Wow, Gabe! Fantastic captures! I don't think I've ever gotten anything remotely that sharp out of my Two-Fifty... How much (if any) post processing did you do? The clarity you got is absolutely brilliant.
Well, first of all I'm a bird photographer, that's what I do best.
So naturally, I have a setup in my back yard. Feeders, and next to them a "fake" tree (basically a sawed off tree branch turned vertically and placed in a tube on the ground. It stands like a tree )
So I'm shooting these juncos from about 12-15 feet. Nice light too.
Then I crop the 10mp XTi file to about 3-4 mp, then do my usual processing.
So basically, the key is that I shoot from a close distance.