10 Birding Photography Tips

Birding photography in Cuba is something special. Many people come to the island for this reason alone. With 26 endemic bird species on the island, you’re sure to find some amazing photos. The best way to find these species is by having a local nature guide who knows where to go. To make it even better, have a photography expert on hand to guide you to capture the perfect photo.

Aside from your experts and guides, what will make your birding photography tour a success?

Tip # 01:

On your birding photography tour, you will spend several hours at a time in nature. Whilst your main meals are provided, snacks are not. They’re not easy to purchase either whilst you are on your excursion in remote areas. It’s a good idea to bring snacks along, like nuts or energy bars. These will keep your energy up!

Tip # 02:

We recommend you bring your binoculars with you on the trip, as everyone has different preferences, this will make it easier to see the birds. It can be a challenge to bring these through customs, so we will provide guidance and recommendation as to requirements to ensure clear passage. We also recommend that you contact your Cuban embassy before departure to ensure you have the correct paperwork in place for these.

Yoanis Blanco Santos Photography

Tip # 03:

Don’t forget your camera with you, along with some batteries, you’re going on a birding photography tour after all! Amazing and friendly photography experts will ensure that you create lasting memories of your trip (maybe even a new stunning photography portfolio).

Tip #04:

Remember to bring an SD card or USB! With all these new beautiful pictures, you need to make sure they are all saved and backed up safely. These are not the easiest items to find either, so make sure you have them on hand.

Tip #05:

Whilst we provide you with an endemic list and have an expert birding guide on hand, you are still going to need a birding list (there are a couple we recommend). There is nothing more exhilarating than being able to identify the birds yourself at each new location.

Yoanis Blanco Santos Photography

Tip #06:

You’ll be surrounded by nature whilst birding and this means you’ll need to have insect repellant on hand! Make sure it’s a non-chemical type to avoid harming the environment. This is important, especially when visiting areas that have highly protected ecosystems.

Tip #07:

The early bird catches the worm! Be ready for some early morning starts on our birding photography tour, as this is the best time for it. It’s when the birds feed, so they are more active, which means more chances of getting an amazing shot of them. The light is also the best in the morning and the afternoon. The midday sun is something we try to avoid ensuring the best picture outcomes.

Tip #08:

We tend not to run our birding photography in the wet season (April to November), as it is the main nesting season. However, sometimes there is rain in the other seasons also, so please bring a camera cover as well as a raincoat, preferably not something in hi-vis.

Tip #09:

Remember, you have award-winning, National Geographic Photography experts on hand! Make sure that you ask them as many questions as possible to help you capture amazing bird shots. Settings, filters, the best gear to use, positioning and even the processing of your pictures after your session. As chatter can scare the birds off, try to ask questions either prior or between birding sessions.

Yoanis Blanco Santos

Tip #10:

A birding trip to Cuba is not complete without taking an opportunity to also capture some vibrant nature shots, you will find the greenest of greens and bluest of blues around here! Not to mention the opportunity to capture tropical sunsets shots in the various locations we visit.

One of the most rewarding things about travelling is seeing new and interesting wildlife. What’s more rewarding is taking amazing photos to highlight your travel memories forever.

We hope these tips have provided some guidance and inspiration to do some research before visiting. If you want to capture amazing birding shots in Cuba, make sure you join one of our birding tours in via Simply Cuba Tours!

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