Details really do matter. I find that people that specialize in something tend to really focus on details and that's what often separates them from the rest of the crowd. I'm a bass fishermen, and I've seen two people in the same boat using the same bait and one person is catching fish and the other isn't, something as simple as changing the size of the bait, can mean the difference between catching a fish or going home hungry. The same holds true for photography, in this case, Michael specializes in bird photography and has learned through experience which small details can really improve his images of birds.
1. The bird should be facing directly toward the viewer or at a profile view, not flying away from the viewer.
2. Leave room for the birds movement in the image.
3. It's often helpful to see the birds feet.
4. Leave room in your composition for the feet, even if they are under water.
5. Show a bird with some personality. A head tilt or other interesting guesture can really add life to an image.
6. Try to capture a catch light in the birds eyes. This can be done with front light, side light, or a fill flash.
Post your images and comments below.