Our 2020 Bird Portrait contest attracted hundreds of fantastic images. We’re happy to present this slideshow of 12 honorable mention photos, featuring Bald Eagle, Snowy, Great, and Reddish Egrets, and Northern Hawk Owl. Enjoy!
"Summer is one of the Burrowing Owl mating seasons in my corner of Southern California," says Christine Cope Pence. "The heat rises quickly with the sun this time of year and the owls are out of their burrows early. By 10 a.m., all of the action is pretty much finished. Waiting around for the Burrowing Owls to preen in the morning light, I finally captured these two owls in a vacant field in the middle of an industrial park area. The species is known for their appealing antics, and these two did not disappoint. They flew back and forth from their borrowed burrow in the hardened dirt to the surrounding green grasses to the close-by branch, bobbing their heads in all directions to check for safety. While they can be fierce hunters, they seemed to have little fear of the camera. Once the hawks started flying over, however, they scurried back into their burrow."
Equipment and settings: Panasonic DMC G9, Leica DG Elmarit 200/F2.8 lens on a Sirui 2204W tripod. ISO 200, 1/2000s, f/4.
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.
UPDATE, MARCH 12: We have announced the winners!