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The photo above by Glenn Ostle of Charlotte, North Carolina won third place in BirdWatching’s 2021 Backyard and City Bird Photo Contest.
“Since we live in North Carolina, we have a lot of Carolina Wrens in our backyard,” Ostle explains. “They seem to be a species of bird that is quite comfortable around humans and often builds their nests in high traffic areas. In our garden, this wren chose to build its nest in the decaying remains of a plant that we had hung near the house. We watched the progress every day, taking pictures along the way. It was very exciting when the adult birds brought back the insects they had found to feed their hungry chicks. In this case, it was a big fly.
Chuck Hagner, the manager of Bird City Wisconsin, a former Bird watching editor, and one of our judges, said, “This photo really rewards looking closely,” noting that it gives the viewer an up-close look at the wren nest material, feathers, and opening of the chick, the feet of the adult and the large fly.
Ostle used a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera with a NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 lens, on a Gitzo tripod with a Wimberly head. The settings were 1/400s, f5.6, ISO 2500. The photo was taken in July 2021.
You can see more of Glenn’s photos — of birds, whales, elephants and more — on his website and Instagram 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 first-place winner: the Blue Jays
See the runner-up winner: Ruby-throated Hummingbird
See the finalists
Participate in our Birds in Flight 2022 competition