If you’ve ever fancied trying your hand as a wildlife photographer, the perfect opportunity could be “right under your nose” in your own garden.
If you take the time to offer quality wild bird food on a regular basis, then you will no doubt have a flock of regular winged visitors who make excellent models!
As even amateur “snappers” now have the option of taking good photographs on their smart phones (or affordable cameras) there is nothing to stop you from getting fabulous photos of your feathered friends.
However, photographing birds – even when they land temporarily to feed – is not completely straight forward! Here are some ideas on how to capture images of garden birds.
Get Tempting Treats For Birds
One of the best tips to get good images of birds is to put out treats that attract a wide range of species and encourage them to stay awhile. live mealworms for birds are great for this, as their movement draws attention. The nutritional importance of mealworms will also attract your birds back repeatedly.
Even dried mealworms work well in getting feathered visitors to your feeders. Or, spread at least 100 of the protein rich larvae on a shallow dish, on your bird table.
Location And Equipment Matters
Where you place your wild bird food can be crucial to getting the best photographs. You need a clear, unobstructed view from a window or homemade “hide”, and the sort of background that adds to the visual appeal of your shot (such as bushes or a plain wall).
If you create some sort of perch within a short distance of the food source, it encourages birds to land and assess the situation before they feed. This can be a great time to photograph them, just before they swoop for their treat.
Having a good quality camera can be key of course, including the option to zoom in and a fast focus and shutter speed to capture them as they move.
Take Your Time
The best advice on photographing garden birds, though, is to have patience! It may take time to attract a regular “clientele” for your bird food feasts, and even longer to get the sort of photograph that captures their antics perfectly.
Experiment with the positioning of the bird food and perches (such as logs and high planters) to work out the best configuration for a clear view (for you and the birds).
Incidentally, the best time to take up position for your shots of garden birds is early in the morning, especially after a chilly night, as that’s when they are likely to be hungry and most active.