Cheeky Beaks: 30+ Feathered Friends That Refused To Be Photographed

By Jhoana C

Birds are some of the most incredible creatures on Earth. They’re crucial to all ecosystems, and there are over 11,000 species doing a very good job of making sure insect and rodent populations remain in check. If you didn’t know, without birds, insect outbreaks can happen and can destroy hundreds of millions in terms of forest and agricultural products—so hurray for birds.

As remarkable as they are, they are just like humans. They are not always in the best of moods, they aren’t always friendly, and there are times when they just don’t want their pictures taken. Often, what are supposed to be beautiful and enchanting bird pictures become hilarious and bizarre. Fortunately, there is a group on Facebook called Crap Bird Photography that has a mission of compiling these pictures for our amusement. Scroll down and have yourself a good laugh.

When you get photobombed by a bird

Taking pictures of wildlife isn’t easy. Sometimes you have to wait hours or days for them to make their appearance, and then you have to go through hours of footage to get what you need. It’s difficult to get a picture of wildlife… unless you’re not trying to.

Image courtesy of Kage McGann/Facebook

One of these ladies asked her husband to take her photo with her friend, and right when he clicked, a bird made its presence known in the most conspicuous way. The avian photo bomber just flew by as if it was nobody’s business.

The contemplating pelican

Not all the animals you’ll see today are going to be up to silly shenanigans. Some of them are having an existential crisis, such as this pelican that’s thinking about his purpose on Earth. Or is he just hungry and contemplating where to get his next meal?

Image courtesy of Lynne Vidler/Facebook

And why did it pick the time when the photo was taken to look so serious and in deep thought? It’s times like these that we think that animals know what we are doing and that they know exactly when we are trying to sneak a picture.

Waited for hours to take this photo

Wildlife photography is rewarding, but it comes with difficulties, too. You’ll need endless patience and practice and a lot of skill to capture that perfect photo of animals in their natural habitat. But there will still be days when all you get are duds.

Image courtesy of Gail Prussky/Facebook

This person clearly wasn’t having a good day after seeing the photo they took. You can’t even tell that’s a male woodpecker there. The picture is blurry, out of focus, and just plain unusable. It’s something you won’t be proud of.

What the heck is that?

This OP shares that they are lucky to be living in Phoenix, Arizona because they get to see hummingbirds throughout the year, but they need to get a better camera and practice their photography skills to get wonderful photos of the tiny fliers.

Image courtesy of Candace Porth/Facebook

The smallest of all migrating birds, hummingbirds got their name because of the humming noise their wings make. They are the only birds that can fly backward and have the average height of a nickel. And as you can deduce from the photo, it’s hard to get a good picture of them.

You can’t see me

This osprey must be a huge fan of John Cena because it’s right there behind the tree hiding and thinking it’s invisible but it’s not. The osprey’s huge wings are right there for the world to see, and he’s done a very bad job of trying to conceal itself.

Image courtesy of Mark Koster/Facebook

Fun fact: the large fish-eating bird is generally white below, and darker from above, but females tend to have a brownish patch on their chest. Adult ospreys have yellow eyes while juveniles have orange eyes. We just hope the other ospreys have better talent in hiding.

We can’t even tell that these are budgies

At first glance, you’d think that these were sperm racing each other to see who could get to the egg first. If we didn’t read the caption, we’d have no idea what it is and would describe it in a horribly wrong way which is going to make people chortle.

Image courtesy of Marjan Kaashoek/Facebook

These are budgerigars, or budgies, which weigh about 40 grams and are roughly 20 cm in length from top to tail. Their bodies can have up to 3,000 feathers, and their hearts beat extremely fast at over 300 times per minute.

This would have looked better with a head

You can scour the internet for tips on how to take excellent pictures of avians, but if they don’t cooperate and want to make life hard for you, there’s nothing you can do. You’ll just have to go with the flow and try again another time.

Image courtesy of Ingrid Van Streepen/Facebook

This fellow didn’t give the photographer the time of day. All we can say is this would have looked better if the bird in the photo had a head. Sadly, that wasn’t meant to be, so the photographer walked away with a headless horseman rather than a majestic bird.

Another headless bird photo

The number of birds without heads on this list is a testament to just how difficult it is to get a decent picture of them; they are constantly on the move. This photo of a headless cocky makes it seem like a ghost about to haunt somebody.

Image courtesy of Emma Gray/Facebook

Cockys or cockatoos are birds with a lot of personalities, and all species are native to Oceania. They are sometimes called Velcro birds because of the strong bonds they form with their owners. They happen to be the most affectionate of all parrot species, too.

This bird was unpleasantly surprised

This photo is different because it wasn’t taken intentionally—perhaps you can tell that from the bird’s unpleasantly surprised face. How dare that human take the bird’s photo without asking for permission? The flustered bird wasn’t ready for a close-up yet.

Image courtesy of Corinne Gladstone/Facebook

The bird must be thinking that its hair isn’t even done yet and has no makeup on its face yet and it’s being subjected to all kinds of humiliation. What are its relatives going to think? That a certain little bird hasn’t been taking good care of itself?

Aaaaaah, I can’t take it anymore!

This screaming bird has had it and can’t take anymore. We feel you, Mr. Bird; there comes a time in life when things are just too much to take and bear, and all you want to do is scream your heart out in frustration.

Image courtesy of Emily Niven/Facebook

We know screaming won’t help but letting your feelings out makes things more bearable. You scream for a few minutes then get right back to finish what you were doing. Such is life; we all need a breather once in a while.

Those are long legs

We’ve seen a few photos of birds without heads, but this one takes the cake. It’s missing the whole top half, and showing off those long legs. We can’t tell what bird it is from the legs alone, but we bet this fella is a bird on a mission.

Image courtesy of Keith Stedman/Facebook

If you can guess what bird this is, you must be an ornithologist and you have no business being here because this article isn’t a list of bird facts. It’s meant to make people laugh (with a little education along the way, of course). Seriously though, we welcome bird enthusiasts of all levels here.

This chicken has a head full of hair

Try as they may, this person just doesn’t have any sort of luck when it comes to taking decent pictures of his beloved chook. This is just one of the many pictures they have taken that won’t be making it to National Geographic anytime soon.

Image courtesy of Emily Niven/Facebook

This chook named Beanie has a head full of hair that many humans would be envious of. That’s his real hair right there; no wigs or extensions involved. Different breeds have differently shaped combs and this one is a rose comb.

The Hunger Games: avian edition

These birds look like Katniss, Foxface, Glimmer, Marvel, and the other tributes from The Hunger Games fighting for survival. Perhaps one of the birds was saying something hurtful and the others could no longer tolerate it so they decided to just bite its face off.

Image courtesy of Keith Stedman/Facebook

A lot of people with siblings are pointing out that this is just like their family when they were younger and would fight over the smallest things, such as candies and chips. Kids, you better break it up before mom comes and loses her marbles.

This was taken by a professional photographer?

This picture was supposedly taken by a professional photographer who wanted to showcase their beautiful Kookaburra to the world. However, the bird didn’t have the patience or the desire to have its portrait taken. It had other things in mind.

Image courtesy of Megan King/Facebook

The Kookaburra is native to New Guinea and Australia. They can weigh as much as 300 grams in adulthood, and their bills can grow as long as 4 inches. They are famous for their call and people describe the sound as very similar to laughter.

This belongs in a horror movie

This photo nearly gave us a heart attack the first time we looked at it because it looks like a cow possessed by evil spirits about to attack people and eat them alive. Thankfully, it’s something more benign than that… mostly.

Image courtesy of Daniel Demex/Facebook

This one isn’t even a cow at all, but a duck. Some devious netizen saw an ordinary picture of a floating duck and decided to add a little twist. Those dead eyes and creepy smile are merely the act of Microsoft Paint.

Such a rare creature

This is something you don’t see every day, the rare two-headed goose. Luckily for this person, the photo they took isn’t blurry or out of focus and the geese cooperated with them too. Look at the beautiful creatures looking up at the same time.

Image courtesy of Phoenix Fyrewolf/Facebook

And the ducks behind them weren’t paying them any mind. They were busy with their own things and couldn’t be bothered to even glance at the camera. We love it when animals think it’s worth participating in a photo shoot without any drama.

Don’t even go near them

These geese look like they are ready to hurt anyone or anything who gets in their way. There is no trace of joy on their faces so don’t even make the slightest mistake of looking them straight in the eye because that means you’re asking for a fight.

Image courtesy of Lizzy Horn/Facebook

Geese might be waterfowls but they spend more time on land. They eat grass, nuts, berries, and plants and they are known to always fly in a V shape which increases their range up to 71%. Yup, they are fascinating, if devilish, creatures.

The ghostly bird

Here is another bird picture that belongs on the cover of a Stephen King novel. The ghost bird has decided to vanish into thin air but for some reason forgot to take its legs and feet. We can’t tell what type of bird it is but we’d like to think it’s a corvid.

Image courtesy of Cathy MacDonald/Facebook

Many people see the appearance of crows and ravens (both belong to the family Corvidae) as an omen of death because they are commonly associated with dead bodies, cemeteries, and battlefields. We hope that whoever took this photo is in the pink of health and is thriving.

Well, hello there!

Some birds don’t want their pictures taken but there are birds that can’t wait to have their close-ups and get acquainted with the photographer. This hornbill belongs to the latter because it can’t wait to get too close to the photographer.

Image courtesy of Rob Staple/Facebook

Hornbills are some of the most fascinating birds because males offer food as engagement gifts and they also work extra hard during the nesting period. What kind of female wouldn’t be attracted to that? In addition, they are known to stick with their families.

Yoga instructor

This isn’t the only pelican photo you will see on this list, so we assume that means pelicans are a rowdy bunch. Aside from their impressive throat pouch which they use to catch prey and drain water from the scooped-up contents before swallowing, pelicans love yoga.

Image courtesy of Michele Hendrie/Facebook

Or at least that’s what this photo is trying to impress upon us. Look at that bird showing off its tree pose. Is that how birds pose when asked to vogue? If this bird is teaching, we’ll sign up right away because we’d be happy to be that flexible.

Are you looking at me?

This tough bird seems to be staring straight into the lens and asking if the other person on the photographer is “looking at him.” This Pacific Baza will look right at home in mobster movies. It could easily be the pet of a menacing mafia boss.

Image courtesy of Mat Selwyn/Facebook

Pacific Bazas are also called crested hawks or Pacific cuckoo-falcon. Mostly grey, white, and brown in color, the Pacific Baza is an omnivore that can grow up to 46 centimeters in length. They also have distinct paddle-shaped and well-rounded wings.

Look at those extremely sharp teeth

Here is another bird that isn’t in the best of moods and it looks like it’s challenging the person behind the camera. “Do you think you’re tough, pal? Why don’t you come here and have a go at my super sharp teeth?

Image courtesy of Re Becca Hall/Facebook

Geese are known to have sharp tooth-like cartilage which is designed to rip through grass and other aquatic vegetation. Geese also eat small fish and aquatic insects. If you want your fingers intact, you better steer clear of these mad geese.

Can you tell what bird this is?

From the right distance and with a clear shot, it would be easy to tell the bird species in a photo. However, if the photo is blurred, taken at a weird angle, or up close, determining the bird species is going to be a big challenge.

Image courtesy of David Wooden/Facebook

This picture is nothing but a close-up of the bird’s throat. If you’re an expert on birds, you might be able to tell what kind of bird this is but for the rest of us regular folks, it might as well be a common flier we see every day.

Don’t you mess with the broody hen

Mother hens are not always in the best of dispositions so stay away from them if they are not in the mood and don’t even try to steal pictures of their beloved eggs if you don’t want any trouble finding you.

Image courtesy of Kellyanne O’Hare/Facebook

Broodiness is a trait required of hens if you want them to raise chicks. There are hens who seem to think they want to be broody but give up a few days later into the task and abandon their nests.

This bird is a public menace

This photo is proof that we should be afraid of wild animals crossing urban areas and wreaking havoc in residential places. We should never overlook birds, dismiss them as harmless, and be complacent around them because they are a menace to society.

Image courtesy of Adele Bowie/Facebook

Look at this bird terrorizing the poor man! Who provoked this bird to act in such a way? We can only guess as we don’t have the backstory to this hilarious photo. We’re just happy we’re not in that poor man’s shoes.

This magpie’s chin is itchy

They say that the magpie is often misunderstood, so in light of this photo of a magpie scratching its chin, we’d like to clear up a few misconceptions that are giving magpies all over the world a bad rep. First on the list is their reputation as thieves. Well, shiny things repel them.

Image courtesy of Mel Allen/Facebook

Though they may look different at first glance, magpies are closely related to crows and ravens and belong to the Corvidae family. They are among the most intelligent of birds and they are able to recognize themselves in mirrors. They have self-awareness which most other animals don’t.

What a magnificent photo….not!

Birds can be uncooperative and won’t stay still just when you want them to remain in place even for just a few seconds. This puffin must have an intense dislike of the photographer who traveled all the way to Iceland to take ‘nice’ photos.

Image courtesy of Louise Salmond Smith/Facebook

This picture will remind him of the great time he had in Iceland, braving the cold and waiting for hours for the puffins to make their appearance. They can fly as fast as 55 mph but we don’t think it’s the puffin’s speed that resulted in this kind of photo.

This is what our mother looks like when she runs out of patience

This bird has a great resemblance to our mother when we’ve been up to all sorts of shenanigans all day and she finally runs out of patience and shouts at the top of her lungs to tell us to STOP! All mothers are alike, be it humans or animals.

Image courtesy of Brydie Lee/Facebook

Young ones must be all alike too, whether birds or humans. They all get on their mother’s nerves and won’t stop until their mothers are hoarse from shouting. This is how you tell apart a female figbird from a male figbird.

Care to guess what part of Tomato this is

Sometimes we get so caught up in admiring just how good-looking and exquisite our pet bird is that we don’t do what we are supposed to do. The OP mentioned that while taking a photo of their pet bird named Tomato, the sun was shining so bright.

Image courtesy of Candice Uebrick/Facebook

Instead of hitting the shutter button, they ended up hitting the zoom button and the result is this picture. It’s difficult to tell what type of bird Tomato is and it’s also difficult to pinpoint what part of Tomato is in the photo. Care to guess?

Some of us are like this after eating curry

This entry of Crap Bird Photography literally has crap in it! If you think that you’re having a bad day taking photos, this guy has you beat by a mile. How unlucky do you have to be to snap a photo of a bird, only for them to crap at the same time?

Image courtesy of Michele Cheeseman/Facebook

All we have to say is we’re like this after eating too much curry and our stomach disagrees with us. Better luck next time to the photographer. We just hope that nobody was in the line of fire when that missile was released.

When the alarm goes off early and you forgot it’s your day off

This is how we look when the alarm goes off at 5:30 in the morning and we forgot it’s our day off. Yes, you can still go back to sleep but sometimes it’s hard to do that after you have been woken up by your alarm.

Image courtesy of Laura Barnes-Kadi/Facebook

This is also the mood most people find themselves in after the festivities of New Year have worn off and they have to deal with a head-splitting hangover, loads of unfinished work, and maybe a reunion with dreaded family members.

Our spin washing machine is not nearly as colorful

Native to southeastern Australia and Tasmania, the eastern rosella was named in 1792 by George Shaw. They make excellent pets because they are friendly, but they’re not always cooperative. When you try to get a good picture of them, this might happen.

Image courtesy of Rod Harris/Facebook

It reminds us of laundry day when we have a load of colors in the washing machine. Though, to be fair to the eastern rosella, our feathered friend here is way more colorful. These birds are devoted to their owners, but they don’t like petting, cuddling, or photos.

The heads are falling one by one

Is there a mass bird decapitation going on that we are seeing massive photos of birds with missing heads? Or did the birds discuss them among themselves and planned this just so they can get a few laughs at the expense of humans?

Image courtesy of Beckie Holmes/Facebook

Pigeons, like what you see in the photo, are some of the most common birds. Did you know that pigeon breeding was a common hobby in Victorian England? Even Charles Darwin was known to have a diverse flock and even joined pigeon clubs.

Is this bird trying to lose weight?

If you think only humans are bent on losing the extra weight and staying fit, you’re sorely mistaken. This photo is proof that birds also want to shed extra pounds and stay in shape. How else would you explain a bird doing jumping jacks?

Image courtesy of Rose Welsch Cervantes/Facebook

Little did we know that birds are up to all sorts of no-good and hilarious things when they think we are not looking. Thankfully, we can hide cameras and get a glimpse of their antics… and have a few laughs in the process. 

What great timing this photographer has

We’re back with another round of “guess that bird species.” It’s hard to guess especially when they have such a generic plumage and their heads are missing from the photograph. Is there some kind of weird bird centipede going on in there?

Image courtesy of Barbara Williams/Facebook

What are the birds doing there and why are they making such a great attempt at covering their faces? The OP timed the picture well; it was the bird’s fault because they weren’t cooperating. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

What commotion is this?

We can only surmise as to what was going on when this photo was taken but it seems that the two birds weren’t friendly with each other or had gotten into a fight. We don’t think it’s because of the scarcity of water because the photo makes it clear that it’s abundant.

Image courtesy of Carla Moore-Williams/Facebook

These two look just like two brothers early in the morning when they are trying to get ready for school and one of them thinks it’s the perfect time for practical jokes even though it’s obvious they are already late.

Bottoms up!

This was not what we had in mind when he heard the phrase “bottoms up” but we’ll take this. The ducks in the photo seem to have great bottoms and are having the time of their lives upended. What is upending, you say?

Image courtesy of Charlie Jebinski/Facebook

Upending allows them to reach deeper and feed at depths used by smaller ducks. Duck species that do this are buoyant and lighter than those that don’t. If we were to do this, we’re sure food would be the last thing we’d get.

Psst, want to hear a secret?

This bird looks like it knows something of great significance. Thankfully, it looks like it’s ready to divulge whatever secret it’s holding but what we’re worried about is what it would ask in exchange for telling us the BIG secret.

Image courtesy of Muneer Al Shanti/Facebook

Before seeing this we didn’t think that birds were into gossip, but this picture has changed our perception. Birds have a wide range of expressions, and although what they can communicate with their faces are limited, you’ll be surprised at how they look at times.

An omen of evil spirits

This is both amazing and terrifying and makes us think that evil spirits are fast on their heels. We can’t help but think that this photo will be right at home on the cover of Stephen King’s next book because that guy writes all sorts of creepy things.

Image courtesy of Tony Cue/Facebook

This corvid (we assume) photo was taken in Australia. As harmless as they may be, in real life crows can be troublesome, and even have caused blackouts in Japan as they like to nest on electric transformers and use fiber optic cable materials for their nests.

What in heavens are they doing?

Where to begin describing this photo? Well, you probably know what those two ducks, one on top of the other, on the right side of the photo are doing so no need to elaborate on that. However, it’s the other two ducks that are confusing us.

Image courtesy of BE Lambert/Facebook

Are they there to watch the ‘show’ or are they there waiting for their turn? Ducks are known to engage in polygamy so we wouldn’t be surprised if they also want to have a go at the female. Multiple partners are accepted in the duck world, so we won’t judge here.

Camera shy bird

Birds are comparable to humans. There are those who crave the spotlight and there are those that are camera-shy that would rather be left in their little corner of the world without constant attention. This bird belongs to the latter.

Image courtesy of Gail Prussky/Facebook

The photographer was persistent and was not giving up so the bird thought it would be best to just hide its head. “You can take a photo of me, but you won’t be able to take a photo of my head. Haha, the joke’s on you!

I said don’t take my photo!

This must be how celebrities feel every time they are hounded by the paparazzi. They can’t even eat in a restaurant in peace because only a few meters away are paparazzi with their gigantic camera lenses ready to snap photos.

Image courtesy of Dee Davidson/Facebook

This bird must have had enough of all the attention and is telling the photographer—who is also its owner—to stop because they are freakin’ tired. They are even willing to eat the phone just so their owner will stop taking their pictures.

Peek a bird

Is this how you look when you recognize someone, try your hardest to hide, but then they still end up finding you among the crowds? Guilty as charged? Don’t worry many of us have found ourselves in the same unpleasant situation.

Image courtesy of Muneer Al Shanti/Facebook

We even try to look as surprised as this bird even though we’ve seen them from afar. We wouldn’t want to give away the fact that we saw them already but didn’t approach them to say hi first. At times, we just wanna be left alone like this bird.

This bird is challenging you to do better splits

We can hear the Mission impossible background when we look at this photo. All it needs is Tom Cruise rappelling from the ceiling and catching himself on time before the lasers hit him and alert the enemy of his presence.

Image courtesy of Poppy Seed/Facebook

This bird can give any movie star a run for their money and we won’t be surprised if this bird trained under the Muscles from Brussels himself, Jean Claude Van Damme. Remember that epic split he did for that Volvo truck ad? 

Some Exorcist-level head turning right there

This would have looked funny except that it eerily reminds us of Regan MacNeil when she turned her head 360 degrees except that this bird is doing it in a fast way that the camera is having a hard time capturing a clear image. 

Image courtesy of David Luu/Facebook

It might not be that obvious but it’s a red-capped robin in the photo, getting ready to take off. The small bird is native to Australia and is found in drier regions across the continent with a diet that consists of small arthropods and insects.