Bob Graham of Kingsville, Ontario, won first place in our 2020 Color of Birds contest with this photo of a male Orange-breasted Bunting. The species is endemic to western Mexico. Bob and his wife are retired and spend much of the year in Mexico. They were renting a house on Troncones Beach in February 2020, when Bob photographed the bunting while it splashed in a pond.
The bird certainly lives up to the name of our contest. Males of the species have a pale green crown, turquoise blue nape and upper parts that are often tinged with green, and a turquoise tail. The lores, eye-ring and underparts are canary yellow, deepening to golden-orange on the breast.
“It was made doubly beautiful by its reflection,” Bob says.
Ernie Mastroianni, one of our judges and a former photo editor of Birder’s World magazine, praised the photo: “Great light, nicely composed, technical quality high, plus a compelling, warm palette. The environment of water and droplets is a plus.”
Bob used a Sony Alpha SLT-A58 camera and a 300mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter.
The photo was one of the 725-plus images submitted to our Color of Birds contest, and last week we featured it in our gallery of 13 finalists. Check the links below for the second- and third-place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.