Third place in the Color of the Birds 2020 contest: White-necked Jacobin

White-necked Jacobin

Ken Archer of Twin Falls, Idaho is the third winner of our 2020 Color of the Birds contest with this photograph of a White-naped Jacobin spreading his tail during a rain shower. Ken took the photo in February 2015 at the Asa Wright Nature Center on the island of Trinidad, off the coast of Venezuela.

He was with a small group of photographers when “we were surprised by a sudden downpour in the afternoon. As we rushed to cover our gear and ourselves with rain gear, I realized that many birds had emerged from the thick underbrush to bathe in the warm spring shower. Almost every open branch carried a bird, taking advantage of the rare downpour at this time of year. Even though the birds were everywhere, I was drawn to this particularly active white-necked Jacobin male enjoying the shower, giving us the unique perspective of watching the hummingbird. The shower only lasted a few minutes, but the magical moment was immortalized forever.

Ernie Mastroianni, one of our judges and former photo editor of The world of bird watchers magazine, said “the active bird’s maximum pose, water droplets and rain in the background make it a standout image in any bird photo contest.” The image is sharp, but notice the shrill rain. It wasn’t taken at a super-fast shutter speed, so the moment had to be captured at precisely the right time.

Ken used a Canon 7D Mark II camera, a Canon 600mm f4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a Gitzo tripod with a BH-55 ball head. A Storm Jacket camera cover protected his lens and camera from the rain. He took the photo in manual mode and the settings were 1/320; f/8; ISO1000.

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The photo was among more than 725 images submitted to our Bird Color contest, and last week we featured it in our gallery of 13 finalists. Check out the links below for first and second place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.

Visit Ken Archer’s Website and Instagram Page

View a range map and listen to the sounds of the White-necked Jacobin

First place: Orange-breasted sparrow

Second Place: Scarlet Macaw

Discover the finalists of the Color of the Birds contest

See the honorable mentions of the Color of the Birds contest