Jump to content
Whatbird Community

How do you get close to birds without scaring them away?


Recommended Posts

Zoom lenses, windows, bird feeders. Sometimes bird are more habituated to people at busy public parks so they don’t get scared as easily. Some parks near me you can put out your hand and the chickadees will land on you whether or not you have seed. Yet sometimes I can’t get the chickadees to even attempt to land on my hand in my yard even with seed. 
 

Waiting until the birds come to you also works. If you just sit outside, or stand in one spot for a while they sometimes won’t perceive you as that big of a threat or may simply not notice your presence. I would sit outside on a chair everyday for an hour or so in the summer and one day I had a house finch land on my head! Must of thought I was a statue or something. Lots of photographers invest in bird blinds as well, but I wouldn’t say that’s needed.  Sometimes it’s just luck as well. No way of telling if that bald eagle is gonna perch on the tree beside the path or across the river. 
 

It’s more or less a waiting game. Some species are easier than others.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

If the bird doesn’t want to be close to you, it’s not going to let you get close. As Aaron said, it’s a waiting game. I usually will get as close to the bird as I think it will let me before it starts to get agitated. Then, if it comes closer, great! If not, so be it! A good picture isn’t worth it if it hurts the bird. 
 

Example: This was gotten by sitting in a lawn chair five feet from my feeder for 30 minutes. 
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/283201701#_ga=2.73806171.833437689.1613746855-362103245.1592329863

Edited by Avery
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you have feeders, it can depend on how hungry they are.  On colder days, they'll tolerate me being closer to the feeders than on warmer ones.  I've had them perch within three feet of me when I'm refilling the feeders.  That's not helpful for photography but you can get some great observations.

@Candydez12, did we ever find out what camera you're using?  I don't know what you're budget is but you can get a used FZ70 with great zoom for under $150, or a new FZ80 for under $300.

Link to post
Share on other sites

@Charlie Spencer we got a almost brand new very expensive camera from a friend of ours for Christmas and we got it for less then 300 dollars! It is a Canon EOS Rebel T5. My dad said they are worth a lot of money. I have a huge zoom lens so (unless I want to get bird pictures from more further away) I am getting good pictures. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/19/2021 at 6:06 PM, Avery said:

If the bird doesn’t want to be close to you, it’s not going to let you get close. As Aaron said, it’s a waiting game. I usually will get as close to the bird as I think it will let me before it starts to get agitated. Then, if it comes closer, great! If not, so be it! A good picture isn’t worth it if it hurts the bird. 
 

Example: This was gotten by sitting in a lawn chair five feet from my feeder for 30 minutes. 
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/283201701#_ga=2.73806171.833437689.1613746855-362103245.1592329863

Great Picture! And thanks so much 🙂 

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Candydez12 said:

@Charlie Spencer we got a almost brand new very expensive camera from a friend of ours for Christmas and we got it for less then 300 dollars! It is a Canon EOS Rebel T5. My dad said they are worth a lot of money. I have a huge zoom lens so (unless I want to get bird pictures from more further away) I am getting good pictures. 🙂 Thanks for asking.

How long is your lens?

Link to post
Share on other sites

I know how frustrating it can be, especially if you're expecting to get closer shots.  I have found that some birds will come closer if I'm wearing sunglasses and/or a large-brimmed hat (to hide my eyes).  But sometimes the birds don't come or let you get close, just like sometimes you don't see the species you are looking for, so be patient and go birding often.  300mm, which is equal to 480mm on your crop sensor camera, is good.  Your camera is 18 megapixels, so you can crop a little.

Edited by The Bird Nuts
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...