The third annual Bird Photographer of the Year competition organized by Nature Photographers Ltd celebrates the art of bird photography while promoting bird conservation through contributions to the British Trust for Ornithology. Submitted photographs are given consideration within one of seven different categories, with additional awards for Best Overall Image and Best Portfolio.
Attention To Detail
Photographer Tom Hines didn't have to go far to capture his award-winning image – London's historic Hyde Park to be exact. Titled “Wing Formation”, the photo displays the iridescent complexity displayed by the wing of a Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo).
Andy Parkinson came up big during a birdwatching expedition to Derbyshire, capturing the above image of “Fighting Coots” silhouetted against the dawn sky. As the challenge one another in a ritualistic territorial dispute, these so-called Common Coots (Fulica atra) don't look very common at all.
Birds In The Garden
Ever wonder what goes on in your backyard garden while you're off in dreamland? Dreamy things, that's what. Take this “Hovering Barn Owl”, snapped by Jamie Hall as a local Barn Owl (Tyto alba) hovers momentarily while searching for a meal of rodents. Hall captured this ethereal scene for posterity right in his yard n Suffolk, England, with the silent predator stunningly backlit by the Hall family's porch patio light.
Birds In Flight
“Australian Pelican Landing on Water” was expertly photographed by Bret Charman. “I was photographing Australian pelicans (Pelicanus conspicillatus) on the edge of a small mangrove swamp – they were resting in the calm, shallow waters and the soft evening light was providing the perfect conditions to capture reflections,” explains Charman. “I was photographing a portrait of an individual when I heard the wing beats of another bird coming into land and took this snap.”
Birds In The Environment
El Condor Pasa... high above the jagged peaks of Torres del Paine national park in Chile. Photographed by Ben Hall, this breathtaking photo titled “Condor Over Mountains” feature a soaring Andean Condor ( Vultur gryphus) lofted by rising thermals as it scans the plains far below.
Now here's a duck of a different color! “Speculum”, by photographer Georgina Steytler, showcases the iridescent speculum feathers of a Pacific Black Duck ( Anas superciliosa) in Garvey Park, Perth, Western Australia. “I took this photo at a small lake,” explained Steytler. where “the still waters and the dark foliage of the background resulted in an opportunity to highlight the gorgeous feathers.”
Young Bird Photographer
Ondrej Pelanek chanced upon a whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida) early one morning while exploring some pristine wetland bird habitat in in the Hungary. The result was “Calling Tern”, winner of the Gold award in the competition's Young Bird Photographer category.
“Willow Grouse” by Markus Varesvuo was one of several outstanding images that sealed the deal for the photographer's winning the coveted prize for Best Portfolio.
Bird Photographer of the Year
No doubt photographer Alejandro Prieto Rojas was tickled pink about being awarded 2017's Bird Photographer of the Year after his eye-popping image of “Feeding Flamingos” in Mexico blew the judges away.