High flyers: Bird Photographer of the Year announces finalists
The annual celebration of the world's best bird photos,
Bird Photographer of the Year, has announced its 11 finalists for 2022.
This year, more than 20,000 images were entered into the competition. The comp has a cash prize of £5,000 ($8,700 AUD) for the overall winner.
SINGLE FILE King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus. Gold Harbour, South Georgia, South Georgia. Ben Cranke, South Africa. Category: Best Portrait. On land, King Penguins tend to be creatures of habit, and when moving from the sea to their nests they usually follow a well-trodden path. I took advantage of this behaviour to capture this image, hiding a camera on the edge of one of these paths and camouflaging it with snow. I used a wireless trigger to take this shot of the birds as they paraded past in orderly single file. Nikon D810 with Nikon 18–35mm f/3.5–4.5 lens. Focal length 23mm; 1/500 second; f/11; ISO 200.
“Birds are an incredibly diverse group of animals, and we’ve seen stunning images of everything from mallard ducks to harpy eagles this year,” says Will Nicholls, wildlife cameraman and Director at Bird Photographer of the Year.
“We celebrate birds and conservation through images, and it is always a pleasure for everyone on the judging panel to see the work of such talented photographers.”
A CARTOON BIRD RAISING ITS ‘HANDS’ Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus. Selangor, Malaysia. Weng Keong Liew, Malaysia. Category: Best Portrait. It was the start of the breeding season, and this Black-and-yellow Broadbill was making a lot of commotion in an attempt to attract a mate. The courtship behaviour included a lot of noisy vocalisation and attention-seeking wing- spreading. To my eyes the plumage colours and patterns are like those an artist would use to illustrate a cartoon – stylised and somehow not quite like a real bird. Fujifilm X-T4 with Canon 500mm f/4 II lens. Focal length 500mm; 1/250 second; f/4.5; ISO 400.
Now in its seventh year, the competition also provides vital funding for grassroots conservation projects through its charity partner Birds on the Brink. In addition, a hardback, coffee-table book featuring the best images from the 2022 competition will also be available to order.
Following the winners announcement on September 8 2022, the winning images will travel the world in a touring exhibition from September until August 2023.
MANITOBA BURROWING OWL RECOVERY PROGRAM Burrowing Owl Athene cunicularia. Manitoba, Canada. Walter Potrebka, Canada. Category: Conservation Award. Sony A1 with Sony 70–200mm f/4 G lens. Focal length 70mm; 1/80 second; f/6.3; ISO 320.
WART HEAD Ocellated Turkey Meleagris ocellata. Chan Chich, Belize. Leander Khil, Austria. Category: Best Portrait. The colours and structures on the head of a male Ocellated Turkey surpass even those of its closest relative, the Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) of North America. I always wonder whether the orange warts that cover the head and neck could serve any other purpose than sexual selection – they seem so extravagant. To show the birds in a different way than is seen usually, I chose this head-on view when this individual made eye contact with me in a private reserve in Belize. Nikon D810 with Nikon 200–500mm f/5.6 lens. Focal length 500mm; 1/250 second; f/6.3; ISO 500.
FIGHT Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus. Finnmark, Norway. Erlend Haarberg, Norway. Category: Bird Behaviour. Nikon D850 with Nikon 180–400mm f/4 lens and 1.4× teleconverter. Focal length 550mm; 1/2,500 second; f/6.3; ISO 1,600.
FULL CONTACT Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia. Hortobágy National Park, Hungary. Gabor Baross, Hungary. Category: Bird Behaviour. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 400mm f/2.8 lens. Focal length 400mm; 1/6,400 second; f/4; ISO 1,000.
GENTOO DANCING AT SUNSET Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands. Audrey Wooller, United Kingdom. Category: Best Portrait. In the light of the setting sun, this penguin almost looked as if it were dancing. I positioned myself lying on the ground, waiting and hoping for a suitable penguin to pass during the few minutes when the setting sun created ideal light for a silhouette. This penguin obliged, with beak, feet and flippers nicely placed as it went past. I intentionally underexposed the image slightly to enhance the colours of the sunset against the silhouetted penguin. Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with Canon 100–400mm f/4.5– 5.6 II lens. Focal length 371mm; 1/1,600 second; f/5.6; ISO 100.
LIFE HANGING IN THE BALANCE Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias. Skagit Valley, Washington State, United States of America. Glenn Nelson, United States of America. Category: Bird Behaviour. Nikon Z 6 with Nikon 500mm f/5.6 PF lens. Focal length 500mm; 1/3,200 second; f/5.6; ISO 2,800.
HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway. Laguna Seca Ranch, Edinburg, Texas, United States of America. Marti Phillips, United States of America. Category: Bird Behaviour. I travelled to the Rio Grande area in Texas to attend my first bird photography workshop. This image was taken from a hide where birds are fed regularly, and among the species attracted were Crested Caracaras. Most of the time they just sat around, so imagine my delight at being able to photograph these two individuals as they performed their mating behaviour. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens. Focal length 400mm; 1/500 second; f/5.6; ISO 2,000.
HUMMINGBIRD HIDEAWAY Anna’s Hummingbird Calypte anna. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Liron Gertsman, Canada. Category: Bird Behaviour. Canon R5 with Canon 100–400mm f/4.5–5.6 II lens and 1.4× teleconverter. Focal length 560mm; 1/160 second; f/8; ISO 800.
UPLAND BUZZARD VERSUS CORSAC FOX Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Baozhu Wang, China. Category: Bird Behaviour. Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with Canon 600mm f/4 lens. Focal length 600mm; 1/1,600 second; f/4, ISO 160.