The 5 Best Packs of Bird Reference Photos
Birds are fascinating creatures that spark the imagination: they soar, squawk, and hunt across nearly every part of the globe. Even those who can’t take to the skies have particular characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. However, while birds range from the everyday to the exotic, viewers are well-acquainted with their appearance—meaning any effort to draw or sculpt them can be met with scrutiny.
Whether you’re painting a still life of a parrot or an anthropomorphic sci-fi species, reference photos can pave the path to a more authentic connection with real-life avian anatomy. Capturing the interplay between light and bird-specific features, like beaks and feathers, will elevate your art with believability.
We’ve gathered the 5 best packs of bird reference photos, including some truly rare and eye-catching species. Below, you’ll find many options on which to base your next feathery creations.
Only one word can describe the bird reference photos in this pack: legendary. Drawn from natural habitats and exhibitions, this bundle offers unparalleled closeness with eagles, falcons, black swans, and more. Ideal for painting, drawing, or concepting creatures, the 191 photos in this kit boast hi-res clarity and gorgeous composition. Shot by veteran photographer Nomad Photo Reference, the dazzling and colorful images in this collection are a bargain at any price.
The pack includes:
- 191 JPG images of eagles, falcons, black swans, white swans, ducks, pigeons, seagulls, and different species of parrot.
- Almost 2 GB of zipped photos in one archive.
- Hi-res photos with a minimum resolution of 1295x1700 px and a max of 6000x4000 px.
Photobashers, concept artists, and matte painters hold a place in their hearts for transparent PNGs. Instead of cutting out the part you want manually, you’re treated to a collection of ready-made photos perfect for compositing. This bundle from Nomad Photo Reference does the busywork for you, providing 134 diverse bird images on a transparent background. Ideal for artists in any genre, the subjects range from farmyard animals to skyborne swans.
This bundle includes:
- 134 PNGs of birds with transparent backgrounds.
- A diverse range of bird images already prepped for compositing or using as reference.
- High-resolution PNGs reaching a max of 5398x2390 px.
For a deeper glimpse into the world of raptors, Aituar Manas provides a compact yet compelling collection of predatory bird reference photos. Shot at a city zoo, this set includes birds you won’t easily find in the wild, like rare owls and vultures. Each image is raw and unaltered, giving you a clear and unobstructed view of these majestic birds in their formidable glory.
The pack offers:
- 76 high-resolution, unaltered images capturing the jaw-dropping beauty of predatory birds.
- Images featuring a resolution of 4608x3456 px packed into a single RAR file.
- A single-person license for personal or commercial projects.
While they’re often overlooked in a lakeside scene, ducks are a serene staple of everyday nature worldwide. Captured by Fotoref, this photo pack celebrates the understated yet charming duck in all its pastoral dignity. This pack is a treasure trove for artists who want to add a sense of tranquility to their work.
This bundle includes:
- 61 vibrant, high-resolution images displaying wild ducks and ducklings in nature.
- Photos at 6000x4000 px resolution, ensuring the detail of each downy feather is visible.
- Clear and candid shots captured by a Canon 77D using a 15-85mm lens.
Peacocks are a spectacle of color and elegance, and packing all their majesty into a photo requires keen eyes and professional-grade equipment. AustraliaRef’s photo collection gives you 76 high-res images shot with a Canon 600D and a powerful 70-300mm L zoom lens, allowing the photographer to frame hyper-detailed closeups that accentuate the peacock’s impressive tailfeathers. The set includes both male and female subjects.
This bundle includes:
- 76 photos with a high resolution of 5100x3450 px, ready for use as photo references.
- 260 MB of zipped content that captures the brilliant hues of each peacock.
- A commercial license that allows you to use the photos in virtually any project.
Finding Professional-Quality Bird Reference Photos
Whether it’s the crest of a blue jay or the glassy eye of a parrot, capturing natural phenomena can be a tall task for any artist. That’s why photo references are so handy for us—they guide us to know what our subject’s real-life properties look like. But not all reference images are created equally, and some may even make your job harder!
At Cubebrush, you’ll find many collections of bird reference photos shot with professional care and expertise. We’re an artist-first marketplace with a high standard for quality, which means you can rest assured knowing your reference images are the best around. Besides birds, our resources include a wide range of tools and assets to help any evolving artist meet the demands of a constantly shifting market.
Jump into one of our tutorials today, or try a complimentary resource from our weekly freebies. Cubebrush is here to support your journey every step of the way!