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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.

Great Crested Flycatcher by Michael Spleha

Great Crested Flycatcher by Michael Spleha
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"On a cool spring morning in 2020 in northern Illinois, insects were lethargic and the migrating birds were taking full advantage," says Michael Spleha of Pingree Grove, Illinois. "It was one of those magical mornings in the woods with so many birds moving. Among the warblers, vireos, grosbeaks, tanagers, and buntings were a pair of Great Created Flycatchers. One of the flycatchers was fortunate to chase down a slow-moving dragonfly. I just happened to be close to the bird's chosen feeding perch and was able to capture this shot. It was interesting to watch how the flycatcher dismantled his large meal to consume it. "

Equipment and settings: Nikon D7500 with a Nikon 200-500mm lens. 1/1600 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 1600.


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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