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Bird Photographer Of The Year Competition 2019 Winners

A flamboyant image of a Dalmatian Pelican has won the title of 'Bird Photographer of the Year 2019'.

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Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus. Lake Kerkini, Greece.

'Best Portrait Gold Award' and 'BPOTY 2019 Winner' © Caron Steele/Bird Photographer of the Year 


The Bird Photographer of the Year 2019 competition has announced its winners and a UK photographer has taken the top title, winning £5000, with an image of a Dalmatian Pelican captured at a frozen Lake Kerkini in Greece.


Caron Steele, who titled the winning image 'Dancing on Ice' also won the 'Best Portrait' category and here's what she had to say on winning: "I cannot tell you how delighted I am to be announced as the winner of this fabulous competition. It is wonderful to receive such recognition for something I absolutely love doing.

I only took up photography seriously in 2014 when I got my first DSLR and since then I have been on a sharp learning curve. I did a zoology degree at the University of Oxford but then went on to pursue other things. Now I love being able to get back to nature and see things through the perspective of my camera. I am so passionate about conservation and am keen to find an angle where I can help make a significant difference; winning this award has spurred me on to renew my efforts. In today's hectic life I think it is vital we strive to save the beautiful natural world around us, as ultimately I believe it will save us." 


"Photography and being at one with nature brings a sense of calm, joy and appreciation that can strip away the stresses of life. I recommend this therapy to everyone," Caron Steele. 

Other category winners include Thomas Hinsche from Germany who won the 'Best Portfolio Category' which is sponsored by Olympus and as a result, walks away with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II camera body and M.Zuiko Digital ED 300mm f/4 IS PRO lens.


Emperor Penguin Aptenodytes forsteri. Snowhill Island, Weddell Sea, Antarctica.

'Inspirational Encounters' © Martin Grace/Bird Photographer of the Year 


New for the 2019 Competition, 'Inspirational Encounters' was won by Martin Grace from the United Kingdom for his photograph of Emperor Penguins and the overall winner of the 'Young Bird Photographer of the Year 2019 competition'  was Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz from Hungary with his innovative use of a drone to capture a colourful image of Mallards entitled 'The Cradle of Life'.


Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. Hungary.

'Young BPOTY 2019' © Tamás Koncz-Bisztricz/Bird Photographer of the Year


Other competition category Gold Award winners announced are:

  • Birds in the Environment - Mohammad Khorshed, Kuwait
  • Attention to Detail - Pål Hermansen - Norway
  • Bird Behaviour - Ivan Sjögren, Sweden
  • Birds in Flight - Nikunj Patel, United States of America
  • Garden and Urban Birds - Chad Larsen, Canada
  • Creative Imagery - Marc Weber, France


This year's award ceremony will take place at The British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water on Saturday 17 August 2019, where Head Judge, Chris Packham, will hand out the well-deserved prizes in the main events marquee at 4.00pm.

The 'Bird Photographer of the Year 2019' competition book, published by William Collins, is now available now on Amazon UK priced at £25. 


Black Skimmer Rynchops niger. Ocean City, New Jersey, United States of America.

'Birds in Flight Gold Award' © Nikunj Patel/Bird Photographer of the Year


Enter the 2020 Bird Photographer of the Year competition 

The 2020 competition will open for entries on 18 August 2019, closing on 30 November 2019. Prizes include binoculars from Swarovski Optik, a camera system from Olympus, gimbal tripod heads from Gitzo and a top prize of £5000. For more information, visit the Bird Photographer of the Year competition website

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17 Aug 2019 9:22AM
Well done Caron Steele for your winning entrySmile

Two of my images were shortlisted in the garden birds category, fingers crossed they make it into the book

Steve BannerSmile
clicknimagine Plus
11 796 104 India
17 Aug 2019 1:31PM
Some great Bird images from different pov, congrats to all the winners, a pleasure to see these images as not the same kind of bird shots doing success over and again Blush...
SlowSong Plus
12 9.6k 30 England
18 Aug 2019 7:19PM
Marvellous winner. What are the odds on getting such a fabulous shot.

And congrats at being shorlisted in your category, Steve.
19 Aug 2019 8:25AM

Quote:Two of my images were shortlisted in the garden birds category, fingers crossed they make it into the book

Congratulations, Steve! Smile
19 Aug 2019 12:32PM
My name is Caron Steele - not Carole!
joshwa Plus
10 927 1 United Kingdom
19 Aug 2019 12:39PM
Hi Caron,
This has been corrected, apologies for the error, and congratulations on the win!

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