2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards finalists

In addition to the three winning photos from the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards, we’re thrilled to present this gallery of 22 finalists: 

Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting

Photographer: Emily Carter Mitchell

Location and date: North Point State Park, Maryland, November 23, 2018

Description: In North Point State Park, there is a manmade rock and paved fishing pier that extends out into the bay. As winter approaches, a few Snow Buntings come to this fishing pier for their winter’s respite. Perhaps the sweetest birds that I’ve ever met, they forage on the grass seeds along the walkway, tolerant of visitors and charming those who spends time with them. Whenever I visit, I bundle up for the bitter cold on the pier and sit on the ground to become part of their world. Watching them forage and dart along the grass, at times they come so close I could almost touch them. Once they get their fill, they move up to the rocks and begin to preen. I waited a couple of hours for them to finish foraging and to go up on the rocks. Exposing to the right, I captured this unique pose showing their grace and elegance.

Gear and settings: Canon 1DX II; Canon 500mm f/4; 1/2000 sec, f/6.3, ISO 640; centered weighted metering; Aperture Priority; Exposure compensation +1.3 stops; custom white balance Kelvin 5800; 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.

View the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards winners