The photo above by Glenn Ostle of Charlotte, North Carolina, earned third place in BirdWatching’s 2021 Backyard and City Birds Photo Contest.
“As we live in North Carolina, we have a lot of Carolina Wrens in our backyard,” Ostle says. “They seem to be a species of bird that is quite comfortable having humans around and often build their nests in busy places. In our backyard, this wren chose to build its nest in the decomposing remains of a plant we had hanging close to the house. We watched the progress every day, taking pictures along the way. It was most exciting when the adult birds would bring back insects they had found, to feed to their hungry chicks. In this case, it happened to be a large fly.”
Chuck Hagner, the director of Bird City Wisconsin, a former BirdWatching editor, and one of our judges, said, “This photo really rewards looking close,” noting that it gives the viewer an up-close look at the wrens’ nest material, the feathers and gape of the chick, the adult’s feet, and the large fly.
Ostle used a Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera with a NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6 lens, on a Gitzo tripod with a Wimberly head. Settings were 1/400s, f5.6, ISO 2500. The photo was taken in July 2021.
Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: author, radio host, and Contributing Editor Laura Erickson; our former editor Chuck Hagner, the director of Bird City Wisconsin; our former photo editor Ernie Mastroianni; Outdoor Photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and Imaging Resource Managing Editor William Brawley.