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2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards finalists

This past spring, we conducted our latest photo contest, the 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards, here on our website. We received more than 770 entries — images of owls, eagles, hummingbirds, cranes, and passerines, among others — from hundreds of photographers. Thanks to everyone who entered! The selection of images was stellar, as all of our previous contests have been. The 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, and it lists the camera gear they used. 

We’ll announce the three winning images here on our website on Tuesday, August 10, and they’ll be featured in our September/October 2021 issue. Enjoy! 

Common Redpolls by Diane Doran

Common Redpolls by Diane Doran
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The image was captured on November 6, 2020, in Tiny Township, Simcoe, Ontario. The redpolls were feeding upon wild seeds from plants along the side of a county road at the edge of a farm field. The ditch was filled with seeding wildflowers and thistles. I noticed a small flock of Common Redpolls and stopped to capture some images. The two birds captured in the photograph were feeding on the same plant and took flight after a short scuffle. I captured the image as the two came together in the air just above the plant where they had been feeding. The whole encounter lasted a matter of seconds and the redpolls returned to their feeding activity. The image conjured up a vision of acrobats clasping hands in midair.

Gear: Canon R camera and a Canon RF 100-500mm lens, handheld.


Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: our Founding Editor and “Amazing Birds” columnist Eldon Greij; author, radio host, and Contributing Editor Laura EricksonOutdoor Photographer Editor Wes Pitts; and Imaging Resource Editor William Brawley. 

View the 2021 BirdWatching Photography Awards honorable mentions

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