BirdWatching Photography Awards 2021 Finalists

BirdWatching Photography Awards 2021 Finalists

Last spring we held our latest photo competition, the 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards, here on our website. We received over 770 entries – images of owls, eagles, hummingbirds, cranes and passerines, among others – from hundreds of photographers. Thank you to everyone who participated! The selection of images was stellar, as all of our previous contests have been. The judges had a difficult task! Today, we are proud to present the finalist photos, featured in the following slideshow.

Each caption tells the story behind the photo, from the photographers themselves, and lists the photo equipment they used.

We’ll announce the three winning images here on our website on Tuesday, August 10, and they’ll be featured in our September/October 2021 issue. Enjoy!

Barred Owls by Steve Rushing

Barred Owls by Steve Rushing

It’s a pair of Barred Owls nesting in a huge oak tree in my neighbor’s yard. They are frequent hunters in our yard as it is a Georgia Audubon Certified Wildlife Sanctuary and attracts a large population of chipmunks, voles, squirrels and rats. I know it sounds cruel, but they control the population of small mammals. An important role in the completion of the ecosystem. It also makes for interesting images of the circle of life.

They usually come separately, and I have several shots of them individually in the trees (before being discovered by the Blue Jays) as part of my #BirdingFromHome project (in response to the sheltering pandemic on place). In this case, they were together on a branch just above our back door. They did courtship: a bonding ritual between a mated couple. I also like to think they were at a parent’s night out and enjoying some intimate time before “going back to work to feed the kids.” Pretty anthropomorphic, I know, but having shared parenthood with the love of my life, I can relate and was thrilled to capture the moment.

See also  Second place at the BirdWatching Photography Awards 2022!

Equipment: Olympus OM-D E-M1X with Olympus M.Zuiko 150-400mm f/4.5 TC 1.25x. Portable.

Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: our founding editor and “Amazing Birds” columnist Eldon Greij; author, radio host and editor Laura Erickson; Outdoor photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and William Brawley, Imagery Resources Editor.

View the 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards Honorable Mentions