In the last few months of 2019, BirdWatching received more than 1,000 submissions to our Bird Portrait Contest from hundreds of photographers. The contest drew an exceptional selection of photos, making the judges’ job quite difficult, and now we’re happy to present the 12 finalist images in this slideshow.
Photographer: Anita Rama
Location and date: Reno, Nevada, March 20, 2016
Description: I heard about an owl residing in a tree along a walking trail in my neighborhood. I was delighted to find the owl one morning nestled and sleeping in an oak tree cavity. The trouble for me was that the owl continued to sleep for felt like an eternity. My patience was rewarded when the bird finally woke up briefly and looked at me. Not only did it open its eyes, but it also moved its leg when I quickly fired the shutter. To me, it felt like the owl was saying hello.
Gear and settings: Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 100-400mm lens, at f/5, 1/400 sec.