Photographing garden birds, 10 tips

Tip 1: Use a telephoto lens

You’ll need a telephoto zoom (300-400 mm) to take frame-filling shots, and a tripod is essential. If you have one, secure it to your ball head, but it is not essential.

Tip 2: Know where all your buttons and functions are located

Know your equipment well before you go out, because you don’t want to be looking for buttons and fiddling with settings when you only have a few seconds to take a picture.

Tip 3: Get closer to your subject

You have to be pretty close to the birds, even if you are using a long-range lens, because they are really small things that can easily get lost in your background.

Tip 4: Hide if possible

Be sure to hide out of sight in a specially built hide or try to shoot from your house or from an outbuilding such as a barn.

Tip 5: Feed the birds

Make sure you have feeders, especially at this time of year when food is a little scarce. This will encourage birds to visit your garden regularly for food.


Tip 6: Think about the position of the feeder

Place feeders where there are branches or even ready-made perches. That way, they will hopefully land on the branch in front of your chosen background before eating.

Tip 7: Change your props

Change the style of the environment you use to bring some variety to your photos after a while. 

TTip 8: Think about backgrounds

Hedges are great natural-looking backgrounds, but don’t let the landscape overshadow your subject. For those with fences and walls instead of hedges, try collecting a few sheets of material that can help hide it. 

Tip 9: Focus is the key

Pay attention to the tips of tail feathers, as they can become blurred. 

Tip 10: Be patient

Don’t be too eager to press the shutter button as soon as a bird lands, as they are nervous creatures and it can take a while for them to become comfortable in their environment.

Vlaamse Gaai
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