A bird bonanza in the 2022 Audubon Photo Awards
For anyone with even a passing interest in ornithology, the annual Audubon Photography Awards is like Christmas in July. Now in its 13th year, the contest consistently delivers a spectacular collection of images highlighting rarely photographed bird behaviors.
Formed over a century ago, the National Audubon Society has hundreds of chapters across the United States. Named after John Audubon, a 19th century artist known for his iconic illustrations of birds, the society’s annual photography contest focuses on the incredible breadth of bird behavior across North America.
This year’s Grand Prize winning shot is a stunningly timed snap of white-tailed kite dropping the fruits of a successful hunt into the talons of its fledgling. Amateur photographer Jack Zhi had been studying the behavior of these raptors for three years before he caught this magnificent sight in close-up.
“It’s difficult to get the action, the distance, the weather and lighting, the angles of the individuals all right at the same time,” Zhi said. “Not to mention they may start from a clear view and quickly move behind trees. The food transfer happened in a fraction of a second.”
Another impressive shot came from photographer Ankur Khurana, capturing a beautifully intimate moment between two common ravens. These birds are known for forming long-term monogamous pairs and often behave in ways we would interpret as signs of affection.
“As we walked away, the ravens continued to indulge in playful displays on the ground and in flight,” Khurana said. “We’d seen ravens, and proof of their obvious intelligence, hundreds of times, but this raven encounter is one that will be hard to beat.”
Take a look through our gallery at more highlights from this year’s fantastic set of winners.