When you’re shooting wildlife your focus (and your camera’s autofocus point) needs to be the subjects eyes. If the eyes aren’t in focus it won’t matter how great your image looks, viewers will know that something’s missing. It’s a fact of life folks, the first thing a person “sees” when looking at a wildlife image is the animal’s eyes. Everything else can be a blur but if the eyes are in perfect focus (tack sharp as Moose Peterson calls it) they will draw the viewer into the photograph and you’ve got a winner!
For a shot like this I generally set the camera on aperture priority (Av) and use the center auto focus point only. I place this AF point right on the bird’s eye that’s closest to me and shoot away.