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Maureen Hills-Urbat of Rockyview County, Alberta is the winner of our first backyard and city bird photo contest with this image of bickering blue jays.
“We are very lucky to live in the foothills west of Calgary, Alberta and have a wide variety of birds that come into the yard,” she says. One of my favorite pastimes is to sit on my terrace to observe and photograph the birds. I was watching the Blue Jays fight over peanuts in the yard that day and caught this brief altercation.
Our judges praised the photo’s detailed look at the jays’ feathers as well as the stop-action depiction of the scene. “This photo shows that a detailed look at common birds in everyday interaction can be quite special,” says Bird watching editor Matt Mendenhall.
Hills-Urbat used a Nikon D500 camera body with a Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6 at 420mm lens. Exposure: 1/1600s, f/8.0, ISO 900 and camera set to 10 fps. Image taken September 30, 2020. You can see more photos of Maureen on her Flickr page.
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; Outdoor photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and William Brawley, Imagery Resources Editor.
See the runner-up winner: Ruby-throated Hummingbird
See Third Place Winner: Carolina Wrens
See the finalists
Participate in our Birds in Flight 2022 competition