I don't photograph birds much as I don't really have a long enough lens. However when something does catch my eye it is usually up a tree with branches in the way. I find they make a very distracting background as well.
How do you experienced bird photographers deal with this? Remove the offending branches in post? Prune the tree and hope the birds land in the right place?
To show what I mean, this is the best shot I got a couple of days ago. Apart from some heavy cropping (my longest lens is a 70-200 f4 IS) it is straight out of the camera, but all those little branches ruin it for me. Most frustrating.