A Photo Blind in your backyard or the wild can get you closer to birds and enables shorter lenses, even point and shoot cameras. A sporting goods shop sells these for duck and other hunting for around $35. This one is very light weight and folds up enabling it to be carried in a backpack. Set it up near a water (birdbath) or food source- berries, bird feeders and wait for the birds to come in. I arrange large branches about 20 or 25 ft away and smear peanut butter mixed with sunflower seeds so that they are on the backside of the branches. The birds will land on branches to get the food. The lens you use will determine how far the blind should be from the target. This Spring I set up my blind near a Mulberry Tree and got some images of Cedar Waxwings feeding from only 15 feet away. They just go about their business and don’t recognize the blind as a threat. See Photo below.