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Tina McManus’ July 2018 visit to Crane Beach, a 1,234-acre conservation area in Ipswich, Massachusetts, produced the second photo for the 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards: this portrait of a lesser tern and her hungry chick.
“Least Terns are one of my favorite birds, and when they start hatching their chicks, I’m always on the lookout for a photo opportunity,” she said. “Once the chicks hatch, there are only a day or two before the adults bring them back into the vegetation. You should be very calm and still around terns, as they are very protective of their young and will become restless if you are not. I crouched outside the marked area near a nest with chicks and waited. After about an hour one of the adults brought in a fish and I was able to get this picture.
McManus used a Canon 7D Mark II camera with a 500mm f4 lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. They were attached to a Skimmer Ground Pod, which supports camera equipment to enable photography of birds and wildlife at ground level.
To see more photos of Tina, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.
The photo was one of over 770 that photographers entered into our competition. Last week, we featured him among the dozen finalists. Check out the links below for first and third place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.
First place: Short-eared Owl and Northern Harrier
Third Place: Roseate Spoonbills
See the contest finalists
See the honorable mentions of the competition
Enter your photos in our Bird Portrait Contest