10 Bird Images That Will Send You Soaring

Shooting any wildlife is a challenging task, but birds in particular are even tricker to line up in front of the lens and capture a compelling image with. So, with this in mind, the sheer quality of shortlisted images from this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year contest are truly astounding.

With the contest is now in its fourth year, this cycle saw thousands of entries from 63 different countries, all vying for a slice of the prize haul that includes cash and an Olympus OM-D E-M1 MkII with M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm F/4 IS PRO lens that will be judged by a panel including TV presenter, conservationist and photographer Chris Packham.

Although the main winner won’t be announced until August, we’ve got a selection of the shortlisted images to share and offer up some inspiration to aspiring wildlife photographers

For Marco Valentini’s image, entitled ‘Surfing the wave’, the photographer captured this Gentoo Penguin riding the waves off the coast of Saunders Island, Falkland Islands.


Image by Marco Valentini/Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer Daryl Yeo captured two Black-naped Tern (Sterna sumatrana) locking bills for his image, entitled ‘Kissing Terns’. The photo was captured in the waters of of Singapore.


Image by Daryl Yeo/Bird Photographer of the Year

It’s well camouflaged, but look closely and you’ll see the compact Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Buphagus africanus) perched on the giraffe. The image was captured by professional wildlife photographer, Bence Mate, in the Kilimanjaro National Park.


Image by Bence Mate/Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer Shane Kalyn used some split-second timing to record this epic frame, entitled ‘e(ART)h’. The fast-moving subject is of course the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus).


Image by Shane Kalyn/Bird Photographer of the Year

This amazing abstract scene of flamingos (Phoenicopterus roseus) was captured by Asela Karunaratne. The shot, entitled ‘Shangri-La’ shows how creative you can be with wildlife photography.


Image by Asela Karunaratne/Bird Photographer of the Year

Mario Cea’s image, entitled ‘Acceleration’, captures the motion of a Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) perfectly.


Image by Mario Cea/Bird Photographer of the Year

Another of Mario Cea’s images made the shortlist. Entitled ‘Spring Time’ the photo shows a Eurasian Hoopoe surrounded by colour and bokeh.


Image by Mario Cea/Bird Photographer of the Year

Thomas Vijayan’s frame of a Gentoo Penguin highlighted environmental issues, with the photographer explaining ‘Global Warming is highly affecting this beautiful creation of God to lose their original habitat if we don’t take serious action on this issue our future generation may not be able to see them.’


Image by Thomas Vijayan/Bird Photographer of the Year

Pedro Jarque Krebs’ image certainly lived up to its name (‘Food Chain’) as a Great White Pelican enjoys a snack.


Image by Pedro Jarque Krebs/Bird Photographer of the Year

Photographer Tibor Kercz captured this stunning shot, entitled ‘Posing’ and showing a Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus) in Ontario, Canada.


Image by Tibor Kercz/Bird Photographer of the Year