• Georgina Steytler

Top Tips for Better Bird Photography

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

I often get asked what are my top tips for bird photography? In reality there are innumerable ways to take great bird images and each photographer develops their own style and list of priorities. Set out below are my Top Tips for becoming a Better Bird Photographer. Each of these deserves its own article... hmm... I have a lot of work to do in the future!

Be Ethical and Honest

Ethics is just another way of saying that you always put the welfare of the bird above your need to get a photo of it. Nature around the world is under enormous threat from human activity. Let's not compound the problem.

Being ethical sometimes requires you to educate yourself about the potential impact (including the cumulative impact) of, among other things:

  • using call playback (playing the taped calls of birds to get a bird to come closer, as has become increasingly popular, implicitly is interfering with the bird's natural behaviour. Apart from the raised stress levels/hormones, you might be calling a bird from it's nest, away from feeding, into the open and drawing the attention of predators etc. Under most environmental legislation, such deliberate interference with a bird's natural behaviour, causing it stress, would constitute 'harrassment' and be illegal. In addition, at worst, ancedotal evidence shows that excessive use of call playback has resulted in some species stopping to call altogether).

  • deliberately (and often repeatedly) flushing birds.

  • going off the designated paths in protected reserves. In Western Australia our native vegetation is under dire threat from the intro