Photography

The awe-inspiring winners of the Bird Photographer of the Year awards

The awe-inspiring winners of t...
Bronze - Birds in the Environment. Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 700mm, 1/1,600 second, f/8, ISO 1,600
Bronze - Birds in the Environment. Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 700mm, 1/1,600 second, f/8, ISO 1,600
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Gold - Attention to Detail. Disappearing. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens. Focal length 100mm, 1/30 second, f/14, ISO 100
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Gold - Attention to Detail. Disappearing. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon EF 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens. Focal length 100mm, 1/30 second, f/14, ISO 100
Silver - Attention to Detail. Growing Up. Great Northern Divers (known as Common Loons in North America). Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens. Focal length 500mm, 1/640 second, f/4, ISO 400
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Silver - Attention to Detail. Growing Up. Great Northern Divers (known as Common Loons in North America). Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens. Focal length 500mm, 1/640 second, f/4, ISO 400
Bronze - Portrait. Night Hunter. Great Grey Owl. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 200–400mm f/4 lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 3,200
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Bronze - Portrait. Night Hunter. Great Grey Owl. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 200–400mm f/4 lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 3,200
Gold - Portrait. Underwater Portrait. Brown Pelican. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 8–15mm f/4 Focal length 15mm; 1/10th, f/9, ISO 200
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Gold - Portrait. Underwater Portrait. Brown Pelican. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 8–15mm f/4 Focal length 15mm; 1/10th, f/9, ISO 200
Silver - Portrait. Sing Heartily. Demoiselle Cranes. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 600mm f/4 lens, 1/640 second, f/6.3, ISO 400
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Silver - Portrait. Sing Heartily. Demoiselle Cranes. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 600mm f/4 lens, 1/640 second, f/6.3, ISO 400
Bronze - Bird Behavior. Entangled. Imperial Shag aka King Cormorant. Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon 70–200mm f/2.8 II lens and 2x teleconverter. Focal length 400mm; 1/1,600 second; f/5.6; ISO 250
6/20
Bronze - Bird Behavior. Entangled. Imperial Shag aka King Cormorant. Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon 70–200mm f/2.8 II lens and 2x teleconverter. Focal length 400mm; 1/1,600 second; f/5.6; ISO 250
Gold - Bird Behavior. Floral Bathtub. Crimson Sunbird. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 420mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,600
7/20
Gold - Bird Behavior. Floral Bathtub. Crimson Sunbird. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 420mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,600
Silver - Bird Behavior. The Face of Death. Purple Herons. Sony A9 II with Canon 600mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 840mm, 1/2,000 second, f/6.3, ISO 3,200
8/20
Silver - Bird Behavior. The Face of Death. Purple Herons. Sony A9 II with Canon 600mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 840mm, 1/2,000 second, f/6.3, ISO 3,200
Bronze - Birds in Flight. First Come, First Served. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 120mm, 1/5,000 second, f/4, ISO 200
9/20
Bronze - Birds in Flight. First Come, First Served. Southern Yellow-billed Hornbills. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 120mm, 1/5,000 second, f/4, ISO 200
Gold - Birds in Flight. Thirsty. Common Swifts. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,800
10/20
Gold - Birds in Flight. Thirsty. Common Swifts. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 PF lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,800
Silver - Birds in Flight. The Art of Motion. Canon R6 with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Focal length 100mm, 1/25 second, f/13, ISO 200
11/20
Silver - Birds in Flight. The Art of Motion. Canon R6 with Laowa 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens. Focal length 100mm, 1/25 second, f/13, ISO 200
Bronze - Birds in the Environment. Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 700mm, 1/1,600 second, f/8, ISO 1,600
12/20
Bronze - Birds in the Environment. Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 500mm f/4 lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 700mm, 1/1,600 second, f/8, ISO 1,600
Bronze - Black and White. European Shag. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 200–500mm f/5.6 lens. Focal length 500mm, 1/1,600 second, f/10, ISO 200
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Bronze - Black and White. European Shag. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 200–500mm f/5.6 lens. Focal length 500mm, 1/1,600 second, f/10, ISO 200
Gold - Black and White. Chinstrap Penguin. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6 lens. Focal length 130mm, 1/1,250 second, f/16, ISO 800
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Gold - Black and White. Chinstrap Penguin. Nikon D4S with Nikkor 80–400mm f/4.5–5.6 lens. Focal length 130mm, 1/1,250 second, f/16, ISO 800
Gold - Creative Imagery. Sprats and Bread. Common Kingfisher. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Sigma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Sports lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Composite
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Gold - Creative Imagery. Sprats and Bread. Common Kingfisher. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Sigma 150–600mm f/5–6.3 Sports lens and 1.4x teleconverter. Composite
Silver - Creative Imagery. Funnel. Common Starlings. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 24–105mm f/4 lens. Stacked and merged exposures
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Silver - Creative Imagery. Funnel. Common Starlings. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 24–105mm f/4 lens. Stacked and merged exposures
Overall Winner. Blocked. Greater Road Runner. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 112mm, 1/320 second, f/14, ISO 200
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Overall Winner. Blocked. Greater Road Runner. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 112mm, 1/320 second, f/14, ISO 200
Silver - Urban Birds. Lockdown. Karoo Prinia. Canon EOS 6D with Sigma 120–300mm f/2.8 Sport lens. Focal length 252mm, 1/3,200 second, f/4, ISO 800
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Silver - Urban Birds. Lockdown. Karoo Prinia. Canon EOS 6D with Sigma 120–300mm f/2.8 Sport lens. Focal length 252mm, 1/3,200 second, f/4, ISO 800
Bronze - Ages 14 to 17. Mid-air Catch. Hamerkop. Canon EOS-1D X with Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens. Focal length 164mm, 1/800 second, f/5, ISO 20,000
19/20
Bronze - Ages 14 to 17. Mid-air Catch. Hamerkop. Canon EOS-1D X with Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens. Focal length 164mm, 1/800 second, f/5, ISO 20,000
Winner - Young. Morning Lek. Black Grouse. Sony a7R IV and Sony 16–35mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 16mm, 1/100 second, f/22, ISO 320
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Winner - Young. Morning Lek. Black Grouse. Sony a7R IV and Sony 16–35mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 16mm, 1/100 second, f/22, ISO 320
View gallery - 20 images

A sublime shot of a Roadrunner facing the US-Mexico border wall has taken top prize in this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year contest. The contest is one of the biggest in the world to solely focus on bird photography.

The contest spans eight different categories including Portraits, Bird Behavior, Birds in Flight and Black and White. This year more than 22,000 entries were submitted, all competing for a cash prize of £5,000 (US$6,880).

Overall Winner. Blocked. Greater Road Runner. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 112mm, 1/320 second, f/14, ISO 200
Overall Winner. Blocked. Greater Road Runner. Nikon D850 with Nikkor 70–200mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 112mm, 1/320 second, f/14, ISO 200

The not-for-profit competition is designed to support bird conservation charities. This year several thousand dollars went to helping Birds on the Brink.

Alejandro Prieto’s winning photograph ostensibly appears to be very political, however, he points out the intention with the shot is to highlight the threat to biodiversity these kinds of structures can impose on local animal habitats.

“The border wall crosses deserts, mountains, and even mangroves,” explains Prieto. “It is not just desert, and is in fact very biodiverse with more than 1,500 animal and plants species threatened by the wall. I have watched many different animals reach the wall before turning around and heading back.”

Gold - Bird Behavior. Floral Bathtub. Crimson Sunbird. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 420mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,600
Gold - Bird Behavior. Floral Bathtub. Crimson Sunbird. Nikon D500 with Nikkor 300mm f/4 and 1.4x teleconverter. Focal length 420mm, 1/4,000 second, f/7.1, ISO 1,600

Another highlight is Indian photographer Mousam Ray’s snap of a Crimson Sunbird bathing in a floral bath. Ray captured this image in the early evening and was surprised to see the bird so thoroughly immersed in the water.

“…it was a unique experience to see this sunbird immersing herself upside down in water contained in an ornamental flower petal, like a lady in a bathtub,” says Ray. “Her relaxed and indulgent manner, lit by the glow of sunset, was truly a sight to behold.”

Bronze - Portrait. Night Hunter. Great Grey Owl. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 200–400mm f/4 lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 3,200
Bronze - Portrait. Night Hunter. Great Grey Owl. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 200–400mm f/4 lens. Focal length 300mm, 1/160 second, f/4, ISO 3,200

Other highlights include a stunning portrait of an ominous owl, a surreal perspective on a massive flock of birds, and an incredible view of a penguin reflected in a wet sandy beach.

Take a look through our gallery at more highlights from this year’s impressive selection. Last year's amazing Bird Photographer of the Year winners are also well worth a browse.

Source: BPOTY

View gallery - 20 images
3 comments
3 comments
akarp
There are some great photos...except the 'overall winner' has very poor composition and framing.
Nelson Hyde Chick
By mid century as mankind has swelled by billions more there will be ew if any birds left in the wild. Go anthropocene! Humanity is a cancer on this planet.
mattlass
@Nelson Hyde Chick-
Human extinction is our only hope!