Photos of the Week: Winter Birds

12-26-2016 // NWF Staff

Audubon's 117th Christmas Bird Count is currently underway! From December 14th through January 5th, tens of thousands of volunteers take part in a birding adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Each of the citizen scientists who braves snow, wind, and rain to take part in the Christmas Bird Count, the longest-running wildlife census, makes an enormous contribution to conservation - Organizations use data collected to assess the health of bird populations and to help guide conservation action. See how you can help. 


Chickadee and Cardinal

Photographer John Steller writes this image of a Black-capped Chickadee and a Northern Cardinal is,  "one is my favorite photos I have ever taken." The Kentucky resident made this image in his backyard habitat, where "many feeders and trees bring in lots of birds," using a Canon EOS Rebel XS with a 25mm lens.


Bald Eagle

Photograper Judylynn Malloch photographed this Bald Eagle just after takeoff in Central Florida using a Nikon D4s with a 300mm f/2.8 lens.



Ring necked phesant

Writer and Photographer Gary Kramer made this image of a male Ring-necked Pheasant crowing during a snow storm in South Dakota using a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV with a 500mm f/4 lens.


Great Egret

Photography team Hal and Kirsten Snyder photographed this Great Egret in St. Augustine, Florida, using a Canon EOS 1DX with a 600mm lens. They write, "An egret displaying is always a treat to see and the dark background accentuated the feathery aura."

Cedar Waxwing

Photographer Laure Neish writes, "I was able to sneak out onto our covered deck during a rainstorm and click a few shots after noticing this Cedar Waxwing perched on a berry bush, 'singing in the rain'." The resident of Canada used a Canon 5D Mark III with a 300mm f/2.8 lens.


Snowy Owl

Photographer Linda Krueger writes a previous winter "brought an infiltration of Snowy Owls and I was lucky enough to be living withing a mile of three regular visitors. I spent many cold hours to get this photo." The Minnesota resident used a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV camera. Read about a landmark study of snowy owls in the lower 48 that reveals surprises about the iconic Arctic bird.


Northern Fllicker

Doug German describes getting this shot, "I noticed this Northern Flicker fly out of the hole, so I sat on the ground and awaited its return, shooting with both eyes open, one fixed on the tree through the viewfinder, and the other scanning for its return." The Connecticut resident used a Nikon D810 DSLR with a 300mm f/2.8 lens. 


Gray Jay

Russell Winter took this photo on a birding trip in the Adirondacks where, "several Gray Jays fearlessly approached." The Maryland resident used a Nikon D3000 camera.

White Pelicans

Photographer Constance Mier writes she "padded the canoe 5 miles to find the flock. I got into position to fill the frame, but I was unable to anchor so I snapped the camera madly as the current moved the boat, hoping for one good image." The Florida resident made this image in Everglades National Park using a Sony a77v with a 70-400mm f/4-5.6 lens.


Blue Jay

Artist Patricia Marshall photographed this Blue Jay peering through a fence in her Pennsylvania backyard habitat using a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a telephoto lens.


Great Grey Owl

Wildlife photographer Sandy Sisti made this image of a Great Gray Owl as it paused on a old snag during a snow storm in Yellowstone National Park using a Canon EOS 5D Mark III with a 100-400mm f/4-5.6 lens.


Mountain Blue Bird

Doctor and aspiring photographer Owen Ehrlich writes, that taking this photograph was the "greatest photo-op I have ever experienced. Hundreds of bluebirds were huddled in sagebrush during a snowstorm in Yellowstone National Park." The Connecticut resident used a Canon 60D with a 100-400mm lens.


Snow Geese Flock

William Powell sat on wildlife drive, in Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge, "for an hour waiting for the mass exodus from the fields to fly to roost on the waters of Lake Texoma." The Pennsylvania resident used a Canon T2i with a 100-400mm lens to capture the moment.


Sharp Shinned Hawk

Photographer Tom Topinka writes, "This Sharp-shinned Hawk landed on our bird feeders during a snow storm, a rare siting in our urban neighborhood. Song birds returned one hour after the hawk left." The Virginia resident used a Nikon D750 with a 300mm f/7.1 lens. Tips to deter--or enjoy--hawks that visit your feeders to prey on songbirds, from National Wildlife.


Horned Lark

Birder Dale Bonk writes, "Although they are year-round residents, Horned Larks are especially striking during winter." The Wisconsin resident used a Lumiz GF3 with a 20mm f/1.7 lens and a Swarovski 85 ATX scope.


These images were all entered in National Wildlife's 2015 Photo Contest. Enter National Wildlife's 46th Photo Contest.

More from National Wildlife magazine and NWF:


See last week's photos: International Mountain Day

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