The golden-fronted woodpecker is mostly found in Mexico and Central America, reaching into the United States only in Texas and Oklahoma. So to get this shot, Barbara Baird travelled to the bird, spending a weekend shooting from a photo blind at the Santa Clara Ranch in McCook, Texas. From her hiding place, she watched as male and female golden-fronted woodpeckers cavorted with one another. Baird shot countless photos, but this one, in which the bird seems to glare out from between a fork in desiccated-looking wood, was her favorite. “Simplicity is the most elegant form of expression,” Baird says, who favored this photo because of the stark beauty of the bird featured against a neutral background. She likes it so much, in fact, that she hung a framed print in her home.
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.