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!

Ruddy Duck

Ruddy Duck
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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.


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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