Photographing Small Fast Flying Birds

fast flying birds
Tiny birds move fast to avoid predators and are almost impossible to photograph. Certainly, don't expect to be lucky to get a shot as you are just walking past one.

So how do you get the photo?
First you need to observe the bird. Find out where it feeds, what it feeds on and what times of the day it feeds also.
Honey eaters drink nectar so will be on bushes or plants with plenty of tubular flowers. At Werribbee Zoo last week, the Red Hot Pokers had Red Wattle Birds and New Holland Honeyeaters drinking nectar from the flowers. Although they moved fast, they did stop to drink.
Then if you wait, they might fly in and look.
Other birds might eat seeds, meal worms, moths and Birds of Prey would love a dead rat!

Fast Flying Birds
Another way is to put out a perch for them to alight on so they can check for predators etc. You can add some food on that for further enticement. Then have your camera ready and wait.

A long Telephoto lens is essential so you can be at a distance. 200mm - 400mm or more are useful lens lengths. Many of you would have that on your larger zoom lenses.
For the shyer birds, you may have to put your camera on a tripod, focus on the branch (manual focus) and trigger the camera using a wireless remote control. This is especially important for birds of prey as they have excellent eyesight. One I was trying to photograph even looked into the doorway where I was hiding and then flew off!

You need to have a lot of patience and persistence.



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