I’ve discussed equipment, camera settings, exposure, practicing your skills, and finding the best location at the right time of year. The next stage of the game is knowing when and how to get close enough to make the images you have in mind. By understanding your subject’s behavior, you can anticipate the next step and be ready for action. Heed behavioral cues, which indicate whether a bird is alarmed by your presence and you need to step back, or is unconcerned and it’s safe to move closer. In short, the welfare of your subject is more important than getting a great shot.