I don’t often photograph head shots of birds. I typically prefer a portrait of the whole bird but on occasion when I have little other choice I find myself taking a head portrait shot of a bird. This is usually, however, in response to the photographers least mentioned frustration, the bird being too close. Yes, it happens. Sometimes the bird can be too close to photograph. It doesn’t sound right does it but sometimes even when zoomed all the way out all one can get in the picture is the head.
I had this small but welcomed problem the other day on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge while photographing a snowy egret. Typically snowy egrets keep enough distance I can get the whole bird and some scenery in with the image. Many times they fly off and wont even allow a picture to be taken. But every once in a while, like it was yesterday, I find a snowy egret willing to sit and pose for the camera. This time it was a bit too close so instead of risking chasing off the bird by starting up the truck and re-positioning I opted for the head portrait to try and show some not often seen detail of the head of the snowy egret.
I would have preferred the egret be about 20 or 30 feet further out but any opportunity to photograph a bird in nature I take and deal with the situation at hand as best I can. It sounds weird to say a bird too close is a problem for bird photographers but it is one most photographers would rather have than the bird be too far out. One just has to adapt and take what mother nature gives them.