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!
Gary Cook photographed this female Northern Cardinal at Beavercreek, Ohio. The photo was Commended in the Birds in Flight category.
"This shot was taken on a cold November day in Beavercreek, Ohio," Cook explains. "A sudden cold snap brought hungry birds to our feeder, eager to make the most of the available free food. The image shows a beautifully marked female Northern Cardinal, with her crest raised as a warning to the other birds consuming the nuts and seeds. It was a tricky shot to capture as the competition for food prompted aggressive behavior from the birds. Her flight path was aimed directly toward the feeder (and camera) in an attempt to scatter the birds that had already landed."
Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF 24–70mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens. Focal length 57mm;1/4,000 second; f/13; ISO 400. Tripod. Remote release and five strobe lights.