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The second winner of BirdWatching’s 2021 Bird Portrait Contest is Dennis Stogsdill of Chappaqua, New York. He took this close-up photo of a southern ground hornbill’s face and especially its eyelashes in September 2021 in the Mara Triangle area of Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
“I was photographing a pair of southern ground hornbills feeding when one of them started approaching my vehicle, which is quite unusual for these rather shy birds,” Stogsdill explains. “This hornbill looked at me for a brief moment, and I took the picture.”
William Brawley, editor of Imaging Resource, praised the image:
“What drew me to this photo was its striking close-up composition. I feel like you don’t often see this kind of bird photo. Here we get an interesting perspective and a unique look at the detail of this bird that we wouldn’t normally see in a larger, more traditional photo. The colors and detail are excellent, and the eyelash shape of the bird is also mesmerizing. Great shot all around!”
Stogsdill used a Sony A1 camera with a Sony 400mm F2.8 lens. The settings were ISO 640, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec.
Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: author, radio host and editor Laura Erickson; our former editor Chuck Hagner, the director of Bird City Wisconsin; our former photo editor Ernie Mastroianni; professional bird photographer Brian E. Small; Outdoor photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and William Brawley, Imagery Resources Editor.
See more pictures of Dennis Stogsdill on his website and Instagram
See the First Place Winner: Sandhill Cranes
See Third Place Winner: Piping Plovers
See the finalists
View Honorable Mentions
Enter your photos in our BirdWatching Photography Awards competition