Derrick Jackson is the third-place winner in the 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards with this head-on photo of an Atlantic Puffin with a bill full of fish.
He took the photo on July 14, 2019, on Maine’s Eastern Egg Rock, an island in Muscongus Bay. It is one of the sites where Project Puffin has restored the species in the Gulf of Maine.
“The Atlantic Puffin was nearly extinct in the state of Maine in the early 1900s, due to hunting for its meat and eggs by coastal dwellers,” Jackson says. “Today there are more than 1,300 pairs because of restoration efforts by the National Audubon Society. This healthy load of hake in this puffin’s bill symbolized the bounty available in 2019 as waters were cool enough for cold-water fish to stay within the feeding range of puffins. But the availability has become unpredictable with climate change, as the Gulf of Maine is the fastest warming body of ocean water on Earth.”
Derrick used a Nikon D810 camera and a 300mm f/2.8 lens. The settings were 1/1000 sec, f/5.6 and ISO 320.
The photo was among more than 1,230 entries that we received during the contest period this spring. And it was one of the 14 finalists that we announced last week. Check the links below for the first- and second-place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.
Many thanks to our judges: Professional bird photographer Alan Murphy; author, podcaster, BirdWatching columnist, and photographer Laura Erickson; Outdoor Photographer Editor Wes Pitts, and BirdWatching Editor Matt Mendenhall.