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2021 Backyard and City Birds Photo Contest Finalists

In late 2021, we sent out a call for entries to our first ever Backyard and City Birds Contest, here on our website. Bird photographers entered more than 600 images taken in yards, parks, and other urban and suburban spots. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Entries included images of owls, hummingbirds, cardinals, jays, finches, and more — from hundreds of photographers. The selection of images was outstanding, and our judges had a challenging task! Today we are proud to present the finalist photos, featured in the following slideshow. Each caption tells the story behind the photo, from the photographers themselves. Enjoy!

We’ll announce the winners on Friday, April 29, and will feature them in our July/August issue.

Mourning Doves

Mourning Doves

Photo by Julie MacKinnon

I started watching and photographing birds in earnest during the pandemic. Prior to that, I hadn’t realized how much bird activity goes on in my small, urban yard. On this spring day, a pair of Mourning Doves landed on my back fence and began their sweet mating ritual. I did not want to disturb them, so I snuck out the side of my house and down the side yard farthest from the fence. From there, I observed and photographed them for some time as they preened, cuddled, and cooed. I love how this photo captures the tenderness of their ritual.

San Jose, California, May 2020

Want to see more? Here are our 12 honorable mention photos.

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