BirdLife Australia Photography Awards 2023: The Best Shots Of Australian Birds
The winners of the 2023 BirdLife Australia Photography Awards have been announced and we're thrilled to share the captivating moments captured by some of Australia’s best bird photographers.
This year, the competition received over 6,000 entries and selected nine winners of each category from a shortlist of 68 photos. The categories were "Backyard Birds", "Bird Behaviour", "Bird Portrait", "Birds in Flight", "Birds in the Landscape", "Special Theme (Wading Birds of The Australian Floodplains)", "Youth" and "Human Impact".
Scroll down to discover the impressive images!
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#1 Birds In Flight: "Fingertips" By Kate Burgess (Winner)
Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Wentworth Falls, NSW
"Being able to capture both the 'fingertips' of the feathers in flight and the cockatoo's head and feet in the background makes this a magical image for me. Shooting in burst mode enabled me to capture just the right composition."
The judges of this year's competition were Michael Snedic, Tim van Leeuwen, Josh Galicki, Lia Bocchiaro, Georgina Steytler, Charles Davis, and Shelley Pearson.
Among the winners are "Song of the Superb" by Nikki Kenwrick, "Pollen Shower" by Guy Draper, "Piercing" by Colin Driscoll, "Fingertips" by Kate Burgess, "Morning! Time to Get Moving" by Veronica McPhail, "Curlew Construction Consideration" by Gregory Abbott, "Jambalaya on the Bayou" by Jason Moore and "Wings Spread" by Tai M.
#2 Bird Behavior: "Have You Heard The One About..." By Franciscus Scheelings (Shortlist)
Little Corella, La Trobe University, Vic
"While doing a bit of birding at the La Trobe University wetlands I noticed a large flock of Little Corellas on one of the ovals with several pairs rolling around in the grass. I got down as low as I could to fire off some shots and managed to get this photo of what looks like a couple of old friends sharing a hilarious joke."
#3 Birds In Flight: "Leapfrog" By Jason Moore (Shortlist)
Rainbow Bee-eater, Perth, WA
"The classical flight shot of the Rainbow Bee-eater is the front on, wings spread "portrait". I thought this side on perspective offered the viewer something a little unusual. I'm fond of the lighting in this image. The subject and perch are shrouded in shadow, but the distant background is being lit by sunlight, which has created a contrast between cool and warm colors which I find quite attractive."
The competition is open to people of any nationality. However, photographers may only submit photos of Australian bird species and they must have been taken in Australia or its offshore territories.
#4 Backyard Birds: "Petals Of Light" By Nathan Watson (Shortlist)
New Holland Honeyeater, Albany, WA
"We have a small Lilac Tree in the garden that grows in front of our living room window. Its branches are favorite perches for our resident New Holland Honeyeaters. In the evening they come and go from the perch, and I noticed our dining room feature light was visible through the window behind them. Knowing their perching habits gave me an opportunity to compose a portrait late in the evening with the light as a feature of the photo. The out-of-focus light resembles the form of a flower, creating a unique but appropriate backdrop for this nectar-loving bird."
#5 Human Impact: "Anguish" By Kim Wormald (Shortlist)
Little Pied Cormorant, Braeside Park, Vic
"This was such a heart-wrenching situation, not only the adult's anguish at being entangled in nylon filament but also the juvenile's desperation as it tries to free its parent. I called a specialist rescue service that was unable to save this bird."
BirdLife Photography is an integral part of BirdLife Australia, where it unites enthusiasts who share a passion for both birds and photography. It serves as a community hub where bird and photography lovers come together to celebrate the beauty of avian life through the lens.
#6 Youth: "Rim-Lit Robin" By D'Artagnan Sprengel (Shortlist)
Scarlet Robin, Lake Leschenaultia, WA
"Walking around the lake at sunrise, I came across this Scarlet Robin flitting around in the trees. I positioned myself so the bird lined up with a tree in the background as I didn't want a silhouette, and I underexposed the image a little. Which allowed me to retain detail in the brighter parts of the photo, and avoid blowing out the beautiful rim lighting around the bird and the sun filtering through the trees."
#7 Youth: "Sugar Addict" By D'Artagnan Sprengel (Shortlist)
Australian Ringneck, Yanchep National Park, WA
"Sitting down to eat lunch at Yanchep National Park, we were soon joined by this Australian Ringneck Parrot. Whenever other people had finished eating and got up to leave, this Parrot would fly down onto the table, grab the sugar sachet the people had left behind, then expertly rip into the bag and lick the sugar out. The bird did this repeatedly, with many different tables, so I took the opportunity to capture a couple of portraits of the bird. This image highlights a problem, but with a quite simple fix, instead of giving everyone a sugar with their coffee or tea, just ask if they want one when ordering, then there wouldn't be any lying around for the wildlife to get."
"BirdLife Photography provides both a forum and resource for photographers, bird observers, and the public to enhance their knowledge and appreciation of birds through the medium of photography."
#8 Bird Behavior: "Gang-Gang Jibber Jabber" By Ben Harvey (Shortlist)
Gang-gang Cockatoo, Australian National Botanic Gardens, Canberra, ACT
"I was running back inside to avoid the incoming rain when I came across these Gang Gangs who were investigating a possible future nesting hollow. A Currawong swooped by which sent these usually quiet birds into a flurry of raucous screeching, the rain adding to the craziness! I love their alert crests, adding to the character of the birds, and the falling rain catching the backlight against the trees. I got a little drenched, but the results were worth it!"
#9 Birds In The Landscape: "Caped Crusader" By Veronica Mcphail (Shortlist)
Australasian Darter, South Perth Jetty, WA
"The Darters jostle for a perch on the jetty - this one got lucky and stayed around long enough for me to crouch down low for this photo."
#10 Bird Behavior: "Bloomsome" By Cheng Kang (Shortlist)
White-plumed Honeyeater, Bundoora, Vic
"White-plumed Honeyeaters are extremely fast flying birds and excellent divers but are very timid and unapproachable. I often see them diving into water holes or wetlands to wash their plumage, however, I found catching the moment that Honeyeaters dive to be very challenging especially given how alert and cautious they are of humans. It was so thrilling to capture this spectacular scene after many attempts and a lot of patience."
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