Gear vs Eye
Well, better gears do help to create good photos but does that mean idea/angle/composition...none of these matters? If you are a good photographer you can take memorable photos even with your point and shoot. We have such an artist in India who is famous for taking amazing photos by his point and shoot and his photos get sold in some thousands bucks!
True that you need a longer focal length to shoot birds, more you increase that range more you get stunning candids of birds. Add a prime lens with that much focal length and hey! your chances are higher that you get a place in NatGeo page ;-) But trust me! I have seen people buying such huge gears and doing nothing with it.
What really matters is your eye! It's you who takes the photo not your gear :) Gears can definitely enhance your scopes. But in the end it's your eye and perception who decide how to use them :)
Even if you sell your photos photography is always an art!
I was browsing through DT pages today and really admired such few photographers who took these shots :) They are simple but lovely!