Gold winner: Northern Gannets diving at the Shetland Islands, United Kingdom, by Richard Shucksmith, United Kingdom.
He used a specially made dome port with his Nikon D4 camera for half-in, half-out shots at sea. “But there was still quite a bit of swell, which was proving a challenge,” he recalls. “Northern Gannets hunt pelagic fish like mackerel and herring by diving into the sea from a height of up to 30m, achieving speeds up to 100kph on impact.”
Silver winner: Sandwich Terns in Florida, by Petr Bambousek, Czech Republic. This photo depicts the final stage of courtship, just before mating occurs. “I spent two hours lying on the ground in the midst of the colony enjoying the bustling colony life,” Bambousek says.
Taxonomic note: Some authorities recognize this species as the Cabot’s Tern, as distinct from Sandwich Tern of the Old World. The American Ornithological Society has not accepted this split.