End of 2020, Bird watching received over 700 photos submitted by hundreds of photographers to our Bird Portrait contest. Thank you to everyone who participated! The selection of images was excellent, as have all of our previous contests. The judges had a difficult task! Today, we are proud to present to you the 12 finalist photos, presented in the following slideshow.
Tomorrow we will announce the three winning images here on our website and they will be featured in our May/June issue.
California Condor by Jim Shane
Jim Shane of Meridian, Idaho photographed this California Condor in December 2019. Here is his story about the image:
“As the Peregrine Fund’s Senior Volunteer Photographer, I have the opportunity to work alongside wildlife biologists working to rescue declining or already critically endangered raptor species. In December 2019, I spent three days working with the northern Arizona field biologists who monitor and care for California condors that have been released into the wild from Vermillion Cliffs facilities. This bird (#16) was trapped, tested and then quarantined for lead poisoning – the most common cause of death for these birds. In quarantine, the birds are given two injections of chelation a day to combat lead poisoning and, once recovered, are released into the wild on a cliff above the northeast end of the Grand Canyon. I accompanied wildlife biologist Josh Young when he released number 16 and another bird. After a short period of free flight, #16 settled on rocks at the edge of the cliff and posed for this image. One of the bird’s two tracking monitors is partially visible in the image.”
Equipment and settings: Nikon D850 and Nikkor 80-400mm zoom to 400mm, handheld. The settings were f8 at 1/640th with an ISO of 1600.
Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: our founding editor and “Amazing Birds” columnist Eldon Greij; author, radio host and contributing editor Laura Erickson; And Outdoor photographer Editor Wes Pitts.
Check out the 12 honorable mentions from our 2020 Bird Portrait Contest
Discover the finalists of our 2019 Bird Portrait competition
UPDATE MARCH 12: We have announced the winners!
First place: cedar waxwing
Second Place: Elegant Trogon
Third place: Wood duck