Bird Photo of the Year: Finalists showcase the richness of the bird world

The “Bird Photography of the Year” contest is being held for the seventh time: the finalists have been announced, and the winners will be announced on September 8. All information about the price is on the website. (Introductory photo: Single File by Ben Crank (South Africa)
Bird: King penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus. Location: Gold Harbor, South Georgia, South Georgia. Category: Best portrait.)

The “Bird Photo of the Year” competition was created seven years ago and is dedicated to birds and their environment. Although the winners will be announced on September 8, the award ceremony revealed the selection of finalists. In several categories, such as best portrait, best bird behavior picture and conservation award, we discover birds from all over the world. From the distinctive black-and-white plumage of king penguins to the wart-covered head and neck of a goofy turkey, the finalists’ portraits highlight the animals’ best features.

“Warty Head” by Leander Hill (Austria)
Bird: Red-bellied turkey Meleagris ocellata.
Location: Chan Chich, Belize. Category: Best portrait.

In the “behavior” category, we see fierce fights and spectacular dances, passing through the touching and spontaneous behavior of a hummingbird mother feeding her chicks.

“Birds are an incredibly diverse group of animals and this year we’ve seen stunning images of everything from mallards to harpy eagles.” says Will Nicholls, wildlife cameraman and director of Bird Photographer of the Year. “We celebrate birds and conservation through images and it’s always a pleasure for all the judges to see the work of such talented photographers. »

Our favorite in the portrait category is Leander Hill’s shot. This portrait perfectly illustrates the colors and warts on the head of a male ocellar turkey. This strange characteristic is similar to that of its closest relative, the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) of North America. “I’ve always wondered if the orange warts covering the head and neck could have some purpose other than sexual selection: they look so extravagant! » says the photographer. “To show the birds in a different way than you normally see, I chose this frontal portrait when I was able to make eye contact with this specimen at a private reserve in Belize. »

Walter Potrebka (Canada) “Burrowing Owl Recovery Program in Manitoba”
Birds: Owl Athene cunicularia.
Location: Manitoba, Canada.
Category: Preservation Award.

Walter Potrebka spent all of 2021 documenting the work of the Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program. As the name suggests, this project aims to restore the Tawny Owl population in Manitoba, Canada. This approach involves the reintroduction of owl pairs and juveniles, surveys of wild owls, habitat improvement and community involvement. Owls are reintroduced each breeding season in cooperation with private owners. Despite these efforts, fewer than ten breeding pairs of wild Burrowing Owls have been recorded in Manitoba in the last ten years. To the great joy of the team and thanks to a local farmer, a wild nest with six healthy owls was registered in 2021. This was the first nest seen since 2011!

Finally, our third favorite shot of Ben Crank, illustrating the escape of emperor penguins into the sea. On land, king penguins are generally habitual creatures, and when they move from the sea to their nests, they usually follow a well-marked path. ” I took advantage of this behavior to capture this image by hiding my camera at the edge of one of these tracks and covering it with snow. I used a wireless shutter to capture this shot of the birds as they march in orderly single file.” explains Kranke.

To find out who won the prize, see you on September 8. For a full list of finalists, visit the BPOTY 2022 website.


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