How to dash into your bird without missing him.
Birddashing works in a similar way as a Keydash works. If you're not lined up correctly, you'll miss the trigger. To line up you need to manipulate the distance between the left edge of the screen and Link's sprite.
One example of a 100% successful Birddash would be to dash left on a scrollable screen before the actual bird-dash. Dashing left on a scrollable screen will scroll the screen by 4 pixels relative to Link's position. Linkss sprite is now 4 pixels further away from the left edge of the screen, meaning that if you now dash at the bird you need to travel 1 frame longer to hit the bird, which lines you up perfectly.
This only works if you start running before the bird appeared on screen.
Start dashing a maximum of 88 frames after calling the bird. Use the fifth note of the ocarina melody as an audio cue to start dashing.
In some areas the screen is already aligned the right way, but dashing to the right or fumbling around with the screenscrolling will break it.
Sometimes a dash to the right will also do the trick, but most of the time not. Left always seem to work.
Another way to line up without aligning the screen is to dash at the bird and rub against an object to manipulate Link's x-speed. If you're aware of the current screen alignment and Link's y-axis this will also achieve a successful birddash. (e.g. outside of ice palace)
Birddashing is 10 frames faster than walking towards the bird. Dashing and stopping in front of the bird saves up to 9 frames over walking. Walking is 13frames faster than standing. This is only true if the screen scrolls while dashing/walking. It doesn't save any frames if the screen isn't scrolling.
2 Practical Examples
After Ice Palace
mirror without moving - call bird - move right until you stop at the edge - dash left - you’ll rub against the stone and hit the bird. (use the audio cue described above. if you dash to early or late you’ll miss, but the window is big.) alternatively you can dash a tiny bit to the left after calling the bird to scroll the screen 4pixels and then do the actual bird-dash without rubbing against anything. this saves even 1frame more.
(last dash was obviously to the left.) call bird - move down/right until you’re more or less at the bottom right corner of the right rock - dash left into the bird. (again: use the audio cue!) NOTE: the green thing you get Ether from can screw up the setup if you walk against it from below and press left or right at the same time. this will scroll the screen to the left/right. to get it good again, scroll it to the very left or right. anything in-between won’t work. a short dash to the left or right will do the same.
Obviously no birddash here. You can however walk down the stairs and dash into the right wall. If the bird catches you while the screen is shaking you have a 50/50 chance of saving 1 frame. Doesn't work while on stairs. Doesn't work with the left wall.