Do you like photographing birds? I myself enjoy it very much. The bright colors of songbirds and the beautiful grace of some larger birds is a treat to photograph. Here in Minnesota open water sites along rivers and near dams can be a good place to spot some of the birds that stayed over winter or who return to Minnesota in early spring (think Canada geese or trumpeter swans). In mid-March through mid-April the migration activity begins to really increase. Mid to late April you will see the return of shorebirds and the end of April you may start to see some songbirds start to return. You will need a long lens to photograph from a safe distance and a fast shutter speed to avoid blurry images. A tripod can also be helpful in keeping the camera steady, especially with a long lens. Add a gimbal head for photographing birds in flight. I myself prefer to hand hold most of the time, so I use a telephoto on a crop sensor which offers extra reach in a lighter system. When working in low light I may use my full frame with the same smaller telephoto lens and photograph birds in the landscape if I can't safely get close enough. You don't necessarily need the longest pro lens to get creative images of birds or wildlife. Remember to keep your distance and approach slowly so that you don't disturb the birds. Watch for any signs of stress from the birds. This is especially important with nesting birds.
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