Small birds, especially passerines, are a real challenge to photograph. They cannot sit still while you focus and when you are ready they already have flown away to the next branch.
Again, one of the secrets is to draw their attention with what they like most, i.e. food. Having a bird feeder installed is, although not a guarantee, a way to increase the probability to get more chances to take pictures of these attractive animals. A good time to do this is the cold season as the birds may not have enough food anyway. Ornithologists are not so happy with this idea since they tend to recommend feeding only in the most extreme situations when birds would not survive without.
With the right equipment like a long lens and converters one is able to obtain close portraits of these small creatures such as a Greenfinch:
or a Blue Tit
or a Tree Sparrow bringing nesting material
With some luck (you know that’s one of the main ingredients for successful wildlife photography) even bigger birds come to visit the feeders such as this spotted woodpecker
A hide is not necessary but enough time to let the birds get accustomed to the photographer. Avoid rapid movements and much noise. The use of flashlight is possible as animals are generally much more sensitive to noise than to light. The failure rate in this type of wildlife photography is very high so do not expect too much from even a large series of frames. Five to ten percent “keepers” would be an enormous success. One in a hundred or less is more realistic.
That’s it for now. More pictures of small birds at http://hhsiegrist.zenfolio.com/