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2019 Bird Portrait Contest honorable mentions

We received more than 1,000 submissions to our 2019 Bird Portrait Contest, and now, after combing through the entries, we’re excited to announce the results. 

The following slideshow displays our 15 honorable mention images, including photos of Brown Pelican, Anna’s Hummingbird, and Green Jay, plus three great shots of Anhinga. Enjoy! 



Photographer: Dianne Mumola

Location and date: Heron Rookery, Audubon Swamp Garden at the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, Charleston, South Carolina, March 23, 2016

Description: Living in Charleston affords me access to so many beautiful venues to photograph the birds of the Low Country. When I found out that the Heron Rookery at the Audubon Swamp Garden was in such proximity to my home, it became a destination that I visited many times over and at all seasons. The mating and breeding season for the egrets, herons, and other marsh birds in South Carolina begins in mid-winter, just after the first of the year. The gorgeous plumage and vivid color changes to the birds' lores during this time made for some spectacular photo opportunities.

It was mid-afternoon on this March day when I visited the rookery. One of those remarkable clear Carolina-blue-sky days. As it was rather late in the breeding season, most of the birds were already on the nest -- many with young chicks. I had chosen this time of day, mid-afternoon when the sun was beginning to get low in the sky, thus making it more conducive to capturing good images of the super-white Great Egrets that were the dominate nesting bird.

But as luck would have it, I found a tree by a pond that had at least four Anhinga nests...a real find! These birds tend to be a little more reclusive than the others in choosing their nesting spots. This one particular male Anhinga was out on a branch all alone, separate from his mate who was on the nest. He had been preening and was resting, giving me just the moment I needed to catch a shot of his gorgeous plumage along with the vivid green color of his lores, striking turquoise eye-ring, and his garnet colored eye. I knew immediately that this photo was truly a keeper!

Gear and Settings: Nikon Coolpix P510, f/5.9, 1/500s, 360mm. ISO 220, Handheld.

View the Bird Portrait Contest finalists

View the winners of our 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards


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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