BirdLife Australia Photography Awards Has Announced The Winners And Finalists Of Its 2023 Contest (30 Pics)

Published 5 months ago

In the realm of feathered beauty and avian artistry, the BirdLife Australia Photography Awards stands as a testament to the awe-inspiring world of winged wonders. The curtains have risen on the 2023 edition, and the winners and finalists have taken center stage, showcasing a mesmerizing array of avian excellence that has captured the hearts of bird enthusiasts and photography aficionados alike.

So, this year, they got slammed with over 6,000 entries and handpicked nine winners for each category from a cool shortlist of 68 awesome photos. They had everything from “Backyard Birds” to “Birds in Flight” and even a special theme on “Wading Birds of The Australian Floodplains.” Oh, and they didn’t forget the “Youth” and “Human Impact” categories.

Take a moment to explore these remarkable images in the gallery below!

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#1 Birds In Flight: “Fingertips” By Kate Burgess (Winner)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#2 Backyard Birds: “Petals Of Light” By Nathan Watson (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#3 Birds In Flight: “Leapfrog” By Jason Moore (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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 colours which I find quite attractive.”

#4 Bird Behavior: “Have You Heard The One About…” By Franciscus Scheelings (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#5 Youth: “Rim-Lit Robin” By D’artagnan Sprengel (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#6 Wading Birds Of The Australian Floodplains: “Water Trails” By Rebecca Harrison (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Little Egret, Mandurah, WA

“A Little Egret takes off gracefully, leaving a sparkle of water droplets in its wake.”

#7 Bird Portrait: “Yin And Yang” By James Bowden (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Australian Magpie, Mt Macedon, Vic

“This Magpie is actually a dear friend of mine and often visits me at the backdoor of my Mum’s place. We play a game where we bob our heads from side to side, either side of an upright post. One day, I thought I’d take my camera out with me, and this was the photo that resulted. Despite his friendly and playful nature, he looks classically evil. For me, the black and white feathers of the Magpie represent the Yin and Yang. The concept is that all things exist as inseparable and contradictory opposites. We wouldn’t know light without dark, happiness without sadness, life without death. When it comes to Magpies, despite their intelligence in interacting with humans, and beautiful song, they’re mostly known for their aggressive swooping during breeding season. Though if we look beyond their aggression, we realize they’re just protecting their family. They swoop with courage. They swoop with love. But they also swoop with fear. And this reminds us of the inextricable link between love and fear, Yin and Yang.”

#8 Birds In The Landscape: “Caped Crusader” By Veronica Mcphail (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#9 Wading Birds Of The Australian Floodplains: “Jambalaya On The Bayou” By Jason Moore (Winner)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

White-faced Heron, Perth, WA

“The somewhat messy, but beautifully colored background inspired the title of this image. For those of you who don’t know, The Carpenters released a hit song in the ’70s called Jambalaya on the Bayou. It was a happy song with a tuneful beat, and it spoke of life on the Bayou… my thoughts of a Bayou include water everywhere, flooded cypress trees with Spanish Moss hanging from their branches, and swampland with wading birds…”

#10 Bird Portrait: “Piercing” By Colin Driscoll (Winner)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Australasian Darter, Lake Macquarie, NSW

“Just at sunset, a female Australasian Darter looks up from preening after her final successful fishing session for the day. These birds are so angular it is difficult to get an interesting composition. This shot captures what these birds do underwater. One can imagine this is the last thing a fish sees as the long neck launches that bill piercing it like a spearfisher would.”

#11 Youth: “Sugar Addict” By D’artagnan Sprengel (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#12 Bird Behavior: “Bloomsome” By Cheng Kang (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#13 Birds In The Landscape: “Waiting For Uber Delivery” By Veronica Mcphail (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Nankeen Night-Heron, South Perth, WA

“I saw something moving from inside the car, spontaneously I decided to stop and get out and take a look. The Nankeen Night Heron was highlighted by the headlights. I had perhaps only a few seconds before it flew off but managed to get this shot.”

#14 Human Impact: “Anguish” By Kim Wormald (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

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.”

#15 Birds In The Landscape: “Rainbow Bee-Eaters” By Jason Moore (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Rainbow Bee-eater, Perth, WA

“A small group of Rainbow Bee-eaters were using this branch as a perch to launch feeding sorties. Their target was dragonflies, and two of the birds in this image can be seen with prey in their bills. Rainbow Bee-eaters make attractive backlit subjects because of their elegant lines and transparent flight feathers. In this instance, I felt the silhouetted subjects and delicate finger-like twigs combine nicely to present an image that offers a similar style to a Chinese painting.”

#16 Youth: “Two’s Company” By D’artagnan Sprengel (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Little Corella, Coodanup Foreshore Reserve, WA

“Walking back to the car along the Coodanup Foreshore, I came across a large flock of what I believe were Little Corellas. They were feeding on the ground around the car park. I saw these two perched together on an open branch and thought it would make a cute photo. I composed the image in portrait orientation and chose to overexpose the image to get a nice, clean, white background.”

#17 Bird Behavior: “Gang-Gang Jibber Jabber” By Ben Harvey (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

“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!””

#18 Birds In Flight: “Shrieking Carnaby” By Nathan Watson (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo, Narrikup, WA

“For the past three years, I’ve been visiting a location where endangered Carnaby’s Cockatoos flock in their hundreds for six weeks or so. They are drawn in by seasonal grasses that provide a rich source of food. From my repeated visits I’ve come to better understand their habits and the different lighting opportunities in the area. This past year I could only find time to do one shoot with these Cockatoos, but the knowledge I’d gained from previous years allowed me to plan and take full advantage of my morning with them. Standing beside a roadside fence where the Cockatoos will often perch, I captured a beautiful backlit shot of this female Carnaby’s letting out a distinctive shriek as she flew in to land.”

#19 Birds In The Landscape: “Morning Awakening” By Khoi Bui (Shortlist)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Chestnut Teal, Healesville, Vic

“Early morning walks reveal remarkable but momentary combinations of light, atmosphere, and fauna that are challenging to capture as images. This photo shows the antics of local waterbird species, cavorting on the water, as foggy shafts of light pierce the morning. This image caught what was the only time I have seen the atmospheric effects enclosing a normally wide aspect into an intimate theatre. Australian Wood Ducks and Chestnut Teals breed here every year, and animate our lake with cycles of feeding, breeding, and fledging.”

#20 Backyard Birds: “Song Of The Superb” By Nikki Kenwrick (Winner)

Image source: BirdLife Australia Photography Awards

Superb Fairy-wren, Tamworth, NSW

“There are several families of Superb Blue Wrens living at my mother’s place, and I often sit and watch them popping around her garden. They are such happy little birds.”

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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BirdLife Australia Photography Awards, BirdLife Australia Photography Awards 2023, birdlife photography, photography, photography awards
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