Thank you to all the photographers that shared their best shots showing birds on branches in the Birds On Branches Photo Contest with chances to win a WiFi Printer and more!

A special thanks to our friend and professional photographer Austin Thomas for his collaboration as a guest judge in this photo contest. Austin Thomas is a UK based wildlife photographer. He specialises in capturing the personality and character of his subjects with a particular focus on Owls and Birds of Prey. He also has a love of African wildlife and leads groups of photographers to the Masai Mara region of Kenya each year to photograph the Great Migration and Africas Big Cats. Austin was awarded the title, BirdGuides Bird Photographer of the Year in 2014 and Nature Photographer of the Year in both 2014 and 2015 by the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain. He donates images to worthy causes and was one of 50 International photographers contributing to a Born Free publication “Remembering Elephants”. Highly honoured in the Natures Best Awards and British Wildlife Photography Awards he has images published globally.

Grand Jury Winner

"The photographer has captured a most attractive bird on a very natural looking stick, fitting the requirements of this completion very well.  Technically the image is excellent. It is very well exposed, which for a bird with both black and white feathers is always a challenge. The background shows nicely muted tones giving the feeling of a natural environment, where you might expect to see such a bird. In addition the photographer has chosen a shutter speed that was sufficiently fast to render the bird sharp, yet slow enough to record the rain. This choice has really added to the story telling of the image. It has added atmosphere and feeling, vital ingredients for a high quality portrait .  A first class “Bird on a stick” and my choice as the grand winner. Well done." - Austin Thomas

Amateur Winner

"The two strong elements in this image scream out "Bird and Stick", so it was always going to be in contention for selection in this competition. I like the "big and bold” composition which is fitting for what is a very large Owl. The facial expression is strong and tells us a little about how the Owl is feeling. The tones in the background really complement the tones seen in the subject which altogether produced a great “Bird on a Stick” image. Well done." - Austin Thomas

Runner Up

"The interaction between the two birds made this particular image stand out. The Bird on the Stick has a rather unusual pose which we can see is caused by the second bird approaching. The photographer has caught the action very well and was a worthy contender." - Austin Thomas

Runner Up

"This was a very strong contender for the Bird on a Stick competition. The inquisitive expression and captivating eyes really drew me in to take a closer look. The eyes are alive with catchlights and exceptionally sharp. The composition is simple and the stick is an appropriate size for the Owl. The dark background tones against the lighter plumage of the Owl make this image stand out. Well done." - Austin Thomas

Runner Up

"I really like the complimentary tones that we see in the background, reflecting similar tones in the bird. The stick looks small and fragile and shows sharp spikes which I feel suits this bird perfectly being a small falcon with a razor sharp beak. Well done" - Austin Thomas

Runner Up

"I was drawn to the composition of this image. Positioning the bird and stick against a daylight view of the moon shows that some thought had gone into this picture. The warm tones on the branch and bird positioned alongside the cool moon in the distance. Well done. " - Austin Thomas

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