Bird photography is a very interesting, sometimes challenging and rewarding genre of photography. And even though species vary across the globe and even from one area of where you live to another, there are almost always some birds out there to photograph.
Birding was more of DH’s thing and I would either come along for the ride or find what appealed to me more and leave him to his feathered friends but with the onset of things being locked down and social distancing I discovered the joys (and frustrations) of bird photography.
It gets you outdoors and almost always far apart from other people!
And right now that works for me just fine and dandy. While I wish I could be places where they have some spectacular specimens of birds like Florida or the gulf coast, with the help of an app (there’s one for everything) called eBird, we’ve been able to explore areas in our state and have discovered more birds than we ever really saw before outside of an Audubon class or bird sanctuary.
Today I am sharing a rather common bird, the Ring-billed Gull. These critters will eat anything they can snatch be it from something they eat naturally, snatching part of your picnic or picking over a trash heap. I would imagine many birders don’t consider them a big deal as they seem to be omnipresent but for our purposes they fit the “bill.”
Feel free to groan at the bad pun.
Part of bird photography is being able to focus on the eye of the animal and to track it in flight. The first part isn’t too difficult if it’s a bird that is used to humans and doesn’t twitch about too much but the second part? That takes practice! So we went to a lakeside beach where we knew gulls amassed every evening and had at the practicing.
Will share more about birding and bird photography (the bits I’ve learned so far) later but here is one gull that I captured in flight. As these birds are used to humans they were not afraid to get close to us or us to them. That made practicing easier but still it pinged my fear of gulls from the movie The Birds. All I have to hear is that one noise they made at Bodega Bay and I’m ready to bolt!!
Tracking them really is not an easy task at all.
That takes practice, right gear and speed. And in my case (as I wear glasses) being able to spot them fast enough and lock on!
I think bird photography is trickier than it looks. Nice work, Teri.
There are definitely tricks to the trade that I am learning more and more but biggest one? Practice!!! Thanks
I think I move around too much to be a good bird photographer.
Good thing those bridges hold still for you then, huh? lol
That bird is captured so beautifully in flight.
I started getting interested in bird photography after seeing your last few posts on the water birds. Will wait for the future posts and the “tips”.
On the equipment required, I have a 55-200 kit lens, can that get me started? Or do we need bigger lenses to start with things like crow, squirrels, bats etc? I have some parrots too around my house these days, and an occasional peacock.
Thank you! That lens will get you started fine as long as you realize you may not be able to get a close image unless the bird or other animal doesn’t mind you getting closer or you are very stealthy. A lot of animal photographers I know of of use very long lens like 600-800mm.
Yes, those bazookas are falling way out of my budget right now ☺️ someday hopefully… I think till that time it would be good time to practice the techniques of bird photography you mention – patience, stealth and most of all, identification of different birds and their habits 🙂
We went birding this morning as we had cooler temps and a little wind. I haven’t logged my birds yet on eBird but I think we saw 20 species. We saw a bunch of American Redstarts but could never get a good pic because they were so spastic. Nice post! 😊
Spastic is a good word for some of the little birds 🙂
Yes…it reminds me of a little hyper-active dog. 🙂
One of my favorite aspects of bird photography is that it gets you away from people. Fun post and nice photo! 🙂