Kathy McCulloch Wade, of Lake Forest Park, Washington, received first place within the 2021 BirdWatching Pictures Awards with this gorgeous picture of a Quick-eared Owl dealing with off in opposition to a Northern Harrier, which has its again to the digicam. She shot the photograph in mid-March 2021 in Skagit County, Washington, an incredible location for wintering owls and raptors. She mentioned she went to the positioning to check a brand new piece of digicam gear, and instantly the Quick-ear landed in a discipline close to her with a vole in its talons.
“The owl perked up its ears and was very alert, staring in my course,” she mentioned. “It turned clear that it was alert as a result of a Northern Harrier was quick approaching, and this owl wished to guard its meal. The owl flew up simply because the harrier obtained very shut, and that is the ensuing picture. The owl efficiently scared the harrier off its meal at the present time.”
One in all our judges, founding editor Eldon Greij, famous: “I can’t think about the percentages of really seeing this conduct.”
McCulloch Wade used a Sony Alpha A1 ILCE-1 digicam and a 600mm FE f4 lens with a 1.4x teleconverter. The gear sat on a Actually Proper Stuff tripod with a ProMediaGear Katana Jr. gimbal head.
The photograph was one in every of greater than 770 that photographers entered in our contest. Final week, we featured it among the many dozen finalists. Verify the hyperlinks under for the second- and third-place photos in addition to our finalists and honorable mentions.