Bird Photography Tips For Great Backyard Bird Pictures

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Best Bird Photography Tips


try these tips, by Sandra Rust

female ruby throated hummingbird getting food from a flower. Copyright Sandra Rust
Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Get Better Backyard Photos With These Top Bird Photography Tips

  • Bright & sunny days are best, in the morning around 8 – 9 am, or 1 hour before sunset and up to sunset for bird photography.
  • If you can park your car near your bird feeder, then the car will act like a blind and you can take the photos through the window.
  • You can make a blind from a white or black (black is best) 5×7 popup reflector with a stand and stand behind it to block the bird’s view.  Or you can buy a duck blind tent at any Home Depot or Menards for around $49 – $79 US.
  • When setting up, remember to stay back around 40 – 50 feet, then wait patiently for the birds to fly back to the feeder. Be still for 10+ minutes, so bring a chair, and then be still until they land to eat before taking your first shot.
red bellied woodpecker sitting on a fence. Copyright Sandra Rust
Red-bellied Woodpecker

What Camera Settings To Use?

  1. Set your camera to manual.
  2. Set your ISO to 800 or more, 800 ISO is optimal.
  3. Set aperture to f11 or f8 if possible.
  4. Use a tripod to take a clear shot.
  5. If handheld, turn on vibration reduction.
northern cardinal male perched on a twig. Copyright Sandra Rust
Male Northern Cardinal

More Tips For Backyard Bird Photography

  • Feed birds the same time every morning and/or evening to get the birds used to you feeding them. According to recent studies, birds have facial recognition abilities. (I believe that is a fact because I have some birds that are very friendly to me, and I know that they know me.)
  • Plant sunflowers, zinnia, and honeysuckle flowers to attract butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees and birds.
  • Add birdbaths and ground-level water bowls to attract a variety of wildlife.
magnolia warbler perched on a branch Copyright Sandra Rust
Magnolia Warbler

  • Add peanuts and dried fruits to your seed blend to attract a wider variety of birds and wildlife.
  • Use a remote shutter release to capture inflight images.
red bellied woodpecker in flight. Copyright Sandra Rust
Red-bellied Woodpecker

Enjoy Your Bird Photography!

About Sandra Rust

My story starts in my backyard. I live on the ridge of a very beautiful wildlife park. I take photos of the flowers, birds, and insects in my yard and the park across the street.  It is so healing to be in nature and focus on the beauty within our world. I share my photos on FB and other social media outlets to show others the beauty of nature that surrounds us.

An art piece of a flying bird with a yellow background. Copyright Sandra Rust
Stunning Photographic Art

I started taking photographs at the age of 14 years old. I recall always having a love affair with the arts; from dance, painting, drawing, sculpture, video, and photography.

I began taking bird photos in my backyard to try to identify a few birds for my sister’s father-in-law who got me involved with the IBET – Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts.

northern-cardinal-female-sr-wsCopyright Sandra Rust
Female Northern Cardinal

From a young age, I wanted to delve into the arts headfirst, and I had aspirations to be a photographer or even a director of photography. I started out in fine art/painting, and then merged into commercial photography/arts, then I realized I personally couldn’t make a living selling fine art.

I have always loved nature and birds. Feeding and watering the song birds, and squirrels were something my Grandparents and my Mother always did. Deep down I possessed an innate love of wildlife, along with compassion for their well-being. I look back and recall nature walks and hiking in nature as my number one activity.

male northern cardinal sitting on a branch. Copyright Sandra Rust
Male Northern Cardinal

When in nature the lovely lyrics of a song sometimes play in my head….. This Is My Father’s World.

Visit Sandra’s nature photography at Joliet Commercial Photographer. Please Like her page on Facebook,

More Help To Attract & Watch Birds

  • Choosing Birding Binos  Selecting birding binoculars is an important decision. There are a lot of considerations to be explored when purchasing the best binoculars for your wild bird-watching pleasure.
  • Compact Binoculars  Compact binoculars with their high-quality optics offer excellent edge-to-edge contrast and sharpness. Read this enlightening review.
  • Bird Watching Binoculars  Bird watching binoculars are assumed by many people to be expensive and difficult to use. However, the contrary is true. They can be a terrific asset to the backyard bird watcher.
  • Best Birdlife Webcams  Having a webcam set up to take those moments at your bird feeder or birdbath that you can’t always be around to see are exciting. Four of the best here.
  • Bird Watching Club  A bird watching club can be a very enjoyable and helpful group to belong to. Many clubs provide group activities and many more benefits such as…
  • Unusual Bird Sighting  Occasionally unusual birds arrive at our backyard bird feeders. These birds often delight us and this sighting is no exception.
  • Migration Flyways  There are a number of major migration flyways around the world, let’s have a look at your proximity to these avian paths.
  • Thayer Birding Software Review  This birding software would make an excellent gift for anyone who is interested in bird watching or nature in general.
  • Bird Watching   is simply listening to or watching birds wherever you are, inside your house, driving, walking in a park, or hiking the wild. Learn how.

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