This isn’t a Cardinal Rule, but one of the things you should generally do when shooting birds is stand with the sun behind you. This helps you get the beauty and detail of their feathers and you don’t get harsh shadows cutting across the bird. I did not do that. However, I’m definitely learning how to do this and the whole bird photo thing is very new to me. Regardless, here are a few shots of a quite attractive Cardinal male that was by my house.
Canon T3i – ISO 400, 1/1000 sec, f/8, at 300mm
And one more.
Canon T3i – ISO 400, 1/1600sec, f/8, 300mm