Bird Studios

A bird studio is an area in a yard optimized for photographing birds. A typical bird studio consists of some kind of "bait"--usually a feeder or two and a water feature--combined with perches made from natural objects such as tree limbs, all strategically placed to maximize photographic opportunities.

Because bird studios are controlled environments, they make it possible to prefocus on specific perch locations and fire off shots as soon as birds land, dramatically increasing keepers. They also make it possible to get closer to birds, which improves image sharpness and clarity by reducing the need for cropping. 

My bird studio is situated under our fruitless plum tree and includes a hummingbird feeder, a sunflower feeder, a finch feeder, a mesh peanut feeder, and a bird bath. I have a bench placed directly in front of the feeders as close as the birds will allow. Between the feeders and the bench I've placed a series of dried branches which act as perches for the birds as they come and go to the feeders.

As you can see by the detail and clarity in the heavily cropped image at right, the results have been excellent. If you're interested in photographing birds around your feeder, setting up a bird studio is one of the most effective ways to improve the quality of your photos.