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.
It’s not often that the recovery and range-expansion of a native species gives cause for concern, but such is the case with the Barred Owl. In the Pacific Northwest, specifically in beleaguered temperate rainforest habitats, fears are that the owl is now coming into conflict with its much rarer, and less aggressive cousin the Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis). This worry notwithstanding, Adam Stunkel’s atmospheric image places a Barred Owl beautifully in the context of its environment. It was taken near Portland, Oregon, and is entitled “Reign Forest” and was Commended in the 2020 competition; it features 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.