Boreal Chickadee

All things being equal, getting a good picture of birds is the hardest part of nature photography for me. No problem getting a picture of a bird, big or small. But to get a good picture of a bird, where it stands out, that’s the challenge. It starts with locating a bird, followed by tracking the bird through the camera, smaller the bird, harder it is to do. Then I try to get close to the bird without scaring it away, for me it works best when I figure out which direction the bird is moving and wait ahead of it and let the bird decide to get close to me. The birds have so many options with each move, always a good chance I’ll not get a clean look. But with nature photography it about staying positive and always thinking this will be the day. There are bird photographer who will use food to get close up pictures. For them, it's all about the picture. With me when shooting wild birds, I’ll always learn something about them and with lots of work and some luck I may get a good image. With bird photography I end up keeping a very small percentage of the images, we’re talking about single digits. One cold day standing in knee deep snow, I was watching several Boreal Chickadees. Waiting and waiting until one got closer and in a position where it stood out. The bird only gave me a couple of seconds to get it in focus and get the whole bird in the frame. No cropping was done with this image. Within 15 to 20 minutes I took about 400 images, kept less than 10. Nature keeps you humble.

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