HomeSciencePeregrine Falcon image wins bird photo award

Peregrine Falcon image wins bird photo award

Image source: Jack Zhi/Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer Jack Zhi has been awarded the Bird Photographer of the Year for his captivating picture of a female peregrine falcon protecting her young. The photo, taken in California, surpassed over 20,000 entries to claim the prize. Zhi stated that he had spent four years attempting to capture the rare sight of the falcon attacking large brown pelicans with remarkable speed and agility. He particularly loves the expression on the pelican’s eyes in the image, conveying surprise and fear. Although the action was fleeting, the moment will stay with him forever.

Image source: Anton Trexler/Bird Photographer of the Year

Anton Trexler, a 17-year-old German photographer, was awarded the Young Bird Photographer of the Year for his atmospheric picture of a blackbird silhouetted against the moon.

In the adult competition, photographers competed in various categories, including the Conservation Award, Portfolio Award, and Video Award. Here are some of the stunning photographs that received gold, silver, or bronze awards along with descriptions by the photographers:

Image source: Henley Spiers/Bird Photographer of the Year

“In early autumn, a sardine shoal at Los Islotes attracted seabird predators. I patiently waited amidst the shoal to capture the elusive shot of a blue-footed booby rising with a sardine in its beak. Finally, a crash came down close to me, and I instinctively captured the moment.”

Image source: Nicolas Reusens/Bird Photographer of the Year

“Venturing into the tropical forest, I was excited to spot the rare glistening-green tanager. After hours of waiting, I saw the vivid-green bird perched on a perfect heart-shaped leaf. Its shimmering feathers reflected a dazzling array of colors. I captured every detail, grateful for this magical moment amidst the lush jungle backdrop.”

Image source: Rafael Armada/Bird Photographer of the Year

“The sword-billed hummingbird, commonly found in Andean forests, possesses the world’s longest bill relative to its size. This bird’s unique bill, adapted to feed on flowers with long corollas, makes it a crucial pollinator. This image captures the bird approaching a feeder, set against natural backgrounds and lighting.”

Image source: Arto Leppänen/Bird Photographer of the Year

“During winter migration, owls from northern Finland often head south in search of more abundant food due to less snow. This great grey owl chose a cemetery with plenty of voles as its hunting ground. While hunting, the owl would often perch on tombstones or other structures to observe the area. I followed the owl from a safe distance and managed to capture a fleeting moment when it briefly landed on a beautiful angel statue.”

Image source: Antonio Aguti/Bird Photographer of the Year

“The purple heron is a migratory bird that nests in the lake basins of the Italian Peninsula and feeds mainly on fish, although it also preys on mice, snakes, toads, and other creatures. In this shot, the heron caught a large crucian carp and eagerly swallowed it after several attempts to turn the fish onto its side.”

Image source: Michael Eastwell/Bird Photographer of the Year

“Southern boobooks, the smallest Australian owl species, often end up in veterinary hospitals after car accidents. Their large, outward-projecting eyes adapted for low-light hunting make them susceptible to injury. In this image, Dr. Luke Gregory is examining an owl named Rocket, focusing on the posterior eye, where injuries can be less visible.”

Image source: Clément Cornec/Bird Photographer of the Year

“The Emperor penguin breeds during winter in Antarctica, the coldest environment on Earth. It endures temperatures as low as -40°C during the long polar nights and 250km/h (155mph) blizzards. Adaptations allow it to maintain body temperature and conserve energy.”

Image Source: Cheng Kang/Bird Photographer of the Year

“On a winter morning, fog swirled around perched birds and dead trees like tentacles. It was a breathtaking sight that filled me with calm and tranquility. Converting the image to black and white in post-processing further emphasized the sense of stillness and peace.”

Image source: Julian Fernandez/Bird Photographer of the Year

“This image features an abandoned farmhouse in my town, with a painting of a woman and a European stonechat perched on the door. I orientated the door to let the sunrise in and used three flashes to illuminate the painting. It took multiple sessions to achieve the desired effect.”

Image source: Levi Fitze/Bird Photographer of the Year

“When observing King penguins, I was struck by how their behavior sometimes resembles that of humans. This juvenile constantly begged until the annoyed adult walked away. However, the fact that the juvenile was more massive than the adult suggests good parenting overall.”

All photographs are courtesy of Bird Photographer of the Year. To find out more about the competition and how to enter next year, visit their website at