I'm just wondering what people prefer, and Is it just a preference...? I've never used a tripod for BIF, it seemed too hard to follow my subject, but last weekend while at the CW get together in Kaukauna, I noticed a lot of Tripods. Now I'm thinking maybe I should give the tripod another try... Any Tips?

If you have a large lens (i.e. 400mm or larger) and if you're in one spot it is nice to give your arms a rest. And it depends on what you're shooting and where I do both personally but i like to hand hold most of the time, about 70%

I hand hold 100 percent. I hike a lot and a big tripod isn't what I want to lug around

I do not own a lens that has stabilization. I am old school and use the most sturdy stand by - a tripod. As time has passed I have become much better at both using a tripod for BIF and hand holding. My Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 is light enough where I can hand hold it with success. I dont think there is any wrong way. What has made using a tripod easier for BIF is my gimbal attachment.. Also...as time goes on it helps to learn the habits of the birds so you can tell when they are going to fly. So...in a nutshell...I do both. :-)