Photographing birds presents a unique set of often challenging requirements.
Landscape photography is about composition, about lighting, about capturing the magnificence of the landscape. Once you have an idea of what you want to do, you usually have time to set up a tripod, make sure you have the right film -- or, if digital, the right settings.
With animals you can get a photo from a little further away because of their usually larger size. And, while animals can disappear fairly quickly, they don’t fly.
Birds on the other hand are either flying, sitting in trees, or harder still: foraging in trees. If flying, there is usually a bright blue background so that the bird is merely a silhouette, lacking color and clarity. And, you might find out later that at the split second the photo was taken a wing is covering the bird's head.
If birds are in trees they could be in the canopys 40 to 120 feet off the ground creating both a distance problem and angle problem. Even if lower in the trees you often have a problem with branches or leaves obstructing the photo and creating a focusing problem often requiring manual focus and loss of precious seconds. Many birds are in constant motion from branch to branch or tree to tree. And if you move even slightly to get a better angle you'll scare the bird and he'll fly away.
Sometimes though, a bird will sit still, as if to acknowledge their beauty and willingness to pose for a photo. Here then, are some of my favorite bird photos.