This handsome pair of soaring red-and-green macaws was taken at Chapada dos Guimaraes National Park in Mato Grosso, Brazil. On the last morning of a two-week trip to Brazil, Scott set out early to do some birding with friends. He spied these macaws in the distance, but they were too far away to capture, even with his 400mm zoom lens. They stayed out of range all morning, then disappeared completely. Although Scott thought his opportunity to photograph these magnificent birds was lost, he kept his camera at the ready.
Plus, he was happy just to have seen them in a natural setting. As the morning went on and the temperature rose, Scott and his friends decided it was time to bid farewell to the macaws. Suddenly, as he was leaving, the two macaws reappeared, this time mere yards away, flying straight at his group. Scott was able to get three shots as they flew past, capturing one of his “favorite opportunistic photographs,” as he describes it. “I was thankful I had played out the scene earlier and left my camera setting ready for a flyby. Good planning and good luck paid dividends for once!”
This image was a Top 100 photo from the 2013 Audubon Magazine Photography Awards. To see all of the photos, click here.