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!
Alan Murphy took this photo of a Ruddy Duck at Kamloops, British Columbia.
"As part of his courtship display, the male Ruddy Duck will beat his bill against his breast very rapidly to create bubbles to attract a female," Murphy says. "I wanted a low perspective to record this mating display; capturing the face-on shot was my goal, showing off the stiff tail, the blue bill and the bubbles. To achieve this image, I donned waders and sat in the water. The ducks ignored me and went about their business as usual, eventually providing me with the opportunity I was after."
Equipment and settings: Nikon D800 with Nikkor 600mm f/4 lens. Gitzo tripod with Wimberley Gimbal head. Focal length 600mm; 1/1,600 second; f/8; ISO 500.