Peregrine falcon fiercely defending her nest wins bird photography competition

September 26, 2023

A striking photo of a female peregrine falcon fiercely defending her young was the top winner of the 2023 Bird Photographer of the Year contest. Selected from over 20,000 images, this bird of prey attacking a brown pelican that was too close to her nest earned American photographer Jack Zhi the title of Bird Photographer of the Year, reports My Modern Met.

Zhi says, “For four years, I attempted to capture the rare sight of the female falcon attacking large brown pelicans with incredible speed and agility,” shares Zhi. “I love the eyes of the pelican in this image—surprised and scared. The high-speed chase made it challenging to capture a close-up shot with a long lens. The falcon’s precision was amazing as it struck at the pelican’s head. The action was fast and over in the blink of an eye. But I’ll remember that moment forever.”

His dynamic image —taken in Southern California—was one of many exceptional photographs entered into this year’s contest—which covers eight categories for adults, as well as special Video, Portfolio, and Conservation awards. Young photographers are encouraged to enter, with 17-year-old German photographer Anton Trexler taking home the title of Young Bird Photographer of the Year.

 All of the winning images are published in a hardcover coffee-table book. This year’s collection is available for purchase online. Check out some of our favorite Gold and Silver award winners of the 2023 contest and get your entries ready, as the 2024 is already taking submissions.

Research contact: @mymodernmet