In addition to the three winning photos from the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards, we’re thrilled to present this gallery of 22 finalists:
Photographer: Edgar Feliz
Location and date: Lake Oswego, Oregon, May 7, 2019.
Description: I was in Lake Oswego on business for the third time in just over two months. I take at least one camera with me on all my business trips: the Boy Scout in me I guess. I am always prepared. I search (Google) for local parks, trails, ponds, and lakes when I travel to new locations to see what wildlife and landscapes I can shoot. Sometimes, as on this trip, I just have the early morning hours to shoot. In this case, Waluga Park West was the closest to the office site. I was at the park just after sunrise and waited around until the sun started to peek over the tall Oregon pines that enclose the park. From previous visits, I knew that there was an old growth-covered tree that Spotted Towhees, Dark-eyed Juncos, and other birds like to start their morning at because of the flowers the bloom on it. I sat on the wet grass and put my back up against the fence of the dog park and faced the tree. As I was shooting a towhee, I spotted the Song Sparrow about 15 feet from me on the left hanging onto the fence wiring eating some small wildflowers. I moved the camera slowly to the left and leaned it against the fence and was able to capture a handful of images as it ate, before it quickly flew to the aforementioned tree. The rainbow of colors in the image are from the early morning sun rays hitting grass, flowers, and other plants in that immediate area.
Gear and settings: Nikon D500; 500mm f4 G lens; 1/1250 at f4 and 800 ISO; handheld
Thanks to our judges: Matt Mendenhall, editor of BirdWatching; Wes Pitts, editor of Outdoor Photographer; Marie Read, an award-winning nature photographer based near Ithaca, New York; and Brian E. Small, a professional nature photographer based in Los Angeles whose photos illustrate our “ID Tips” column.