A beautiful shot of a Roadrunner taking a dust bath has taken the top prize in this year’s Audubon Photography Awards. In its 12th year, the contest continues to offer up an incredible annual selection of bird photographs.
The Grand Prize this year went to Carolina Fraser for a shot taken at Los Novios Ranch in Texas. The image of a Greater Roadrunner, known to rarely use water for bathing, perfectly captures the unique bird taking a dust bath.
“On a blazing hot summer day just before sunset, I found myself lying facedown at an uncomfortable angle, my elbows digging into a gravel path as I photographed this roadrunner,” says Fraser. “I manually adjusted the white balance until I captured the bird bathed in golden sunlight as it took a dust bath.”
This year’s contest received nearly 9,000 submissions from more than 2,400 photographers. A new Video category was included for the first time, plus a special Female Bird Prize was awarded to the best shot of a female bird.
An exceptional highlight in the top picks from this year’s contest is Steve Jessmore’s shot of a Red-tailed Hawk staring down at a captured chipmunk. Taken while hiking in Michigan, Jessmore says the photograph depicts a rarely-seen moment between predator and prey.
“When an eastern chipmunk ran from beneath the debris a few minutes later, the hawk quickly caught it and carried it to a tree,” says Jessmore, describing the moment. “It was incredible to see that connection between predator and prey – one that I don’t usually get to share in a wildlife photo.”
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