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First place: 2022 Bird Portrait contest

Calliope Hummingbird
© Dustin Huntington/2022 Bird Portrait contest

Dustin Huntington won first place in BirdWatching’s 2022 Bird Portrait contest with this remarkable image of a Calliope Hummingbird that he photographed from the deck of his house in Tijeras, New Mexico.

“I had set up to photograph the various hummingbirds at close range in the morning light,” Huntington says. “The birds were very tolerant of the camera and allowed close approach. This Calliope was at a feeder that the ants had discovered, and two had apparently run up his bill while feeding. At the time, I did not even see the ants and was just concentrating on getting a shot of the bird. When I downloaded the photos, I realized the ants had taken this from just another hummingbird photo to something special. I’m not sure which was more surprised: the ants at being in flight or the hummingbird about his unexpected passengers.”

Contributing Editor Brian E. Small, one of our judges, says, “The wonderful photo was the clear winner for me. I love both its simplicity and its intricate detail. And, of course, the two ants on its bill make it special above all the others. The image is beautifully composed, well-lit, and has amazing detail. I always know a winning photograph when it’s one that I wish I had taken. Well done!”

Huntington took the photo with a Sony A9 and a Sony 100-400mm lens. Exposure data: 1/800 @ f/8, ISO 500.

Follow Dustin on Flickr

Many thanks to our panel of guest judges: Contributing Editors Laura Erickson, Pete Dunne, and Brian E. Small; professional photographer Marie Read; Outdoor Photographer editors Dan Havlik and Kristan Ashworth; and Imaging Resource editors William Brawley and Jeremy Gray.

View the second-place winner

View the third-place winner

View the finalists

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