer,Brown,Calhoun,Eads,Garnett,Graham,Kelly,Lawson,Melton,Nelson,Reisner,Sanderson,Shelton,Wahlquist.
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