Help Finding and Identifying Birds (Two Photographs)

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I have written a lot about taking photographs of birds and why a slight head turn is better and more impactful than a profile shot. I have not yet written about the great secret to finding birds. While some photographers and birders do not see eye to eye, it is clear why that is the case. Birding scopes are far more powerful than any affordable lens, and photographers have to get a lot closer to get the same view of a bird. So photographers risk frightening their subject away, while the birders can stand back and enjoy the view. I thought this was understood until I was standing with a birder friend on a ridge looking for hawks. He had a look through my camera and I looked through his scope, we were both impressed. His comment was he now understood that large lenses don’t get you as close as he thought. Then we discussed why photographing through a bird scope, while possible, would not lead to the best quality results. Having said all this, making friends with birders, finding friendly nature and birding groups will give you more tips on birds and birding than any book and cost a lot less than a hired guide.


10 responses

  1. Lovely shots of the mourning doves! 🙂


    April 28, 2017 at 10:31 am

  2. We birders appreciate what a photographer goes through. I so enjoy all your photos, Victor.


    April 28, 2017 at 11:04 am

  3. You’re right. I tried digiscoping and didn’t like the results. With a spotting scope now I simply enjoy the view.
    Love these dove’s eyes!


    April 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

  4. Excellent advice – I couldn’t agree more. These are really beautiful shots – they show off the lovely colors and patterns of this dove so well!


    April 29, 2017 at 9:06 am

  5. Great shots of the morning dove. I think doves are an under photographed bird. They are quite common and easy to practice photographing because they generally stay still and are not quite as skittish as most other birds. Also so true about cameras vs scopes. I find that when trying to photograph birds what works best for me is to snap a couple shots, then take a couple steps closer, then take a couple snaps, then a couple steps…. This technique was learned by walking up to take the photo too fast. I miss a lot less shots and generally find I can get a little closer, because my walk up to the bird is slower. Thanks for sharing your experience and these beautiful photos.


    June 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm

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