For bird photography, don't shoot during a high noon. Always have the sun facing the subject. Morning and evening lights are the best.
Here is my all time favorite shot of a tri-color heron. It is supposed to be a FL native bird. This was shot in NYC outer Brooklyn.
Hehe, oh I know, I mentioned that too, just above the picture...
"The bad thing about this photo is the harsh sunlight, a result of taking the picture around 1PM in the afternoon, but I didn't have much choice as this was taken on an uninhabited island off the coast of the southern United States, and I didn't have my choice of times where I would be able to get to the island (Tide, weather conditions, etc all aligned at 1PM)"