totally agree with all of above,
shoot raw and get LR.
I use center focus only , or use one of the cross focus points only and try and get the eye or head. Using more focus points confuses things.High shutter speed is a must, iso noise is no big deal , especially if you use LR to fix it
I find using multiple focus points creates problems, as you don`t know what you are focusing on. Try and get a shot with camera in portrait mode, ie turn it vertical.
Noise is better than motion blur.
Get focus spot on.
I have a couple of custom setting for birds in camera set up
C1 AI Servo with iso 400 and f 6.3 - for tracking bird in flight and in good light
C2 Manual mode with 1/800 AV 7.1 and auto iso and AI Servo - for bird in flight when light not so good
C3 iso 800, one shot focus and f 5.6. for most bird photography, freezing birds in action.
I leave metering in evaluative mode, personally I believe the camera gets it right more often when it meters everything. Spot metering is too hit and miss, due to the small spot its easy to get the camera to meter on the wrong thing. When shooting a bird into bright light I increase exposure by a stop, for me its easier to get good results by just dial a bit more or less exposure.
then I generally use av mode to fine tune for local conditions.
take lots, have fun
Canon Powershot S95, Canon 6D,7D, Canon 40 2.8 STM, Tamron 24-70 2.8 VC, Canon 17-40 L, Canon 15-85, Canon 85 1.8, Sigma 30 1.4, 50mm 1.8, Canon 100 2.8L Macro, Canon 70-300L +Kenko 1.4 Pro 300DGX, Canon 430EX II and RS 4 Classic