So why did I want to know which background worked best for my Blue Tit competition? Well a selling website insisted that all my pics were on clean white backgrounds and argued that on the grey my birds looked less vibrant. I understand that for journalists and magazine articles they want a white background picture, but I disagreed that the birds look best on white. To me they float and have no weight to them, and after all they are sculptures made of ceramic, even if little ones! So I wanted to see what other people thought.
I have been satisfied to discover that 4 out of 5 of you agreed with me and thought the birds look best on a grey not white background, although lots of you also really like the hand holding images. This is really useful feedback to me and has resulted in prioritising the grey background at Folksy and my own website where I am in total control. I still have one of the white background images, in case a passing journalist fancies sticking my birds in an article, but most of the images I use are now not stark white! So Thank you to everyone who helped me with this research!