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Sunday, March 26, 2023

The 2021 Audubon Images Awards: High 10 Movies

We all know nothing compares to seeing birds in motion, so this 12 months we expanded the Audubon Images Awards to incorporate a brand new video class. In the event you haven’t already, take a look at the gorgeous profitable footage of a Crimson-Tailed Hawk hovering in midair whereas scanning for mice and floor squirrels within the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Our judges had been additionally taken with the runner-up: A Nice Grey Owl stoically braving a snowstorm in Minnesota.

With a whole bunch of movies entered within the contest, there was a mess of extraordinary avian footage from which we chosen 10 extra movies to share. From gorgeous Cedar Waxwings visiting a yard “chook spa” to Acorn Woodpeckers fiercely defending their territory, these clips seize vivid and intimate moments that present birds in all their magnificence and energy. As with the award winners and High 100 photos, our crew labored in shut collaboration with the videographers to make sure that the intent and essence of every photograph was integrated into vibrant different textual content with a view to make the awards accessible to the most important viewers doable.

And when you’re impressed to select up a digicam and pursue avian topics of your personal, our images part has the whole lot you’ll want to get began, together with suggestions and how-to’s and Audubon’s moral pointers for wildlife images. Then get on the market and begin recording your favourite winged topics.

1. American Dipper by Kyle Dudgeon

Video Transcript

An American Dipper bobs out and in of the rapids, its grey physique disappearing solely beneath the rippling water’s floor. Every time it comes up, it snaps its invoice closed because it eats the bugs it captured.

Video: Kyle Dudgeon/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Bozeman, MT
Digicam: Canon EOS R5 with a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens; 1/250 second at f/5.6; ISO 1600
Story Behind the Shot: Burying myself and my digicam gear alongside the snow-covered banks of Hyalite Creek rapidly grew to become one in all my favourite winter actions this previous 12 months. Over the course of a month, I used to be capable of finding just a few totally different American Dipper territories and doc the birds as they foraged throughout Montana’s harshest season. This particular person spent a number of minutes within the water simply past the minimal focusing necessities for my lens, permitting me to seize it up shut because it dove beneath the water, its entire physique submerged because it hunted for invertebrates.

2. Tufted Titmouse by Carol Doeringer

Video Transcript

A Tufted Titmouse investigates a tree cavity inhabited by a raccoon that seems to be sleeping. The little grey chook makes an attempt to pluck some fur from the mammal, which turns and swats on the titmouse, scaring it off.

Video: Carol Doeringer/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Allegan, MI
Digicam: Nikon Coolpix P1000; 1/30 second at f/8; ISO 200
Behind the Shot: A raccoon snoozed every day in a tree cavity behind my home. I had a fantastic view of the animal, as did a Tufted Titmouse. The chook gamely plucked the racoon’s fur, presumably to make use of as nesting materials, returning repeatedly for 3 days. The slumbering raccoon appeared oblivious to the hair-snatching. Then one afternoon the titmouse arrived simply after I’d seen the raccoon get up and begin grooming. I began filming and positive sufficient, the raccoon stirred and swatted on the songbird. I ended filming after the raccoon’s icy stare despatched the titmouse flying, however a couple of minutes later, it returned to filch extra fur.

3. Nice Blue Heron by Michael Brooks

Video Transcript

A Nice Blue Heron walks close to the sting of a small pond within the late afternoon, its ft submerged in water surrounded by grasses. In a fast motion, the heron thrusts its invoice into the water and brings up two silver wriggling fish.

Video: Michael Brooks/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Durham, NC
Digicam: Canon EOS M3 with a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2 lens; 1/30 second at f/8; ISO auto
Behind the Shot: There’s a small pond in my neighborhood the place Nice Blue Herons like to fish. Late one afternoon in early spring, I watched for greater than an hour as one of many waders patrolled the water’s edge, often working off to thrust back rivals however not catching any fish regardless of a number of makes an attempt. The sunshine was fading quick once I lastly noticed the heron’s consideration repair on one thing within the shallow water close to me. I watched immobile for a number of minutes because it slowly and thoroughly moved ahead. Lastly it plunged its invoice into the water and introduced up not one however two wriggling fish. One fish managed to flee and flop its manner again into the water. The opposite was supper. 

4. Acorn Woodpeckers by Isabelle Reddy

Video Transcript

A number of agitated Acorn Woodpeckers divebomb a squirrel climbing a tree trunk. The gorgeous black-and-white birds with crimson crests name loudly as they swoosh down and peck on the squirrel repeatedly till the outmatched squirrel provides up and runs down the trunk.

Video: Isabelle Reddy/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Marilyn Murphy Kane Path in Pleasanton, CA
Digicam: Fujifilm X-T3 with Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens; 1/250 second at f/5.4; ISO 400
Story Behind the Shot: I used to be strolling on a path once I heard a number of Acorn Woodpeckers calling angrily behind me. I circled as a result of the noise appeared loud and insistent, even for Acorn Woodpeckers. A minimum of 5 of them had been attacking a squirrel climbing a tree. I instantly began filming because the birds dove towards the squirrel. They had been organized of their assault, diving one after the opposite, relentless and daring, their cooperative abilities clearly at work once they chased this intruder away. After the commotion, all was quiet. Among the birds perched on branches, and two of them inspected a cavity within the tree at size, its contents unknown, however clearly value defending. 

5. Sandhill Crane by Sonja Pedersen

Video Transcript

Recorded in slow-motion, a Sandhill Crane blinks its proper eye. The chook’s lovely red-capped head is cocked, its black invoice partially open. With every blink, a fragile blood vessel-filled clear membrane sweeps from entrance to again, and retracts, once more revealing the crane’s orange eye.

Video: Sonja Pedersen/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Lake Dan Protect, Odessa, FL
Digicam: Sony DSC-RX10M4 with a Sony 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens; 1/250 second at f/4; ISO auto
Story Behind the Shot: I spent most of 2020 filming and photographing this household of Sandhill Cranes. Typically we roamed the open pastures collectively whereas they foraged or the dad and mom taught their colts to bounce and fly. Different days I sat quietly whereas they preened, respecting their house. I had been engaged on perfecting my slow-motion filming methods once I captured this grownup turning and cocking its head, trying as much as the sky as if one thing had been flying overhead. Its beak was barely open because of the scorching climate. Once I reviewed the movie, I used to be astonished by the sluggish movement of the attention blinking and the fragile, skinny blood vessel-filled membrane of the interior eyelid—outstanding particulars not readily seen to my bare eye. 

6. Sandhill Cranes by Sonja Pedersen

Video Transcript

An grownup Sandhill Crane slowly raises its hanging red-capped head and lengthy grey neck out of the knee excessive vibrant inexperienced grasses. A second later a fluffy, orange-billed colt raises its head, trying in the identical path as its father or mother.

Video: Sonja Pedersen/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location : Lake Dan Protect in Odessa, FL
Digicam: Sony DSC-RX10M4 with a Sony 24-600mm f/2.4-4 lens; 1/250 second at f/4; ISO auto
Story Behind the Shot: Having a 3,000-acre protect proper out my door had its benefits throughout a pandemic. Each afternoon I might hike to the cypress swamp the place a household of Sandhill Cranes resided. The grownup cranes constructed their nest in February 2020 and two cute colts hatched in early March. By April, the fuzzy, feathered colts had been knee excessive. The household would forage via the swamp on its manner again to the nest every night, clearly conscious of their environment and the resident 12-foot gator close by. I had been experimenting with the slow-motion functionality of my digicam once I centered on one of many dad and mom and a colt as each raised their heads out of the grasses virtually in unison. 

7. Crimson-bellied Woodpecker by Jeff Buss

Video Transcript

Within the cavity of a cracked snag, a Crimson-bellied Woodpecker emerges with a invoice stuffed with woodchips. He shakes his red-capped head back and forth, releasing the shavings, which scatter into the wind because the chook watches them fall to the bottom.

Video: Jeff Buss/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Skilled
Location: Korth Park, Lake Mills, WI
Digicam: Sony PXW-FS5 XDCAM with a Tamron 200-400mm f/5.6 lens; 1/240 second at f/8; ISO 2000
Story Behind the Shot: With the pandemic curbing business video manufacturing for many of 2020, I made a decision to make use of my downtime filming wildlife. A good friend talked about that he’d noticed a Crimson-bellied Woodpecker at his native park engaged on a nest in a snag. I headed out the following day and noticed the chook seem together with its potential mate. He introduced the would-be nest for inspection, and it appeared to cross muster. He acquired proper to work making the cavity a house, excavating bits of wooden and depositing them exterior with a vigorous shake of his head.

8. Black Vulture and Crested Caracara by John Gates

Video Transcript

A juvenile Crested Caracara on a tree department slowly bows its head to an grownup Black Vulture. As different birds name within the background, the vulture begins grooming the caracara’s head and neck, grooming it so vigorously that at one level the caracara is compelled to select up a foot to keep up its steadiness.

John Gates/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: La Joya, TX
DigicamNikon CoolPix P1000; 1/60 second at f/2.8; ISO auto
Story Behind the Shot: From my kayak I noticed a juvenile Crested Caracara on the high of a tree the place 20 Black Vultures sunned. The caracara acquired nearer and nearer to one of many vultures. When the 2 had been facet by facet, the caracara put its head down, seemingly bowing in greeting. It was prefer it was exhibiting up for a grooming appointment: The vulture hopped towards the caracara and started grooming the feathers on the customer’s head. The habits was novel sufficient, to me, that I ended capturing images and started capturing video. 

9. Wooden Geese by Teri Franzen

Video Transcript

As birdsong fills the air, a Wooden Duck hen preens on a log in a pond, her 4 fluffy yellow and grey ducklings round her. One duckling slips into the water and will get again on the log various instances earlier than it settles subsequent to its mom once more.

Video: Teri Franzen/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Novice
Location: Brick Pond Wetland Protect, Owego, NY
Digicam: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II with a Canon EF 500mm f/4 IS II and Canon Extender EF 2X III; 1/50 second at f/8; ISO 100
Story Behind the Shot: One wet spring morning, peering via a low portal from a everlasting blind, I noticed a Wooden Duck hen resting on a log simply seen over vegetation. Peering nearer, I seen a number of tiny ducklings squirming beneath her wings. Ducklings don’t sit nonetheless for very lengthy, and as they grew to become extra lively, I started to movie. On this clip, one of many ducklings slipped and climbed again up onto the log, solely to slide proper again down. The remainder of the household appeared oblivious to its struggles and my coronary heart leapt into my throat as I watched. The persistent duckling fell two extra instances earlier than lastly gaining buy and returning safely again to its household.

10. Cedar Waxwings by Bob Schamerhorn

Video Transcript

A flock of Cedar Waxwings collect round a puddle, whistling and trilling. They dip their heads, which function a slim black masks outlined in white, out and in at alternating intervals. Just a few of the birds fly away and new birds change them, their yellow-tipped tails bobbing as they drink.

Video: Bob Schamerhorn/Audubon Images Awards

Class: Skilled
Location: Henrico County, VA 
Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM lens; 1/48 second at f/18; ISO 3200
Story Behind the Shot: A number of instances over a few days, a large flock of Cedar Waxwings visited this little puddle in our suburban yard, which we affectionately named the “chook spa.” I made a decision that in the event that they confirmed up once more, I might try to shoot a bit video. By merely mendacity on the bottom, with no blind and nothing however a seashore towel over my head, a gaggle got here in for a drink. As soon as the primary few waxwings arrived to quench their thirst, it appeared nothing would cease the remainder of the flock from becoming a member of them. They got here and went, making a frenzy of exercise.

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