Canada is a large and mostly untapped country with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes. As a Canadian bird photographer there are seemingly endless opportunities for me to capture stunning bird photos. I’m often surprised at just how many bird species there are in a small area. Not the same as say the rainforests or southern coastal regions but for me a photographer that takes bird pictures I’m always surprised at what I find.
Challenges of Capturing Bird Photos in Canada
Canada is LARGE! Geographically Canada is 9.98 million square kilometers (3.85 million square miles) making it the number 2 country in the world by total area. Compare that to the average size of a bird 5 inches or so and well you may think it’s like finding a needle in a hay stack, but it’s not. Often the challenge in Canada for bird photographers isn’t finding a bird to take pictures of it’s the weather. It can be freezing cold to boiling hot everything from -40 degrees fahrenheit to + 40 and not to mention the feet and feet of snow we can get. So preparing for the weather is often the most important thing to consider as a Canadian bird photographer. My fall photography tips outline some of those challenges you face taking photos in Canada.
Now with all of those challenges you have one massive benefit. You get some very unique bird photos. For me the weather in Canada is high on my list of things that are important to capturing great photos.
3 Bird Photography Gear Requirements For Canadians
I’ve been fortunate over the years to have used several camera brands and some very cool lenses for my bird photography. at the end of the day the best bird photography gear is actually very simple.
- The Lens: The most important piece of gear a bird photographer should consider is the lens. The lens optical clarity, speed and focus length are essential for photographing birds. When budgeting you should consider spending more than you think on the glass (lens) even if that means not buying the top of the line camera body.
- Camera Sensor: The camera sensor is often misunderstood. The sensor needs to both have a high pixel count and good low light performance. Bigger camera sensors aren’t always what’s best in bird photography.
- Monopod: Often overlooked the monopod solves several problems. First it helps to stabilize the camera and lens which in turn allows you to capture sharper photos. The second thing a monopod solves is fatigue. Depending on the camera lens and body weight holding the gear for long periods of time can reduce your ability to hold things steady when taking pictures of birds.
What’s In My Camera Bag?
As a Canadian bird photographer my camera bag gear changes throughout the year mostly to keep with the changing weather conditions. Right now when I go to photograph birds I have the following camera gear in my bag.
- SONY A1
- SONY a7RIV
- SONY 100-400mm
- SONY 70-200MM
- Lens cleaning cloth
- Extra batteries
The main thing to consider here is the SONY 100-400mm lens. Now this could be any brand but it’s one of the most versatile lenses for bird photography. If you’re looking for your first bird photography lens check out my YouTube channel where I run through a bunch of lenses perfect for taking bird photos. If you’re a SONY shooter these camera settings for bird photography should be a good start.
Gallery of Bird Photos Taken in Canada
I’m proud to say I’m a Canadian bird photographer and enjoy all the opportunities I get for capturing birds regardless of the weather or location. For more photos and stories check out my Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook channels.