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 Least Tern is North America’s smallest tern, and it nests on sandy beaches, both on the coast and beside large inland rivers. As a breeding species, it is restricted mostly to the USA and it winters about the Caribbean; the global population is put at around 20,000 individuals. As with the Piping Plover and other species that favor beach habitats for breeding, human disturbance is a real threat. Interior-nesting Least Terns are probably faring better than their coastal cousins. This intimate image of a bathing Least Tern, taken in Newburyport, Massachusetts, by Matthew Filosa, is entitled “Tern Tubby Time.” 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.