Birds can be skittish animals, which doesn't help us get photos of them. To get around this, I have started to shoot from a ground blind that I usually use during deer season. The results are astounding! The birds never know I'm there, which helps me get more natural photos. With a few easy steps you'll be a better bird photographer in no time!
Step 1: Materials
You don't really need much to make a good blind for photography. These are some of the things that I use for setting it up and shooting from the blind:
-Ground Blind (either homemade or store bought)
-limbs for extra cover
-a comfy chair
-camera (of course!)
Other helpful things include:
Step 2: Positioning
Although birds can be found all over the place, however places that have food and water near by usually have a higher density. Remember this when you are thinking about where you want to set up. Also, try not to set up too close to where the birds are, but also not too far away. If you set up too close you can spook them, and if you set up too far your camera may not be able to zoom in on the birds as much as you would like. Finally, look for possible lighting issues while looking for a place to put your blind down.
Step 3: Camouflage
Most ground blinds come in a camo pattern, but I like to take to the next level by placing limbs and vines on my blind. I think that it really seems to break up the square shape of the blind.
Camo outside the blind is not the only thing that is important to consider when thinking about concealing yourself from the birds. While in the ground blind it is a good idea to where dark clothes. Light colors give a good contrast against the black interior of the blind, which makes it easier for the birds to detect your movements.
Step 4: Clear Field of View
Having a clear field of view is of course one of the most important things to consider before you start shooting. You don't want to have that special shot because a leaf or a twig got in the way and ruined that special shot you've been waiting for. So, when you first get in your blind check the places where you want to get your shots and make sure there is nothing in the way, and if there is just simply snip it off.
Step 5: Photographing
Once you get everything set up there's nothing else to really do but, well, shoot some photos! I shoot with my camera and nothing else, but if you have a tripod and remote I suggest you use them. Both of these pieces equipment greatly reduce the amount of movement that you have to do to take photos. The biggest thing to remember when photographing birds is that any movement can cause them to enter a state of alarm, so stay still. With a lot of patience and a little luck you may just get that special shot.