Every now and again I ‘cheat’ by way of photography and these Cockatoo shots are no exception. Sometimes so as to not be anti-social I don’t want to be out waiting for birds to land to try and get photos and want to be able to set the camera up and just ‘leave’ it to take some photos. Thankfully some years ago my lovely wife got me a motion trigger for my camera which allows me to do this. These are fairly common and available on ebay, and all you do is set the sensitivity of the motion detector and leave it in an appropriate place to take some photos.
Then all you need is some bird seed to encourage the birds to visit and you just leave the sensor to do the rest. The trick I have found is to use a good wide angle lens (although you do get distortions) as it means that you can have a significant amount of the scene in focus, especially across different planes of the image. In the case of these images I used a Nikon 10.5mm fisheye lens with my Nikon D5300, went for a fairly wide aperture and also used Auto-ISO to make sure that the shutter speed stayed around 1/1000 or faster. The bigger the bird the slower the shutter speed you can have (to a limit) and I have found with these birds this is a good point to start.
For those that are interested, this bird is a Sulfur Crested Cockatoo (Cacatua galerita).