Don't worry too much about technical aspects. Ask yourself, what am I taking a picture of? Do I need to spend so much thought and worry on technical stuff? No, you just need to find an interesting subject, light it, shoot it, and create a spectacular image. Apply this to birds, lizards, lady bugs, anything! Anything you shoot, make it spectacular.
Find the light, find the composition, find the angle, and put it all together. As for me, composition is what I try to make my speciality. One rule about composition, never put your subject in the dead center of the frame. It is rather boring when that happens, push the subject to the left or the right move it up or down but change it from being right in the center of the frame. Don't use flash unless you have to. Although flash can be used in the daylight to create great fill light. Also, make your depth of field suck the viewer into the photo, make the background as blurred as possible and your subject as sharp as possible. Hope this helps some and happy birding everyone!
Photos by John Mark Simmons