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Making a Better Bird Photographer

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Making a Better Bird Photographer

One of the ambitions of a wildlife photographer is to capture that special moment. Many photographers run out down to the local pond and click away, not stopping to observe and understand the behaviors that may tell you in advance that something is going to happen. The more you stop and closely observe a birds behavior, the more you may be able to anticipate and predict it's behavior. If you look closely enough, you can learn a birds body language, and shave very valuable seconds from your reaction time.

When will a Great Blue Heron take off, out of the water? When will a Mallard Duck stretch up in the water and flap its wings? When will a Trumpeter Swan be relaxed enough that it will settle just a few feet away? When will a Black Oyster Catcher decide to extend its wings while walking along the shoreline? (as in the photo).

Every species will send different signals, and it does take a while to recognize them. It's always great, not to just capture the animals profile, but also their character too. This takes patience - there is no shortcut. The birds have to get to know you as well. Walking around, making fast movements, will only result in wild animals taking evasive action and changing their routine. You must ooze calmness and slow movements (if any), turn your cell phone OFF, and relax. This slow approach is key to getting the right composition to bring your wildlife photos to life.

Remember, you are on their land, their territory, and they are allowing you to enter their world. Be a good guest.