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2012 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards Winners

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Grand Prize Winner

This male northern flicker was the perfect subject for Alice Cahill, a docent at the state park where the bird took up residence. Sitting in front of the tree for hours, 64-year-old Cahill—who started photographing birds only this year—steadied her camera when she saw the male peek out. Putting it on rapid fire, she captured its salmon-colored wings mid-flight. “It was extremely exciting to observe these birds,” she says.

Photograph by Alice Cahill

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Professional Winner

Living outside of Boulder, Fi Rust often sees kestrels near her home in winter. She was driving around on Valentine’s Day last year when she spied this “little girl” up in a tree and placed a dried stalk of mullein in the snow nearby. “I waited and waited, and she just came and landed on it,” says the 58-year-old pro. “I photographed other raptors that morning, but she was the prettiest.”

Photograph by Fi Rust

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARD WINNERS

Professional Editors' Choice

On a cold mid-April day, Ronan Donovan donned chest waders, grabbed a sleeping pad (to keep his torso dry), and settled down in the Grays Harbor tidal zone. Soon after, he spotted a dunlin slurping up a threadworm out of the sand. “I knew I had to capture an image of this foraging behavior,” says the 29-year-old pro. He endured the frigid air for a few more hours before finally catching this western sandpiper in action.

Photograph by Ronan Donovan

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Professional Editors' Choice

“I’ve been fascinated with high-speed flash for about 30 years,” says 82-year-old Bernard Friel. So on his outside deck, the professional photographer set up strobes and a triggering device, and used his family’s Christmas tree as a backdrop. “If you don’t have a background, everything more than six feet behind the plane of focus is black,” he says. In addition to this male cardinal, Friel nabbed shots of woodpeckers.

Photograph by Bernard Friel

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Amateur Winner

Adel Korkor got an earful on Antarctica’s South Georgia Island—home to one of the largest (and perhaps loudest) colonies of king penguins. “It’s unadulterated life,” he says. “Sharing this with my wife and four children was a spiritual experience.” Korkor, who's a doctor, happened upon this juvenile king penguin, seeming to “lord over the whole colony.”

Photograph by Adel Korkor

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Amateur Editors' Choice

Tripod in place, she was ready when she caught sight of this acrobatic Carolina chickadee dangling from the silky thread of a cocoon it was devouring. When deciding to enter this photo in the contest, says the 63-year-old retired financial consultant, “I spent much time studying, laughing, and reliving that treasured moment with the chickadee that I will always remember.”

Photograph by Linda Hoopes

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Amateur Editors' Choice

Troy Lim, a 32-year-old IT support specialist, was standing knee-deep in water when suddenly he saw this cattle egret fly in with nesting material in its beak. “It just stood there and stared at me,” he remembers, “so I took the picture. I didn’t even realize [at the time] it was a good image; I had only been taking pictures for about a year.”

Photograph by Troy Lim

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS 

Youth Winner

Ben Knoot and his dad were returning from a successful mission to spot a white-throated sparrow when they noticed a crowd of people around a flowering tree in a San Francisco park. A flock of red-masked and mitred parakeets—which freely roam the city—were putting on a show. Despite the commotion, Knoot, 17, snagged a singular shot. “I got a treat when I saw in the photo that it was hanging by one foot.”

Photograph by Ben Knoot

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Youth Editors' Choice

This midair shot represents patience paying off. Ben Knoot had staked out his family’s backyard, replanted to attract hummers like this individual, which taunted Knoot with constant motion. “I was basically sitting outside all that day waiting,” he says—six hours, in fact. Finally the bird hovered for 45 seconds while Knoot snapped the photo. “It was a long time for one shot, but it was worth it.”

Photograph by Ben Knoot

2012 AUDUBON MAGAZINE PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS WINNERS

Youth Editors' Choice

Every weekend Patrick Carney, 14, totes his camera to New Jersey’s Meadowlands, hoping to catch an image of a bird or two. When he saw this warbler, he stopped to take a few shots, but it was hopping around so much that he had trouble getting the photograph he wanted. More than 70 shots later he checked what he had been able to capture. “When I saw that one,” he says, “I knew.”

Photograph by Patrick Carney

2012 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards Winners

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