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!
"My wife and I love Sanibel Island and frequently go birding and shelling together," says Conrad Peloquin of Walnut Creek, California. "I usually lose her to a pile of seashells while I continue down the beach and through the mangroves in search of interesting birds. I spotted this Snowy Egret, and while the egret is special in its own right, this one had the most beautiful speckled feet, unlike most others. Another photographer once told me ‘you have to be willing to get down and dirty to get the perfect shot.’ With this in mind, I quickly left my post high up on a boardwalk and quietly sprawled out on the sandy beach, piled high underneath me with uncomfortable sharp and jagged seashells…all the while hoping my beautiful bird would not fly the coop! I was able to snap a few shots while Twinkle Toes was super focused on finding a little fish for her next meal. After parting ways with this stunning Snowy Egret, I looked up to see my wife on the boardwalk with a guilty grin taking photos of me, laying on the shell-filled beach looking like some sort of beached sealife. Not sure which one of us got the best shot that day!"
Equipment and settings: Nikon D850, Nikon 200-500 lens, at 300mm. 1600 shutter speed, 6.3 aperture, 360 ISO.
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!