Thursday, February 13, 2020

Review of Bird Photography in the Snow

I love photographing birds and in the winter a snowy day can give a wonderful backdrop for my bird photographs.

female cardinal photo by mbgphoto
Female Cardinal

As I reviewed articles online in preparation for writing this article, I found many tips on photographing in the snow.  Most of these talked about protecting your camera, wearing gloves with the fingers cut out and that type of tips.  I have a different setup for photographing birds right from the comfort of my own home and that is what I will be sharing in this article.

Photographing through Glass

red male cardinal photo by mbgphoto

The photograph above, as well as all of the photos on this page were taken through glass.  I have tripods set up in my home that I use to photograph the birds in our yard.  The photograph above was taken through our sliding glass doors in the kitchen.  I often get a surprised reaction when people hear that I photograph through glass, but it has worked well for me.

               When photographing through glass
                be sure to keep the glass clean.

I keep a cloth handy to quickly wipe away any smudges on the glass.  On a snowy day I will frequently open the door to wipe away sleet or drops that have formed on the glass outside.

                Set up the camera as close to the
                glass as possible.

I have my cameras set up on a tripod just inches away from the glass.

My Setup

I have two cameras that I use to take my bird photography.  Both are set up on tripods.  
  • Sony A57 DSLR set up with a Tamron 200-600 zoom lens.  This camera is perfect for getting the birds that are at a bit of a distance.  I use these when the birds are at my far feeders, up in the branches of the trees along the back of our property or in the bushes.
  • Sony a6300 mirrorless camera.  This camera set up with a 70-210 zoom lens is perfect for the birds on the deck and in the closer feeders.  I use it in connection with a wireless remote so that I can sit at the kitchen table and trigger the shutter release when I see a bird.  I used this setup in photographing the BlueJays pictured below.

blue jay photo by mbgphoto

blue jay photo by mbgphoto

Bright Colored Birds on a Snowy Day

I love to photograph all birds but catching some of these brightly colored birds against the snowy backdrop are my favorites.

female cardinal photo by mbgphoto

eastern bluebird photo by mbgphoto

bird photo by mbgphoto

red cardinal photo by mbgphoto

Dark-eyed Junco or Snowbird

Another favorite of mine is the Junco which is commonly called the snowbird.  It has a dark top and white underside which looks great on a snowy day.

Junco photo by mbgphoto

Zazzle Products from my Photographs

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Wonderful photos and photography tips, Mary Beth. I do take photos through glass, also. Like you, I have found that my lens needs to be very close to the window (to avoid glare and distortion). I get great joy from watching and photographing the birds in my yard. I can tell you feel the same way. It's nice to share that connection.

  2. Love your photography tips, Mary Beth, and always enjoy seeing your tips displayed by your fantastic photographs. Bright colored birds against the snow is a gorgeous scene. I remember you telling how you have your cameras set up on tripods and can take your photos through glass. Very clever. Thanks for sharing your bird visitors in such a lovely way.

  3. Mary Beth, I love your bird photos. I often take photos through the windows but I don't end up close enough to the glass and get glare. Your tips of being close to the window and on a tripod are very good tips. By the way, that Junco photo is especially good.

  4. Your photos are always beautiful! I am one of those people who was surprised to hear you take your bird photography through glass. I do have one other question, do you use a flash? I am guessing that is not necessary due to daylight and distance, but I have wondered. Your photos are always so bright. Our days tend to be very overcast on snowy days. I have really enjoyed looking at the beautiful birds in your backyard from my chair in the warmth of my own home.

    1. No, I do not use flash. On a particularly dreary day I may up the exposure a bit in Lightroom or Photoshop to bring out the features in the birds and add a bit of light, but most of the time I don't need to do that.

  5. I love the way you share your world with us in your photos. Some of these birds we almost never see in California. I've never seen a red one here. And I think it snows here about once in a lifetime.

  6. Birds are some of my favorite things to watch and to take pictures of. I'm still learning about how to get the best results, so this is helpful. I love your pictures, they are so cute and you do such a great job in framing them. Winter from indoors and those winter birds are beautiful for sure. But then again, you also have a real talent for this and it shows.

  7. Your photos are beautiful. You sure have a gift. Love the cards you made with your photos as well. My friends are such bird lovers and take a lot of photos. It's amazing how close your photos are - such detail on their little faces lol.

  8. So pretty! I'm one of those I can't believe those photos are behind glass! Thanks for the tips!


Most Recent Reviews on Review This Reviews

Search for Reviews by Subject, Author or Title

The Review This Reviews Contributors

SylvestermouseSylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMbgPhotoMbgPhotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaThe Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieLou16Lou16Sam MonacoSam MonacoTracey BoyerTracey BoyerRenaissance WomanRenaissance WomanBarbRadBarbRadBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecorating for EventsDecorating for EventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G


Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten

“As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and or Etsy (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement