Up-close portraits of birds reveal their true personalities

Humans have long been fascinated with birds, but the very things that fascinate us about them—their speed, their agility, their flight—often make it difficult to get a close look at them. However, with advances in digital photography, it has become a little easier to capture detailed, up-close photos of these elegant creatures.

Lisa M. Ca, a German woman now living in Michigan, has used new photographic technology to take a closer look at the the birds she encounters in her adopted land. With her bird photo booth, she captures extreme close-up portraits that show a side of birds we rarely get to see. Not only are the photos incredibly detailed, showing the elegance of their anatomy, but they also reveal a surprising amount of personality. We tend to think of birds as being inscrutable, but these photos show what expressive animals they actually are. They’re animated, alert, and full of life. Some are grouchy, some are serene, some are curious, and some are uptight.

The bird photo booth is a combined bird feeder that has a covered enclosure for a camera, which can be controlled by bluetooth and used to take photos and videos. It’s a simple idea that yields surprising results, so many that Ca has an entire blog filled with stunning portraits.

If you see birds from afar and think they’re all the same, these images may surprise you. In fact, they might even inspire you to pick up a pair of binoculars.