Wednesday, February 7, 2024

How to Get Closer to Birds

The best bird photos are of birds that act as if you are invisible, like this unique look at a Rose-breasted Grosbeak (photo by Melissa Groo).
A “Sit Spot” can be as simple as a bench along a hiking trail in season – pick your own sit spots (photo by Karen Rodriguez).

One of the most challenging aspects of birding, including bird photography, is “gaining an audience with birds,” as professional photographer Melissa Groo likes to say. If you’ve spent time in the field pursuing birds with a camera, you’ve most likely discovered that locating birds is the relatively easy part of the bird photography process. Melissa shares that knowing how to approach birds, and how to simply be around birds, is just as important as knowing which lens to use. She shares a number of strategies to make birds more comfortable with your presence and attention, as well as tools that can help you blend into the background.

Any birder, but especially bird photographers, including birders just getting started, seasoned bird photographers, and pros alike will benefit from Melissa’s insights that describe and illustrate how she gets close without alarming birds – a point of interest and ethical concern championed by professional wildlife and conservation photographer Melissa Groo. In her Living Bird article, entitled “How to Get Close to Birds: 4 Strategies from a Photography Pro,” Melissa reveals her 4 most productive methods of getting close without getting too close to birds you wish to photograph. Read about using a photo blind, and finding a “Sit Spot” to let birds come to you; learn how to approach birds by walking with a zig-zag approach, and how attracting birds at home through landscaping and feeder foods is a photo plus too. Try these photo approaches to “gain an audience with birds.”

To learn more, we want to refer you directly to Melissa Groo’s potent messages about how you can improve your bird photos at How to Get Close to Birds: 4 Strategies from a Photography Pro | All About Birds All About Birds

You can also take your bird photography to the next level by looking into Melissa Groo’s Bird Academy course, “How to Photograph Birds in Flight.” Learn more at How to Photograph Birds in Flight with Melissa Groo | Bird Academy • The Cornell Lab (