The next time a colorful cardinal alights on your feeder, why not grab your phone and get a nice picture? With a little know-how and patience, you can capture beautiful images of your feathered friends that you’ll be proud to share.

Download a camera app. There are many such apps on the market that come with professional features such as focusing (so you can blur out distracting backgrounds), varied shutter speeds and higher resolutions than your standard smartphone camera app. Choose one and start experimenting with the different features and settings.

Clear the view. If you’re shooting through the window inside your home, wash the windows inside and out, removing any storm windows or screens to make your view extra clear.

Get close-up images with digiscoping. If you already own a pair of binoculars or a spotting scope, pick up a smartphone adapter that allows you to take up-close photos and videos of your feathered friends through the lens of your scope. Then set up your “blind” on the couch at the back of your living room and get ready to capture many fun bird moments from a safe distance.

Use a stabilizing device. Dig out the tripod or improvise with a table and books to steady your setup. Hand-held images will make your images less sharp than steady images, especially when you press the shutter.

Shoot at the right time of day. Birds that are lit from the side will show up better than backlit birds. (But if you like the silhouette effect, experiment with your settings and see if you can capture interesting bird shapes!)

Prepare your birding station. Take a critical look at the view behind your feeder. Is there anything distracting in the background, like your parked car, that needs to be moved? This is also a good time to empty and wash your feeders and bird baths with a mild bleach solution, refilling them with fresh seed and water.

Lyric Supreme Wild Bird Mix is one of our most popular premium blends to attract a wide variety of colorful songbirds you’ll love to watch and photograph.

Female Northern Cardinal. T. Galbraith