Norwegian photographer Erlend Haarberg received this year’s grand prize in the international Bird Photographer of the Year (BPOTY) contest for his beautiful image of a Rock Ptarmigan taking flight above the snow-covered mountains of Tysfjorden, Norway. The photo also won the gold prize in the Birds in the Environment category.
“High up in the mountains, the wind, snow, and cold maintain the iron grip of winter for many months on end. This is where Rock Ptarmigan thrive in an endless white landscape,” says Haarberg. “On this particular winter’s day, I was on my way to a mountain top. I had almost reached the summit when I spotted some ptarmigan tracks in the snow. Soon a bird took flight, with the dramatic backdrop showing what a harsh environment this bird calls home.”
Photographers from all over the world entered more than 20,000 images into the competition.
Organizers of BPOTY, the world’s largest bird photography competition, recently announced the winners. We’re happy to present the gold winners in each category in the following gallery. To view even more winning images, visit the contest’s website.