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!
Thomas Chadwick photographed this Roseate Spoonbill in St. Petersburg, Florida. It was Commended in the Birds in Flight category.
"After looking at the tidal charts, I was excited because I found a day that offered the best conditions for Roseate Spoonbills to appear in the lagoon," he says. "As I walked to the beach in my chest waders, I saw two resting in the water. My goal was to get a flight photograph, so I waded through chest-deep water in order to align myself with the wind as well as the best sun angle. After photographing some portraits of the two spoonbills, I went into flight mode: I knew they would fly out of the lagoon at some point, so I waited, poised. All of a sudden, they both went from resting on one leg, to standing on both while pointing the front of their bodies into the wind. A moment later, I was pressing the shutter and capturing them in flight."
Equipment and settings: Canon EOS 1DX Mk II with Canon EF600mm f/4L IS II USM lens. Focal length 600mm; 1/3,200 second; f/10; ISO 400.