Thank you to all the photographers that participated in the Birds Of A Feather Photo Contest in collaboration with North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), sharing their best photos showing feathered birds. Congratulations to the winners and finalists, and a special round of applause for the Grand Jury Winner who wins a NANPA Free Membership. The following finalists have been selected by the ViewBug team, get inspired!

A special thanks to our friend and professional photographer Melissa Groo for his collaboration as a guest judge. Melissa is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, teacher and speaker. She writes a regular column on wildlife photography for Outdoor Photographer magazine, and her photos have been published in many magazines, including Smithsonian, Audubon, and National Wildlife. Issues of conservation and ethics in photography are passions for her, but more than anything, she loves revealing the soul of her wild subjects and sharing that with others.

Grand Jury Winner

"I chose this photo as the overall winner because it so beautifully captures the decisive moment. Both gannets are gripping the fish with their beaks at the same spot, and in addition one gannet is clasping the other one’s beak with its own. The fish’s mouth is open in a last gasp. Having a view of each of the birds’ eyes really helps to make this photo too: it wouldn’t have been so successful without that. I also like that you can only see three wings, as if they are “sharing” the middle wing, the way they are “sharing” the fish. And I like the side lighting as it accentuates the angles of their wings, and gives more structure to the explosive water. It was a tough exposure but the photographer did very well. It tells a great story, and I find myself wondering what happened next. Which one made off with the fish?  Overall, it’s a fantastic shot deserving of this honor. " - Melissa Groo

Runner Up

"Beautiful symmetry and balance to this photograph of a pair of Victoria Crowned-pigeons. It’s almost like a mirror image, and yet it’s not, because of the overlap. The aperture choice the photographer made was a very good one, rendering the more distant bird enough in focus to really make this work. " - Melissa Groo

Runner Up

"This is an arresting image of a Northern Saw Whet Owl. The soft light, neutral colors, gentle sidelighting effect, and sense of habitat all make for a lovely portrait of this beautiful, small owl. Placing the bird to one side and close to one corner, following the rule of thirds, makes for an appealing composition. Well done!" - Melissa Groo

Runner Up

"I love this photo! A unique image that’s sweet and funny at the same time. The beak sticking out of that wing is really fun to see. I like the shallow depth of field, the soft light, and the vibrant colors. " - Melissa Groo

Runner Up

"Snowy egrets can be very combative, and if you watch them long enough, you might see them fly up in a squabble like this. This capture of that behavior is very well done. I really like all those spread claws, the flying water droplets, and the sense of place with the rocks and the water in the background." - Melissa Groo

Runner Up

"This is a lovely shot of this Great Gray, with a shallow depth of field that focuses our attention squarely on the bird and the top of the tree on which it rests. There’s a sense of a breeze causing the owl’s feathers and the treetop to waft to the left. The warmth of the background color is a nice counterpoint to the cool tones of the bird. Overall, a wonderful image" - Melissa Groo

Amateur Winner

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