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!
"Last February, I traveled to Amherst Island in Ontario to photograph owls," says Mary Lundeberg of Englewood, Florida. "While there, a Canadian friend told me about a Northern Hawk Owl that wandered south for the winter and had been spotted in Schomberg, Ontario. After a four-hour drive, we arrived in Schomberg in the middle of a heavy snowstorm. The wind and blowing snow made it difficult to carry my tripod, 600mm lens, 1.4xIII extender, and backpack. With limited visibility, I questioned my sanity, as the snow was slippery and getting deep. However, after hiking less than a mile, we spotted this uncommon owl, hunkered down on a branch, weathering the storm. I was delighted to see this solitary owl and kept my distance, so as not to disturb this magnificent creature. Because of the blowing snow, which interfered with automatic focus, I focused manually to capture the owl’s penetrating yellow eyes."
Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1DX Mark II camera. EF600 mm f/4 L IS II USM lens with Canon 1.4xIII extender; focal length = 840mm. Gitzo tripod with 4th Generation Mongoose Gimbal Action head.
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!