Finalists: Bird photographer of the year

April 9, 2021 • 8:00 am

The Bird Photographer of the Year Contest is recognized as the premier competition of its type, and is sponsored by companies like Svarovski Optics, F-stop, Zenfolio, and Olympus.  Some of the finalists are displayed on the My Modern Met page (click on screenshot below).  As the Met site notes, competition was keen:

The Bird Photographer of the Year 2021 competition saw a stunning 22,000 entries from around the world. The hopeful photographers hailed from 73 countries. According to Will Nicholls, director of the competition, “The standard of photography was incredibly high, and the diversity in different species was great to see.” The final winning images in categories such as “Bird Behavior” and “Black and White” will be announced, alongside all winners, in September 2021. In addition to the Bird Photographer of the Year title, the ultimate winning photographer will take home a cash prize of £5,000 (~$6,900). The finalists—and other standout images from this year’s competition—will also be included in a fine art book available on the BPOTY website.


Here are my selections for the most striking photos, with the captions and credits above the photos (indented). Be sure to go to the Met site to see the other finalists.

“Mute swan” by Andy Parkinson. (Photo: © Andy Parkinson/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Great cormorant” by Tzahi Finkelstein (Photo: ©Tzahi Finkelstein/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Black-and-white warbler” by Raymond Hennessy. (Photo: © Raymond Hennessy/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Fiery-throated Hummingbird” by Gail Bisson. (Photo: © Gail Bisson/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Mallard duck” by Zdeněk Jakl. (Photo: © Zdeněk Jakl/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Hooded crane” by Taku Ono. (Photo: © Taku Ono/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Southern giant petrel” by Eirik Grønningsæter. (Photo: © Eirik Grønningsæter/Bird Photographer of the Year):

“Red-billed oxpecker” by Daniela Anger. (Photo: © Daniela Anger/Bird Photographer of the Year):

h/t: Malcolm

13 thoughts on “Finalists: Bird photographer of the year

    1. Yeah, that beak/head shape looks really like a dinosaur (well…our images of what dinosaurs supposedly looked like..e).

      Though overall I think my favorite has to be the cormorant.

  1. I imagine some photographers spend a lifetime trying to get a shot like that Cormorant with the fish. These are just amazing images.

  2. These are amazing. Cameras and lenses have gotten so good now that what is possible has been greatly expanded. And the technology will continue to grow, albeit there is some worry since camera sales have steadily declined b/c most people just use their smartphone.

    1. The cost of the equipment needed for good bird photography is so high that the prize money won’t even buy half a lens…. but the petrel photo shows that the typical behemoth lenses are not needed.

  3. Nice choices from such an overwhelming group of fantastic photos…I went into the bird nest, falcon’s gyre, corvid cacophony? (Just trying to find a “down the rabbit hole” metaphor for birds.) Digital photography has allowed all of us into adept photographers, and software can heighten the skills. But the sheer amount of photos being taken really enhances these contests, and though it doesn’t take a “pro” to take a professional photograph anymore, I appreciate the ubiquity of cameras.

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