The second-place winner in BirdWatching’s 2021 Bird Portrait Contest is Dennis Stogsdill of Chappaqua, New York. He took this up-close photo of a Southern Ground Hornbill’s face and especially its eyelashes in September 2021 in the Mara Triangle region of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.
“I was shooting a pair of Southern Ground Hornbills feeding when one of them surprisingly started to approach my vehicle, which is pretty unusual for these rather shy birds,” says Stogsdill. “This one hornbill looked up at me for a brief moment, and I snapped the shot.”
William Brawley, managing editor of Imaging Resource, praised the image:
“What drew me to this photo was its striking, close-up composition. I feel like we don’t see this kind of bird photo very often. Here, we get an interesting perspective and a unique look at details of this bird that we wouldn’t normally see in a wider, more traditional photo. The colors and detail are excellent, and the shape of the bird’s eyelashes are fascinating, as well. Great shot all around!”
Stogsdill used a Sony A1 camera with a Sony 400mm F2.8 lens. Settings were ISO 640, f/5.0, 1/2000 sec.
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; professional bird photographer Brian E. Small; Outdoor Photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and Imaging Resource Managing Editor William Brawley.
View more of Dennis Stogsdill’s photos on his website and Instagram
View the first-place winner: Sandhill Cranes
View the third-place winner: Piping Plovers
Enter your photos in our BirdWatching Photography Awards Contest
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