Ken Archer of Twin Falls, Idaho, is the third-place winner in our 2020 Color of Birds contest with this photograph of a White-necked Jacobin spreading its tail during a rain shower. Ken took the photo in February 2015 at the Asa Wright Nature Centre on the island of Trinidad, which lies off the coast of Venezuela.
He was with a small group of photographers when “we were surprised by a sudden afternoon shower. While rushing to cover our equipment and ourselves with rain gear, I realized that many birds had come out of the thick underbrush to bathe in the warm spring shower. Almost every open branch had a bird on it, enjoying the rare shower this time of year. Although birds were all around, I was attracted to this particularly active male White-necked Jacobin enjoying the shower, giving us the unique perspective of looking down on the hummingbird. The shower only lasted a few short minutes, but the magical moment was captured forever.”
Ernie Mastroianni, one of our judges and a former photo editor of Birder’s World magazine, said “the peak pose of the active bird, water droplets, and streaking background rain make this a top-tier image in any bird photo contest. The image is sharp, yet notice the streaking rain. This was not taken at an ultra-fast shutter speed, so the moment had to be captured at precisely the right time.”
Ken used a Canon 7D Mark II camera, Canon 600mm f4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter mounted on a Gitzo Tripod with a BH-55 ball head. A Storm Jacket Camera Cover protected his lens and camera from the rain. He shot the photo in manual mode and the settings were 1/320; f/8; ISO 1000.
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 first- and second-place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.