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2020 Color of Birds contest second place: Scarlet Macaw

Scarlet Macaw
Scarlet Macaw © 2020 Philip Witt

Philip Witt of Somerset, New Jersey, took second place in our 2020 Color of Birds contest with this stunning image of a Scarlet Macaw. The bird was drinking from a clay lick near the Napo River in Ecuador. He made the photo on February 24, 2020. The clay lick is within Yasuní National Park, which protects nearly 10,000 square kilometers of rainforest in eastern Ecuador.

Witt says of his photo: “We waited over two hours in a blind for the macaws to arrive at the clay lick, and our patience was finally rewarded with fantastic sightings of the birds drinking, nicely set off by the dark entrance to a cave.”

Mia McPherson, a bird photographer and one of our judges, says, “the rich, natural colors of the Scarlet Macaw drinking at the clay lick are enhanced by the low pose of the macaw, its behavior, and the water droplets falling from its bill. This captivating image not only shows the beauty of the bird but its environment and behavior.”

Philip used an Olympus M1X camera and an Olympus 300mm f/4 lens, and his settings were f/4, 1/800 sec., ISO 1000.

The photo was one of the 725-plus images submitted to our Color of Birds contest, and last week we featured it in our gallery of 13 finalists. Check the links below for the first- and third-place images as well as our finalists and honorable mentions.

View a range map and hear the sounds of Scarlet Macaw

First place: Orange-breasted Bunting

Third place: White-necked Jacobin

View the Color of Birds contest finalists

See the Color of Birds contest honorable mentions

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