In addition to the three winning photos from the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards, we’re thrilled to present this gallery of 22 finalists:
Photographer: Judy Champ
Location and date: Torrey Pines State Reserve, San Diego, California, April 28, 2019.
Description: I have photographed the Peregrine Falcon families at Torrey Pines State Reserve for seven years now and have never seen this behavior before. This pair were new this year, and the mom was particularly protective over her chicks nesting in the cliffs above the beach. Just prior to capturing this image, this innocent Brown Pelican was flying down the beach past the nest, paying no attention to the Peregrine family. The adult female Peregrine shot out of the nest and attacked the pelican. He was so frightened that he turned completely upside down in response, after which the Peregrine grabbed its feet. The pelican ended up ok and flying away but was shaken up!
Gear: SONY ILCE-9.
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.