It is really hard to get an animal to do something other than sit, when you have limited time.  I once had a mentor tell me that, “let them see the blood and gore”, if you want a better score in competition. It needs to tell a story. Here is a simple example to get the point across.  This California Brown Thrasher caught my attention while he was singing away.

California Brown Thrasher- Mouth Closed

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California Brown Thrasher-Mouth Open- The title could be “Chatter-Box”

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Same bird, same position, only one photo has the mouth closed and the other has its mouth open. Does the title fit the photo? Which do you like the better?

The morale of the example is let them see the guts and gore.