Hyderabad: Bird photography is considered to be notoriously hard as the subjects are never resting for a perfect capture. But the Bird Photographer of the Year contest has been able to get some of the best captures under one umbrella.
And now, the winners of the 2021 prize have been announced, spanning a range of technical categories, narrowed down from a flock of 22,000 entries.
Birds in the Environment & Bird Photographer of the Year:
This Road Runner stops in its tracks in front of a section of a 3,000km-long border wall between the US and Mexico in southern Arizona. This image, the competition’s overall winner, illustrates how a wall along it can disrupt the behaviour of local nomadic species.
Photograph: Alejandro Prieto / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
Caption: Backlit by a golden sunset on the remote island of Fair Isle, this puffin was captured by photographer Kevin Morgans on his annual return to the far north of Scotland.
Photograph: Kevin Morgans / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year
Attention to Detail
Caption: This image shows the reflection of a penguin in wet sand, with waves crashing. The photographer is fascinated by the way light is reflected by water and how liquid can create, distort and destroy the way we view things.
Photograph: Rafael Armada / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
Standing 1.5m tall and with a wingspan of 2.5m, Greater Adjutants are the most endangered species of stork on the planet. Today, there are fewer than 1,200 of these enigmatic scavengers left in existence, with the global stronghold of 950 residing in Assam, India.
Photograph: Carla Rhodes / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
You might be thinking this was a huge baleen whale mid-feed. Well, in fact it’s a Brown Pelican making the most of scraps thrown into the sea by fishermen on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica.
Photograph: Felipe Foncueva / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
Birds in Flight
Caption: The Common Swift doesn’t stay still for very long. It feeds on insects mid-air and swoops low to scoop up water in its beak when it needs a drink. The species won’t settle on the ground if they could avoid it and can spend up to 10 months in continuous flight.
Photograph: Tzahi Finkelstein / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
This Crimson Sunbird has a literal bird bath in West Bengal, India. It makes the most of the banana plant while lounging in. After drinking nectar from the flower, it lay back in the rainwater collected in the flower’s petal.
Photograph: Mousam Ray / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year
Black and White
The huge scale of the Antarctic environment is as much the focus of this image as the Chinstrap Penguin spotted wandering among it. The species was captured atop a gigantic iceberg.
Photograph: Renato Granieri / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
The White-throated Dipper is spotted using whatever perch it can in this image taken in Greater Manchester. The semi-aquatic species was captured using a remote camera and lens placed in the river, while the photographer triggered it from the bank.
Photograph: Terry Whittaker / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year.
Young Bird Photographer of the Year (age 14-17)
Photographer Levi Fitze endured a night high in the freezing Alps and a 4 am start to capture this image of a black grouse at sunrise. Males of the species gather in large groups in what is known as lekking behaviour, where they compete for mates with elaborate displays and courtship rituals.
Photograph: Levi Fitze / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year
Young Bird Photographer of the Year (age 9-13)
This striking wide-angle image was captured remotely from a hide. It shows the Eurasian Nuthatch climbing down the trunk of a tree to find water.
Photograph: Andrés L. Domínguez Blanco / 2021 Bird Photographer of the Year
See the rest of the winners of each category at www.birdpoty.com . If you’re feeling inspired, the 2022 competition will open on 30 September 2021, with photographers of all levels invited to register.