Bird Photographer of the Year, an annual international photo competition based in the U.K., is accepting entries for its 2020 competition through November 30. BirdWatching contributor Brian Small and I are two of the judges, and while we wait for the judging process to begin in December, I thought it would be fun to share photos of North American birds that have been honored in past years of the contest. The images in the following slideshow have been submitted over the last four years of the contest. Enjoy!
Carolina Fraser took this photo of a young Common Loon (or Great Northern Diver) in the Cariboo Region of British Columbia. The photo received an Honorable Mention award in the Attention to Detail category in 2018.
"Great Northern Diver chicks will usually nestle among their parents’ feathers until they are too large to fit," Fraser writes. "It was difficult to get a glimpse of the chick when it rested in the adult’s feathers. The parent’s wing fitted snugly around its young, and a slight bend in the feathers was the only clue that a chick was lurking beneath. In a brief moment lasting a few seconds, the adult moved its wing to stretch. I had just enough time to compose this photo – one that I had previously pictured in my mind – before the chick was covered up again."
Equipment and settings: Nikon D500 with AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4× converter. Focal length 700mm; 1/2,000 second; f/9;ISO 1,250.