1. Learn Flight Behaviour of the Birds
2. Point of View Matters the Most
Taking an eye-level shot of a flying bird would yield an intimate result.
3. Start with Slow Flying Birds
4. Use the Right Camera Settings
Aperture Priority mode
Auto ISO settings up to whatever ISO settings you are comfortable with for your camera
Shutter Speed of at least 1/500th of a second or faster
AF-C focus mode for Nikon users and AI-Servo mode for Canon
Highest frames per second burst mode setting
9-point or 21-point zone focus or 3-D tracking
If you are using a sturdy tripod and a gimbal type tripod head, then you would be able to make some creative shots like motion blur or panning shots with slower shutter speeds.
5. Choose the Proper Focus Points
6. Track Before You Photograph
7. Wait till You Get the Best or Contrasting Background
8. Take-off and Landing Shots
Most birds often defecate before they take-off to lighten their load. This is a very important clue to get fantastic take-off shots. Of course, it also depends on your position and the light direction to get the most of the situation.
Wind direction plays a major role in getting better take-off and landing shots since birds often fly into the wind while taking off and landing. It is wise to stand with your back facing the wind, very similar to the way you would face your back to the sun.
9. Get Creative with Silhouettes
Photographing silhouettes of birds in flight is much easier than you might imagine.
10. Pay Attention to the Composition
If the bird is taking off from ground level then you would want to keep the bird in the lower third position of the frame so that it takes off upwards. Keep the bird in the upper third position if it takes off downwards.