Unless there are patchy clouds or are shooting in a blind- mine is my master bedroom through a slit between the lowered blinds and a rolling posing table covered with a camo jacket, the light where you are standing is the same as on your subject. You do not have to walk over to the bird to take an incident reading. Two approaches, one hold the dome towards the camera on the camera/bird axis. Should give you the same reading as if you held it up under his bill. Another technique is to hold it dome up and use a couple of fingers held a couple feet above the meter to eliminate the specular highlight of the sun on the dome. Just use those readings. Shooting from indoors, I use the same technique I use on a bridal gown, the most important clothing at a wedding. I have shot a white towel in full sun and know where the right side of the histogram dies sort of the right side when I have detail in the white towel. Now I can photo the bird and adjust the right edge of the histogram that distance from the right side. You can do this with any scene where there is a white object like a white shirt. Don't need to mess with a gray card. But no need to even carry one. Just about everyone's palm, regardless of race is 2/3 stop brighter than 18% gray so you can hold your palm facing the camera and take a reading then increase exposure 1/3 stop. For portraits, I spot meter and focus just below the eye. Or, since your meter should zero out to approximately 18% gray- actually about 1/3 stop off that- spot on an 18% gray element near the bird and zero out. Blue north sky, green grass, school bus yellow, electric cord orange are 18%. Or spot on something pastel, I like the color of the roseate spoonbill. Pastels are one stop brighter so increase exposure 1 stop. Another possibility is to spot on the brightest part of the bird and increase exposure about 2.5 stops, that should put you about zone 7-8. Finally, sun position is critical for bringing out detail. Sun behind you can eliminate detail revealing shadows. I use a low reflector or a white sheet on the floor in studio to lower shadows or the sand on a beach or snow on the ground. Water can also add a low fill taking down the shadows. Remember, that lcd and histogram is based on the converted jpeg applying a tone curve, not the raw file so isn't exactly what your sensor is capable of rendering. Same for the blinkies. I have my meter calibrated to my sensor using the Sekonic software and color checker passport and know exactly where the highlight clipping point is, no WAG, wild ass guess. I can take an ambient and a spot reading of the brightest area I want detail, and adjust the meter to show exactly the exposure where I am just under clipping. That allows full detail in highlights while moving the shadows as far right as possible with good highlight detail giving best possible shadow quality. As usual, many ways to do the same thing in photography/photoshop. Lots of ways to skin, I mean, pluck that duck. These techniques have eliminated my previous EAS, exposure anxiety syndrome.