I decided to try my hand at backyard bird photography just for fun.
Here are two great resources from Moose Peterson:
In my case, there are a lot of trees & bushes near my deck, so the birds have lots of options. Unfortunately, most of those places are not accessible with the camera and/or there is no way to predict where the bird will land. So I used Moose's method of providing a perch that i could focus on. At first I tried his technique of putting the water 7 to 10 feet away from the perch, but the birds just went to the other locations after the water. So I ended up putting the water quite close to the perch, mounted on the railing.
Here is the setup (sorry for the iPhone photo).
The perch is a dead tree that I had in the garden. I cut it down and lashed it to the deck. As you can see it is very close to the water. So far the Blue Jays use it most. Sometimes there are two at the water and two on the perch. When the Blue Jays are away, then the smaller birds come in. The finches are quite skittish and I have not been successful photographing them yet. I am using the Nikon Z7 with the FTZ adapter and the 300 f/4 PF lens and 1.4X teleconverter. I just sit at the table and wait for the birds to come.
Here are some Blue Jays:
None of this means that I am a bird photographer or even becoming one, but it is a fun challenge and something different.
Excellent bird “portraits”, John. Very nicely done. You’re well on your way to being a bird photographer!
Nicely done! It looks like you have a family of blue jays. That one with the grayish head appears to be a juvenile.
I like Moose Peterson's videos a lot. Another great birding photography resource with great advice is Steve Perry. Here's his birds in flight crash course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69jcmNbqGrU
Very inspiring shots! Thanks for sharing the technique and gears details.