Our friends at the U.K.-based Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) competition see first-hand the mounting pressures on bird populations around the world. Consequently, if bird photography is going to thrive and not become metaphorically speaking a dying art, we must all do our bit to reverse the decline of bird species and support conservation efforts.
BPOTY helps fund its partner charity Birds on the Brink, and it recognizes the power of world-class imagery to inspire people around the globe to care, and maybe shame some into action. Here are some wonderful BPOTY competition images from the United States, which depict species where there is an underlying conservation story to tell.
The iconic Bald Eagle has symbolic significance to First Nation peoples and has been the national emblem of the United States since 1782. Today it is thriving, relatively speaking, but that has not always been the case. At one time persecuted (poisoned and shot), then affected by DDT and other organochlorine pesticide accumulations, its recovery is something to be celebrated. As a result, it has been removed from the US Endangered Species List. Alaska is a real hotspot for the species and Alan Murphy’s pin-sharp, wide-angle flight shot was taken at Kachemak Bay. It was commended in the 2020 competition and appears in the BPOTY 5 book.
The 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year contest is open for entries until February 15, 2021. Read the rules and learn how to enter here.