North American birds featured in international photo competition

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!

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Ben Jiang took this shot of an Elegant Tern. Commended in the Best Portrait category.

"On an early summer morning in southern California, I arrived at the beach about half an hour before sunrise," Jiang explains. "There was little fog in the sky, the tide was extraordinarily low, and the sound of terns calling filled the air. I spotted approximately 300 birds standing in two rows near the water, and I crawled forward slowly while pressed closely to the sand. The sun rose above the sea, and the golden sunlight shone on white feathers – what a wonderful sight! I kept shooting until my clothes became sodden by the rising tide."

Equipment and settings: Nikon D850 with AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G lens and 1.4× converter. Focal length 560mm; 1/1,600 second; f/7.1;ISO 500. Beanbag.


View the 2019 winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year contest

See the winners of the 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards

Enter our 2019 Bird Portrait Photo Contest

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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