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!
Anita Ross made this image of a Burrowing Owl at the Salton Sea in California. The photo was Commended in the Bird Behavior category in 2018.
"It was July when a friend and I headed to the Salton Sea in the California desert (where the temperature was 43˚C) to look for Burrowing Owls," Ross writes. "We found four owlets with their parents just as the sun was coming up. I sat myself down and was enchanted by their adorable behavior when suddenly this owlet started chasing what I later discovered was a spider. I was thrilled to have managed to capture the moment just before he caught his prey."
Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1DX Mk II with Canon EF400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens and 2× converter. Focal length 800mm;1/2,500 second; f/8; ISO 1,250.