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!
Ly Dang took this head-on image of a Peregrine Falcon in San Diego. Commended in the Birds in Flight category.
"Every April, along a hidden coastal cliff edge near San Diego, a unique pair of Peregrines appear like clockwork, returning together to the same eyrie to breed and raise their young," Dang says. "Rosy, the female (well-known and aptly nicknamed for the pronounced coloration on her chest) disappeared last year, never to be seen again. According to various accounts, she had been killed defending the eyrie from an intruder. Peregrines usually pair for life, but fortunately Rosy’s partner soon formed a new bond with a younger female. Here, the new female demonstrates that, while she may not be experienced rearing chicks, her maternal instincts are strong as she protectively patrols the area to ward off invaders. This photo was taken without the use of baiting, calls, lures or any other unethical practices.
Equipment and settings: Nikon D850 with AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and 1.4× converter. Focal length 840mm;1/2,500 second; f/5.6; ISO 400. Hand-held.