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!
Anton Sorokin shot this image of Barred Owl in Washington. The photo was Commended in the Birds in the Environment category.
"This challenging image shows a Barred Owl sitting amidst a contaminated wetland where, among other things, tires have been dumped," Sorokin explains. "Chemicals from the tires are most likely leaching into the water and pervading the entire ecosystem. It’s always sad to see animals living in environments like this one, but it’s becoming an increasingly common sight. To raise awareness of the problems of pollution, it is not something we as photographers should shy away from."
Equipment and settings: Nikon D810 with Nikkor 70–300mm f/4.5–5.6 lens. Focal length 250mm; 1/400 second; f/5.6; ISO 1,250.