Bird Photo Competition 1 2020 : Entry Number 32

Judges Comment

The winner of the Birds photo competition this time around was easy to choose as this dynamic action shot would be difficult to beat. Using their famous high-speed stoop technique, Peregrine falcons can stun and kill some pretty large birds in flight. In this case, although it would be thrilling to think the falcon was attempting to capture something as big as a Brown pelican, it's more likely to be a case of parental protection behaviour. That said, the resulting image is no less striking, with the swept-back wings and stretched talons of the falcon and the extreme, inverted pose of the pelican. Strong diagonal lines and hard lighting add to the dynamism of the composition. This is the type of image any bird photographer would love to capture. The photographer must have been relieved to confirm on his/her camera's screen that the opportunity had not been missed.

Photographers Comment

Thank you so so much!!! You are correct, the female Peregrine Falcon was protecting the nest with 3 chicks. The photo was taken at Torrey Pines State Park in La Jolla CA. The Falcons nest up at the cliffs edge and mom watches over as the Pelicans fly by. Here and there she feels the urge to let them know that they ventured too close to the nest. Thank you again for the honor and yes, I did check my camera quick to make sure I got the action :-). Cheers~~ Krisztina (KS Nature Photography)