In addition to the three winning photos from the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards, we’re thrilled to present this gallery of 22 finalists:
Photographer: Susan Ellison
Location and date: Santa Clara Ranch, Starr County, Texas, June 19, 2014.
Description: At Santa Clara Ranch, bird blinds are set up to shoot at eye level with water features as birds come to drink and bathe.
It was a very hot summer in June where temperature can range over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I sat in the sweltering blind, waiting for birds to arrive; it was not very comfortable, but one must be patient to capture the birds in action. My focus for this shoot was to try to capture the birds drinking and the water dripping from them. The birds were very skittish, since they were sitting in the open without protective cover. Roadrunners are quite common birds in this region, but they are definitely not the kind that stay long enough for a photo shoot, so I am very pleased to be able to capture one at the water drinking.
Gear and settings: Nikon D800E, Nikkor VR 500 f/4G, Gitzo tripod; Aperture Priority, AF-C, ISO800, 1/1600, f/8.
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.