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Bird Photographer of the Year

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

From penguins to caracaras, enjoy this selection of finalists from the 2022 Bird Photographer of the Year competition.

More than 20,000 images were entered into the competition from 115 different countries. This selection is a sneak preview of what is still to come, with the winners to be announced in September.

Gentoo penguin
Gentoo Penguin (Pygoscelis papua). Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands. © Audrey Wooller | Bird Photographer of the Year
Gentoo Penguin

Photographer: Audrey Wooller

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."

Black-and-yellow Broadbill
Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus). Selangor, Malaysia. © Weng Keong Liew | Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer: Weng Liew

Category: Best Portrait

"It was the start of breeding season, and this black-and-yellow broadbill was making a lot of commotion 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, somehow not quite like a real bird."

Upland Buzzard and a fox
Upland Buzzard (Buteo hemilasius). Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. © Baozhu Wang | Bird Photographer of the Year
Upland Buzzard

Photographer: Baozhu Wang

Category: Bird Behaviour

"This photograph was taken on the Mandu grasslands of Dongwu Banner in Inner Mongolia. Both upland buzzard and corsac fox (Vulpes corsac) are top predators in this grassy environment and share a diet that comprises mainly small rodents. Consequently, in terms of feeding they are rivals and are sometimes driven to fight each other over food. This kind of confrontation is usually for show and a battle of will that never ends up with life-and-death conflict. In this instance, the upland buzzard decided to relinquish its food and fly away."

Pair of Caracaras
Caracara (Caracara cheriway). Laguna Seca Ranch, Edinburg, Texas, USA. © Marti Phillips | Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer: Marti Phillips

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."

Single file line of King penguins walking
King penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicas) in Gold Harbour, South Georgia. © Ben Cranke | Bird Photographer of the Year 2022.
King Penguin

Photographer: Ben Cranke

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 to capture this, 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 single file."


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