I have never used Auto Mask before with the Adjustment Brush. I went through my Lynda.com ACR 7 training video, and it shows how to use that features. It works great to increase Clarity just on the main subject (bird) while leaving the background (sky) unaffected. Great stuff! Thanks for the tip!
This keeps me from having to use smart objects and layers in PS. I guess this is the way someone with LR4 would do it.