In a stunning display of avian photography, Jack Zhi has emerged as this year’s champion of the highly acclaimed Bird Photographer of the Year award. His captivating image features a female peregrine falcon fiercely guarding her offspring. This remarkable photograph, taken in the picturesque landscapes of California, outshone more than 20,000 competing entries to claim the prestigious prize.
Reflecting on his remarkable achievement, photographer Jack Zhi shared his insights, saying, “For four years, I endeavored to capture the elusive spectacle of a female falcon in the act of high-speed, agile attacks on large brown pelicans. I am particularly drawn to the expression in the pelican’s eyes – a mixture of surprise and fear. The entire action unfolded in the blink of an eye, yet it’s a moment etched in my memory forever.”
Youthful Talents Recognized: Young Bird Photographer of the Year
Anton Trexler, a seventeen-year-old prodigy from Germany, added a youthful flair to this year’s awards by receiving the title of Young Bird Photographer of the Year. Trexler’s winning image portrays a graceful blackbird silhouetted against the serene backdrop of the moon, showcasing an extraordinary talent for capturing the wonders of nature.
Celebrating Excellence Across Multiple Categories
The Bird Photographer of the Year competition included a diverse range of categories within the adult division, including the esteemed Conservation Award, Portfolio Award, and Video Award. Below, we showcase a selection of images that received gold, silver, and bronze awards, along with the photographers’ own vivid descriptions.
Henley Spiers Takes Flight with the Blue-footed Booby in Baja California Sur, Mexico
Henley Spiers recounted his photographic journey, stating, “During early autumn, a massive sardine shoal gathered at Los Islotes, attracting a host of seabird predators. Amidst this bustling spectacle, I patiently awaited the perfect moment – the elusive shot of a blue-footed booby gracefully ascending with a sardine clasped in its beak. Finally, an exhilarating plunge occurred nearby, and I instinctively immortalized the fleeting instant.”
Nicolas Reusens Illuminates the Glistening-green Tanager in Mashpi Amagusa Reserve, Ecuador
Nicolas Reusens enthusiastically recounted his thrilling rainforest encounter, expressing, “As I ventured deep into the heart of the tropical forest, my excitement soared upon encountering the rare glistening-green tanager. Hours of patient observation rewarded me with the sight of the resplendent green bird delicately perching upon a heart-shaped leaf. Its iridescent feathers gleamed with a kaleidoscope of colors, creating a mesmerizing spectacle against the lush jungle backdrop.
Levi Fitze Chronicles the Life of a King Penguin on Saunders Island, Falkland Islands
Levi Fitze’s photographic narrative captivates by offering a glimpse into the life of a king penguin. In his observations, he astutely notes, “While immersing myself in the world of king penguins, I couldn’t help but notice the intriguing parallels between their behavior and that of humans.
In this particular frame, an unrelenting juvenile persistently implores an adult for nourishment, until the somewhat exasperated adult reluctantly yields. Remarkably, the juvenile’s size surpasses that of the adult, shedding light on this intriguing aspect of their parenting dynamics.”
These photographs not only eloquently convey the extraordinary beauty of avian existence but also stand as a testament to the unyielding dedication and patience exhibited by gifted photographers who skillfully seize these ephemeral moments within the natural world. Bird photography continues to be a powerful medium for celebrating the diverse and enchanting realm of birds while promoting awareness of the vital importance of conservation and environmental preservation.