Birds are beautiful and majestic creatures. They come in all sort of incredible, vivid colors in so many shapes and sizes. However, they are also mysterious and hard to capture through photographs since they’re always on the move or in flight.
The Bird Photographer of the Year competition began in 2015, and entries began to flood in. Categories in the competition include ‘Best Portrait,’ ‘Birds in Flight,’ ‘Bird Behavior,’ and even ‘Young Bird Photographer,’ which is a category for photographers under the age of 16.
We found 50 of the best entries, and, of course, the winner of this year’s Bird Photographer of the Year competition.
The beauty captured in these photos is absolutely incredible.
This bird is peeking his face beneath his beautifully detailed wing. It must have taken a lot of patience to get a shot like that. His reflection on the water is even more magnificent.
A photographer somehow managed to capture this tiny bird’s attempt at flight. Learning to fly is a complex but necessary process, and this little guy looks so adorable trying it out.
The photographer titled this photo, and it is so fitting. These two really seem to be battling it out, and only one can win. You can really see the anger in the bird’s eye.
This little bird has caught a fish, and he is flinging it into the air before catching it in his mouth. That fish is small enough to be swallowed whole, but he will make a tasty meal for the bird.
This photographer somehow managed to get a close-up of the bird’s eye; talk about talent! She ended up winning the bronze in the Attention to Detail category.
This was the winner for the Best Portfolio of 2017. The bird is looking right at the camera! The colors in this photo are truly stunning.
This bird looks like a rush of color on a dark background. Vivid blues and greens peer out from the neutral browns. The effect is mesmerizing.
This fluffy fellow is snuggled up in the softness of white down feathers. He looks so cozy; this photo definitely has me missing winter.
This beautiful bird blends in perfectly with his environment. If I didn’t know this was a photo of a bird, I might not be able to spot him.
This brilliant photo of a sweet little snow bird will have you wishing for all things winter. This birdie looks so fluffy, cozy, and cute.
This photo actually contains hundreds of birds. The whole flock is flowing together into one big blur. It looks absolutely amazing.
Owls are such beautiful creatures. This one is staring intensely at the photographer as he takes flight. What an intimidating sight.
This pelican is coming in for a landing, and the photographer caught him at the best possible moment. The water is still splashing up from his feet dragging across it. This bird looks so majestic.
Ducks are a special kind of bird. Unlike others, they spend a great deal of their time on the surface of the water. But they are no less stunning.
This bird is chowing down on a basket full of grub. His mouth looks like a huge basket full of fish.
This incredible bird is piercing his fish open just as the photo is taken. This looks painful for the fish, but for the fisher it is fantastic.
This owl has left the barn and is flying through the night. The photographer has captured him soaring across the backyard. Just look at those outreached wings.
These daring seagulls are passing right over a fox. Hopefully they are far enough away to stay safe. This is such an epic shot.
This is the last thing a fish will see before it is devoured. He looks so scared, knowing he is about to be swallowed.
These chicks are crying out for their mother from the comfort of their nest. They look so helpless and adorable. Their open mouths are just waiting for fresh food.
This bird is spreading its wings to fly. It swoops up toward the sky just as the camera snaps, resulting in a breathtaking photo.
This bird is in the middle of munching berries off the branch. He already has one in his mouth. Such a great shot.
This owl is one with its environment. It is hardly visible against the snowy white background, but the shadows on his feathers and face make him look more like an illustration than a real bird.
Animals don’t often get a chance to see their reflections like humans do. This Woodpecker got the perfect opportunity to see himself in a rear view mirror. What a unique shot!
This Cormorant wing features gorgeous pastel colors. They blend together effortlessly, creating a beautiful blend of feathers.
This guillemot stretching is simply incredible. This bird looks focused but relaxed.
This duck blends in perfectly with his environment. Finally, the bizarre feather pattern makes sense!
Look at the nose on this one! This bird has such a colorful beak. The females should feel honored to swim with him.
This little guy was caught in the bird bath late at nite. The photographer reduced the exposure for an even more dramatic effect.
This flock is traveling across a misty lake, and the result looks so cool. Would you stand in this weather to get a photo?
This pelican’s face contains so many different textures. Every inch of his face is marked with a special little detail. My favorite part is his crazy hairdo.
This photo of stork toes against a wooden floor is so captivating. This bird is so elegantly balanced, and his shadow looks just as graceful.
This bird is showcasing his bravery in a scuffle with a white-backed vulture. The vulture is WAY bigger than him, but that just makes his feat even more impressive.
This little bird is adorable, and the yellow background only makes him more stunning. This photo elicits feelings of summer and sunshine.
This guy is flying high above the mountain peaks. The photographer must have accomplished quite a climb to get this shot, but it was definitely worth it.
This little bird is starting to fly, and he looks so stunning over the water. The gold in the background really brings out his bright feathers.
This bird is hungry, and he is ready to eat! It is amazing how species who are so comfortable in the air can dive down into water too.
The light rays look so stunning in this photo. Some condors have gathered at the top of the hill, and the one in flight is in the perfect position to bask in the sunlight.
This fish is fighting for his life, but he doesn’t have much of a chance. The bird is WAY bigger than him!