A Few Tips on Bird Photography

Photographers can find a variety of subjects to photograph almost anywhere. Many photographers find new and exciting ways to view the world around them, which brings out the photographer in all of us. Every type of photography requires a specific set of skills, techniques, and gear. Some photographers specialize in one specific area while others just dabble here and there to capture the perfect shot. Bird photography is a specific and challenging area of photography that requires patience, knowledge, skill, and practice. Following are some tips for getting started in bird photography that will help you have fun and take some super photos.

Learn the Basics of Photography

Every photographer should know the basics of photography to improve their skills and take better photographs. You can take a photography class at your local community college, or hire a private photography tutor to help you learn the basics of photography. Knowing the basics of photography will help you understand camera settings, and composition, and help you learn how to use your gear more efficiently. Learning the basics will also allow you to be more critical of your photos and help you be more critical of the photos of others as well. Knowing the basics of photography will help you take better photographs, which is the ultimate goal for everyone who loves photography.

Plan Ahead

If you are hoping to photograph a specific bird or type of bird, be sure to research the migration patterns of that species. Migration patterns will vary depending on the type of bird you are hoping to see. Some birds are year-round residents in certain areas while others only migrate through specific areas during certain times of the year. Certain birds migrate to warmer climates during the cold winter months while others remain in colder climates during the fall and spring seasons. If you hope to photograph specific birds during their migratory patterns, be sure to plan your trip accordingly. Many migratory birds travel large distances, which means you need to plan your trip to be in the right place at the right time. Plan your trip outside of peak migration periods so that you have a better chance of seeing the desired birds.

Always Have Your Equipment Ready

Before you even leave the house for the day, make sure all of your equipment is ready and in good condition. You do not want to have to rush to get your gear ready while you are out in the field. Having your camera, lenses, and all other equipment handy will allow you to focus more on the bird and less on your equipment. Make sure each lens is clean and has no dirt or dust on the outside of the lens. Before each use, check to make sure that each lens is clean, the aperture is set to the correct f-stop, and the shutter is set to the correct shutter speed. A dirty lens can cause fuzzy, blurry, or foggy photos.

Don't Be Afraid to Move

Some photographers like to stay in one spot for hours on end, but bird photography often requires you to move around to get different perspectives of the birds in their habitat. Be sure to remain stealthy when you are photographing the birds so as not to scare them off. Bird photographers often find themselves in interesting and unique positions to get the perfect shot. If you are stumped on how to best photograph a certain type of bird, research other photographers who specialize in that type of bird and see how they approach the subject.

Overcome Challenges

Some photographers will find themselves in situations where they are unable to take the perfect photograph. Whether it is because the weather is not cooperating, the light is not right, or they simply cannot get close enough to the birds, some photographers will have to find ways to work around these challenges. If you find yourself in a situation where you are unable to take the perfect photograph, try to find a way to work around the challenge. You may have to change your approach or maybe even change locations. If you are unable to find a solution, walk away and try again another day.


Bird photography can be a challenging and exciting area of photography. Be sure to research the best ways to photograph different types of birds in their natural habitats. Some birds are more cooperative than others and others are extremely difficult to approach. While photography can be challenging, it can also be rewarding. Whether you are new to photography or a seasoned pro, everyone can benefit from the practice and skill that comes with photography. With the right tools and techniques, you can take amazing photographs of birds in their natural habitat.