Beak Shots: 2017’s Bird Photographers of the Year

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Birdwatching is cool but capturing an awesome avian on film is a feather in your cap, as proven by these 2017 Bird Photographer of the Year winners.

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The third annual Bird Photographer of the Year competition is organized by Nature Photographers Ltd to celebrate the art of bird photography. The project also serves to promote bird conservation through direct contributions to the British Trust for Ornithology. Images submitted by photographers are divided into seven different categories, with additional awards for Best Overall Image and Best Portfolio.

For 2017, Alejandro Prieto Rojas was named Bird Photographer of the Year for his spectacular image of “Feeding Flamingos” in Mexico while acclaimed bird photographer Markus Varesvuo (“Willow Grouse” shown above) walked off with the prize for Best Portfolio.

Young Bird Photographer

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“Calling Tern” by Ondrej Pelanek features a whiskered tern (Chlidonias hybrida) greeting the rising sun deep in the Hungarian wetlands. The up-close-and-personal nature of many of these photographs showcase not only the photographer’s grasp of technique and technology, but an innate ability to become almost at one with Nature so as to not frighten off the image’s subject.

Creative Imagery

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“Speculum” by Georgina Steytler depicts a Pacific Black Duck ( Anas superciliosa) showing off its iridescent speculum feathers in Garvey Park, Perth, Western Australia. “I took this photo at a small lake,” explains the photographer. “The still waters and the dark foliage of the background resulted in an opportunity to highlight the gorgeous feathers. I exaggerated the effect in Adobe Lightroom (and cropped), but otherwise have not altered the original photo.”