I use Adobe CS 2. I treat the background by using surface blur set at 10 pixels. Once completed I then add noise back in to make it look more natural. I use the noise feature in CS 2 and set it to 1 percent. The background is actual wild fern growing in my backyard and about 20 feet behind the bird, that is how I got the soft, naturally blurred appearance.
Northern Cardinal (Female) (70) *