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2020 Bird Portrait contest finalists

In late 2020, BirdWatching received more than 700 photos entered into our Bird Portrait contest from hundreds of photographers. Thanks to everyone who entered! The selection of images was stellar, as all of our previous contests have been. The judges had a challenging task! Today we are proud to present the 12 finalist photos, featured in the following slideshow. 

We’ll announce the three winning images here on our website tomorrow, and they’ll be featured in our May/June issue.

Cedar Waxwing by Andy Raupp

Cedar Waxwing by Andy Raupp

Here is how Andy Raupp of Pingree Grove, Illinois, describes this photo of a berry-eating waxwing:

"I took this photo one cold winter morning in our suburban neighborhood in northern Illinois. I was heading out to a local park to go birding when I passed this crabapple tree filled with birds. I was excited to see it was a large flock of Cedar Waxwings feeding in the tree. These birds are one of my favorites, so I was thrilled to spend some time photographing them and capturing this photo!"

Equipment and settings: Nikon D500 and Sigma 150-600mm contemporary lens. Shutter 1/2000; aperture f6.3; ISO 1250.

Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: our Founding Editor and “Amazing Birds” columnist Eldon Greij; author, radio host, and Contributing Editor Laura Erickson; and Outdoor Photographer Editor Wes Pitts. 

View the 12 honorable mentions from our 2020 Bird Portrait contest

View the finalists from our 2019 Bird Portrait contest

UPDATE, MARCH 12: We have announced the winners!

First place: Cedar Waxwing

Second place: Elegant Trogon

Third place: Wood Duck

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