To photograph little birds, or any bird, the first thing you have to do is find them, some times they can be located by sight and at times they can be located by hearing them then narrowing down their location from there. It can be frustrating.
I am blessed with keen long distance eyesight plus my hearing is fine and I can identify many species by ear. But that doesn’t help much when the bird you find is hidden or obstructed from view when you are trying to photograph them like this Green-tailed Towhee that was hidden in sage yesterday. The was taken at 700mm, using my 1.4x TC on a 500mm lens so the towhee can been seen or at least isn’t hard to make out in this photo but with the naked eye is is much more challenging.
Or you can visually locate the bird easily and hear them at the same time but they are a long way away so all you can capture is a photo where the bird is small in the frame. And even though I like those kind of images at times as a bird photographer I also love having the bird much larger in the frame to be able to see the fine details of the feathers. So you wait and wait, hoping the bird will come closer. Most of the time they don’t. Most of the time they fly away. Once in a while they will come closer like the Green-tailed Towhee I photographed last week did.
But there are times when a bird will pop up practically out of no where and surprise you and you might get a dozen images of it before it takes off. It pays to be ready for those opportunities.
I was ready when this Green-tailed Towhee perched on a lichen topped fence post yesterday long enough for me to fire off 30 frames before he flew down to the ground. Frustrating? Sure, but no one has ever told me that bird photography is easy.
Despite all of the frustrations I love being a bird photographer.
Life is good.