Drone Bird Photography

Bird Photography Tips plus Some Drone Action

Birders can learn more about birds and become more active in birding when drones are used in bird photography. With a high-resolution drone camera, plus these tips, you can perfect your shots.


You need a lens with a long focal length. Versatile and fairly lightweight, a 300mm zoom lens captures the best images. For a sharper image, try out a 400mm prime lens. Keep in mind that the weight of a lens can increase the probability of hand-shake blur. If you are working with a heavy camera, use a monopod or tripod.


Using a wide aperture like f/4 will give you a shallow depth-of-field, which isolates the bird from its background and directs attention to its colours and curves. To have full control over the aperture and shutter speed, set the ISO to auto. A fast shutter speed ensures you are ready for action. You never know when a bird will take flight. So be ready for that.


How you focus on birds depends on what equipment you have and which approach you are taking. Some cameras auto-focus faster and more accurately than others, so experiment to know how fast your auto-focus motor moves. Since birds are moving objects, change your autofocus to continuous focus which tracks motion. For better results, learn to focus manually.

Timing and Location

Birds are very active in spring – the ground softens, seeds start coming out, and worms are everywhere. In autumn, they avidly gather food before winter sets in. Whatever the season, early mornings and sundowns will draw the most action.

For close-ups, find a location birds enjoy, hide, and wait. This is where patience pays. The better you hide, the closer birds will come to you. Tuck yourself in a bush or hide behind a tree to camouflage yourself. Try to stay still and quiet.

Your backyard is one of the best places to practice bird photography. Keep your camera handy so you are ready when a bird lands in your yard. From there, photograph birds in their natural habitats like beaches, forests and waterways.

Visit zoos, humane societies and bird sanctuaries where you can find exotic species. A nearby nature reserve or national park may be a bird spectacle. Birds living in areas with frequent human visitors are less skittish and camera-shy.

Every environment will cause birds to behave in different ways so its best to do some research beforehand. If you’re ever in South Australia and are looking for drone photography Adelaide services, it’d be best to reach out to them to help you capture the most high-quality bird photography from afar.


For the subject to pop out, the background should be clean, simple, and dark or neutral. Use your depth-of-field or point-of-view to remove background clutter, or blur it out using a large aperture.

Tips for Drone Bird Photography

Know the laws protecting endangered species and migratory birds from drones. Observe federal, local and tribal rules regarding drone use. Areas with extensive bird numbers are considered no-fly zones. Avoid flying over birds and their habitats during sensitive periods like moulting or breeding. Bio-inspired drones that look and fly like a bird will not be attacked by birds of prey. Keep a distance of 30 metres from where birds are flying, wading or feeding. Don’t play games like competing with birds in flight.