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2019 Bird Portrait Contest finalists

In the last few months of 2019, BirdWatching received more than 1,000 submissions to our Bird Portrait Contest from hundreds of photographers. The contest drew an exceptional selection of photos, making the judges’ job quite difficult, and now we’re happy to present the 12 finalist images in this slideshow.


Lilac-breasted Roller

Lilac-breasted Roller

Photographer: Michael De Rosa

Location and date: Lake Mburro National Park, Uganda, August 2016

Description: I had told my guide Deo that the roller was one of my favorite East African birds, but we had not seen any on this trip. On a game drive at the park, he suddenly stopped and pointed at a thorn bush. A magnificent roller was perched in great light and with a lovely background. He was very co-operative even after I very quietly came out of our vehicle to take some more photos.

Gear and settings: Canon 70D; 150-600 mm Sigma lens. 1/6400 sec at f/6.3, ISO 4000.

UPDATE: View the first-place, second-place, and third-place winners!

View the Bird Portrait Contest honorable mention images

View the winners of our 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards

Enter the 2020 BirdWatching Photography Awards

Enter Outdoor Photographer’s 2020 The American Landscape Photo Contest

Originally Published

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and You can reach him at

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