16 winning images from Bird Photographer of the Year 2021

After more than 22,000 images were submitted, the winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 contest were announced this week. We wrote about the grand-prize winner, a photo of a Greater Roadrunner stopped at the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and the youth winner here

Below is a slideshow of the gold and silver winning images from the eight primary categories in the contest. Enjoy these incredible photographs! 

Silver winner: Bird Behavior

Silver winner: Bird Behavior


Massimiliano Apollo, Italy

After many years of frequenting these rice fields in northern Italy, I finally managed to capture what is for me the perfect shot! In late summer, prior to migrating south, the region’s Purple Herons try to feed as much as possible and take advantage of the abundance of prey present in the rice fields. I had long dreamt of a shot like this, one that would allow me to see the expressions of the two subjects – predator and prey. I can also say with some satisfaction that this shot is completely wild and no form of baiting was employed – just a lot of patience, perseverance and, why not, a little luck!

Sony A9 II with Canon 600mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 840mm, 1/2,000 second, f/6.3, ISO 3,200.

Winning images from the Bird Photographer of the Year 2020 competition