Capturing a single, revealing second with {a photograph} is at all times a problem—particularly when birds and nature are concerned. Capturing compelling video of chicken conduct could be a completely completely different however equally tall process, one through which the videographer have to be able to report and in a position to keep skilled on their typically unpredictable topic for an prolonged interval. However when every part goes excellent, the result’s an elongated glimpse into the fascinating lives of birds. 

For the second yr now, the Audubon Images Awards video class has opened up a complete new world to each entrants and our readers. And as soon as once more, our judges have been confronted with laborious resolution as they reviewed gorgeous clip after gorgeous clip. The successful video was taken by Audubon Images Awards veteran Liron Gertsman, who additionally has a second video on this listing right here. His footage and 11 others have been simply too spectacular for us to not share with readers in an prolonged gallery. From a hovering Bald Eagle effortlessly ripping a big department from a tree to an American Robin ice-fishing for minnows, these engrossing movies placed on full show the fascinating and assorted behaviors of birds. 

After you’ve loved these clips, in case you’re impressed to select up a digicam and pursue avian topics of your personal, our images part has every part it’s worthwhile to get began, together with ideas and how-to’s and Audubon’s moral pointers for wildlife images. And in case you’re actually feeling motivated, do not forget that our 2023 Audubon Images Awards at the moment are open for entry

1.) Wilson’s Snipe by Eileen de la Cruz 

Video Transcript

A squat Wilson’s Snipe with a mottled brown again and pale beneath forages on marshy floor. The top is striped, and the invoice is lengthy and dagger-like. The eyes are black and spherical, and the legs are pale inexperienced. The shorebird’s physique bobs up and down because it walks, wanting briefly towards the digicam earlier than persevering with to stroll ahead and bob alongside the way in which.

Video: Eileen de la Cruz/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Juanita Bay Park, Kirkland, WA 
Digicam: Fujifilm XT3 with a Fujifilm XF 100-400mm;  f8.0; ISO 1600
Story Behind the Shot: I used to be at Juanita Bay Park, considered one of my favourite patches situated on the shores of Lake Washington. It was a cloudy, cool February morning, and I walked down the boardwalk to the place I’d seen some Wilson’s Snipes a few weeks earlier than. I lastly noticed this snipe resting on the muddy shore (their plumage works to camouflage them very nicely), and arrange my digicam and tripod on the boardwalk. For a number of minutes the chicken merely rested, however then it acquired up and began strolling. To my shock the snipe was arising and down. I had not identified Wilson’s Snipes walked this fashion! I needed to stifle my laughter—it was such a comical and endearing sight. I alternated between taking quick movies and images whereas the chicken moved about, lined by the encompassing crops. I used to be in a position to take this longer video when it got here out into the open. The dancing chicken then disappeared into the rushes, proper after I finished filming. 

2.) American Robin by Brooke Roegge 

Video Transcript

On the fringe of a snow-covered wetland, an American Robin inspects a gap within the ice. The robin bends down to look at motion on the fringe of the ice earlier than snatching a minnow from the water. The robin drops the minnow into the snow to stun or kill it, then picks it up and strikes to the middle of the ice and consumes the minnow. One other robin flies in, however the preliminary robin chases it off.

Video: Brooke Roegge/Audubon Images Awards

Location: St. Paul, MN
Digicam: Nikon D7500

 with a 

Nikon 200-500mm, at 500mm; 29.97 frames per second at f/10; ISO 500
Story Behind the Shot: In Minnesota in late winter and early spring, teams of minnows collect on the ice openings across the edges of marshes and ponds, maybe hoping for bugs, and robins take benefit. I had heard of this phenomenon and, when the time was proper, had plans to go to some spots the place this conduct had been beforehand noticed. This yr I used to be in luck—a sighting was shared at a park very near my home, so I dropped every part to get there and watch it. Within the few days I spent observing these robins, they gorged themselves on minnows, typically consuming 3 or 4 in a row earlier than flying off to digest in a close-by tree, solely to return about half-hour later and gorge once more. I observed the water churning on the edges of the ice the place the minnows gathered, which can have helped the robins discover them. I additionally noticed that the robins would drop the minnows into the snow to both stun or kill them earlier than consuming them. On the primary day there have been a handful of robins taking part—possibly 8 or so—however by the third day the opening within the ice had grown bigger and so had the flock of no less than 25 robins.

3.) Willow Ptarmigan by Marilyn Grubb

Video Transcript

A stark white Willow Ptarmigan makes its means by freshly fallen snow, straining its neck to search out and eat tiny buds on willow bushes throughout a snowstorm.

Video: Marilyn Grubb/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Municipal District of Greenview, Alberta, Canada
Digicam: Canon EOS R5 with a Sigma 150-600mm shot at 600mm; video at f11; ISO 2000
Story Behind the Shot: Early in December a buddy who had by no means seen a Willow Ptarmigan joined me on a quest by a snowstorm to search out the elusive white birds. Fortunately, I had seen two Willow Ptarmigans just lately on an earlier journey, so we headed to the place I had noticed the pair  and pulled over to the facet of the abandoned mountain highway to look, unsuccessfully, for tracks within the contemporary snow. It was lunchtime, so we each pulled out our meals and commenced consuming within the automotive. All of the sudden my buddy motioned that she was seeing motion over on her facet of the highway, behind the snowpiled ditch. I exited the automotive and quietly went behind it, utilizing the white automobile as a blind. Lo and behold, there was a single Willow Ptarmigan munching away by itself lunch as we’d been having fun with ours! Not eager to disturb the chicken’s conduct, I made a decision to handhold the digicam to get a wee little bit of video. I wasn’t upset as he continued pecking off the willow buds, working his means in direction of me. 

4.) Prothonotary Warbler by Benjamin Clock  

Video Transcript

Within the flooded cypress woodlands of South Carolina, a vibrant yellow Prothonotary Warbler returns to a nest cavity holding dried foliage gathered from close by in its beak. The chicken pulls the grass and cypress needles into the cavity to line the within, forming a cup to insulate her eggs and nestlings inside.

Video: Benjamin Clock/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Francis Beidler Forest, SC 
Digicam: Sony A7R II with a Canon 500mm f4 and a Canon 1.4x teleconverter; 1/60 sec at f4; ISO 100
Story Behind the Shot: At Audubon’s Francis Beidler Forest Sanctuary, I used to be strolling alongside the boardwalk by the flooded forest and observed a feminine Prothonotary Warbler making occasional visits to a cavity. It was very early within the nesting season and Prothonotary Warblers had arrived again within the space only a few days earlier than. Males have been singing vigorously throughout the forest. I used to be in a position to set my tripod close by and stay very nonetheless because the chicken approached. Filming from the sting of the boardwalk from a place partially obscured by the trunk of an adjoining tree, I used to be in a position to view the chicken on the nest with out disturbance. Typically timing works out completely to have the ability to witness stunning moments like this chicken making ready a cavity for nesting.

5.) Northern Flicker by Paul Lisker 

Video Transcript

Two Yellow-shafted Northern Sparkles are perched on a department with the feminine a bit increased than the male. Going through one another, the birds have interaction in a dance, every jerking its head facet to facet whereas taking a look at one another. As they preserve stability, they often stretch out a wing or tail, giving transient flashes of good yellow in an in any other case drab winter day.

Video: Paul Lisker/Audubon Images Awards

Location:  Forest Park, St. Louis, MO 
Digicam: Fujifilm XT3 with a Fujifilm XF 100400mm F/4.55.6 R LM OIS WR; 400mm (609mm equal); 1/120 sec at f/5; ISO 400

Story Behind the Shot: Throughout an early morning stroll on a frigid winter day, I noticed flashes of yellow amid an in any other case drab thicket. As I approached, I noticed the curious sight of two Northern Sparkles participating in a dance, every jerking its head facet to facet whereas dealing with one another. I cautiously stepped nearer, taking care to not disturb them. I shouldn’t have nervous a lot—some individuals walked close by, however the birds remained. The pair appeared entranced, hyper-focused on their hypnotic dance. The male, with its recognizabe black mustache, adopted the feminine tirelessly each time she moved to a separate department. They perched near me, offering a transparent view of their stunning plumage, from the barring on their backs to the spots on their bellies. All of the sudden, they flitted away in amorous pursuit into the chilly winter day, abandoning solely the reminiscence of their crimson napes forming an ideal pair of hearts.

6.) Nice Blue Heron by Nicolas Bamberski 

Video Transcript

A dozen grownup Nice Blue Herons are standing in nests in a useless cypress tree, inside the protected wetland of an outdated Navy base in Alameda, California. Throughout the bay, the skyscrapers of San Francisco fill the background, their home windows reflecting the primary golden rays of morning solar. In one of many nests, a male heron steps onto the again of his feminine accomplice, they mate for a number of seconds, then he hops onto a close-by department. 

Video: Nicolas Bamberski/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Alameda, CA 
Digicam: Panasonic Lumix G9 with a Lumix Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm at ~300mm; 1/125 sec at f/8; ISO auto
Story Behind the Shot: The Nice Blue Heron is a year-round resident of California and a frequent sight alongside our shores. The cypress tree within the video, within the fenced-off wetland of the outdated Navy base at Alameda Level, has served as a secluded nesting website for herons for a few years. The tree is now useless and won’t stand for much longer. As a photographer, I had been capturing city wildlife on the island of Alameda for a few years, together with at this website. This winter I supposed to seize a video of the herons’ fascinating nest-building exercise in the absolute best mild circumstances, which proved to be at dawn on a chilly Friday morning, when the sunshine rose behind me and illuminated each the tree and downtown San Francisco, miles throughout the bay but seeming so shut. The fence defending this wetland is a number of hundred ft away from the tree, and I arrange my tripod far sufficient from that fence to compose the shot above it. Having to make use of an extended focal size introduced some good compression within the picture and actually highlighted the distinction, but compatibility, between nature and civilization. I really feel the composition itself exhibits the advantages of dedicating some city habitat to wildlife. I used to be anticipating extra nest constructing like in earlier weeks, with herons bringing branches and twigs again, however as an alternative I used to be greeted with this magical mating scene! 

7.) Crested Caracara and Northern Mockingbird by Maria Chu 

Video Transcript

A big Crested Caracara and a Northern Mockingbird sit perched on the posts of a fence line in rural Florida. The mockingbird begins harassing the a lot larger caracara, flying about its head and divebombing the raptor till ultimately the chicken provides in to the tenacious mocker and flies away.

Video: Maria Chu/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Dinner Island Ranch Wildlife Administration Space, Clewiston, FL 
Digicam: Canon xa50 with an inside lens at 580mm and Canon TL-U58 Tele-Converter Lens (1.5x); 1/350 sec at f/6)
Story Behind the Shot: My husband and I went on a visit to the cattle ranch space of Hendry Nation, Florida, and our objective was to report and observe the Crested Caracara. We had a number of alternatives throughout my one-week journey, however this was our fortunate day. The wind was difficult at 20 mph, however the tender morning mild helped with the video. It was a few hours after dawn, and I observed three caracaras sitting on fence poles. As I noticed them from a distance, all of the sudden I observed that this Northern Mockingbird stored annoying one of many caracaras, flying in circles across the raptor. The caracara tried to defend itself, however the mockingbird was fast and agile, in a position to evade any assaults from the slower caracara. The mockingbird was persistently “mocking” the massive chicken till it was so irritated that it flew away, with the mockingbird chasing proper after. In actual fact, one after the other, the chicken would peck and circle round every caracara till they have been irritated and flew away. Apparently, the caracaras have been too near the mockingbird’s nest. I used to be amazed by this persistent little mockingbird and the way the caracara couldn’t do something to cease it.   

8.) Pileated Woodpecker by Michael Fogleman 

Video Transcript

Three Pileated Woodpecker nestlings sticking their heads out of a nest cavity in a useless pine tree, calling in good unison as they beg for meals from their close by mom. The grownup feminine, sporting the species’ telltale bright-red crest, flies to the tree and feeds two of the chicks by regurgitating meals into their mouths. Sibling rivalry is obvious as one feminine nestling yanks the male nestling out of the way in which so she will be able to get some meals earlier than he takes all of it.

Video: Michael Fogleman/Audubon Images Awards

 Location: Harris Lake County Park, New Hill, NC 
Digicam: Canon R5 with a Canon RF 100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM and a Canon Extender RF 2x (shot at 500 x 2 = 1000mm); 1/60s at f/14; ISO Auto
Story Behind the Shot: I first got here throughout this Pileated Woodpecker nest in March 2021 when the adults have been nonetheless excavating the cavity. After that, I checked the tree weekly to watch its progress. It wasn’t till Could 22 that I first noticed any of the nestlings—and by that time they have been virtually absolutely grown! First I noticed one quietly poking its head out. Then two! After which the third! Two females and one male. I arrange my tripod and commenced taking pictures and movies. They begged for meals—calling in good unison—when the feminine grownup got here into view. She flew to the tree and commenced feeding them. She fed the male first, displaying an obvious desire by withholding meals from an aggressive feminine sibling who tried to chop in. She lastly gave what little was left to one of many females, however the third nestling acquired no meals on this specific go to. I additionally noticed the male feeding them quickly after. A pair days later, the juveniles had left the nest. This was the one time I noticed all three of the nestlings poking their heads out. Within the coming weeks, I got here throughout the whole household of 5 foraging within the woods close by. This was the spotlight of my birding in 2021. As this was at a public park, you possibly can hear laughter within the background. I discover this to be particularly fascinating as a result of it highlights how oblivious we could be to the wonders of nature.

9.) Osprey by Brian Kushner 

Video Transcript

In a big nest made from sticks, an grownup feminine Osprey rips aside a fish that has been delivered to the nest by the male of the pair. The grownup feeds the fish chunks to a really younger chick with the identical golden eye of its mother and father.

Video: Brian KushnerAudubon Images Awards

Location: Heislerville Wildlife Administration Space, Heislerville, NJ 
Digicam: Nikon Z6 with a Nikon 800mm F/5.6; 1/1600  F/8; ISO Auto
Story Behind the Shot: I’ve been photographing this Osprey nest for 10 years. At one level, it housed a 16-year-old banded Osprey, one of many oldest banded Ospreys in New Jersey. There’s a new pair that took over the nest in 2020 after the previous didn’t return within the spring. I comply with this nest from late March by the breeding season and chick rearing till the birds depart within the fall. 

10.) Carolina Chickadee by Amy Boggan 

Video Transcript

On a vibrant, snowy Christmas morning, a Carolina Chickadee, puffed as much as maintain heat within the chilly, will get snow on its face because it pecks and eats the snow clumps. It lets out some dee dee dee calls and retains watch above because it continues pecking on the snow.

Video: Amy Boggan/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Hayesville, NC
Digicam: Nikon Coolpix P900; 1/25 sec at f/6.3; ISO 280
Story Behind the Shot: On my first white Christmas in my mountaintop dwelling in western North Carolina, I wandered round my property taking bird-in-snow images and pictures of the surroundings. It was bitterly chilly, however every part was so stunning. The birds have been very lively, so I stayed out a bit longer simply exterior of the home. As I stood dealing with north, the morning mild streamed in over my proper shoulder. Whereas I used to be photographing a cooperative Purple Finch, this Carolina Chickadee drew my consideration because it was doing one thing I’d by no means seen: consuming snow. Fluffy to remain heat within the chilly, it was cute because it periodically acquired snow throughout its face and shook it off whereas monitoring the sky above with a number of dee dee dees. The chickadee didn’t appear to thoughts being on digicam, and I used to be elated to seize the second in good mild from a brief distance. It was a pleasant reminder {that a} “yard chicken” can nonetheless be fascinating, and I’m glad I lingered within the chilly!

11.) Sharp-tailed Grouse by Liron Gertsman 

Video Transcript

Two male Sharp-tailed Grouse have interaction in a territorial tussle on their courtship grounds. With golden prairie grass surrounding them, the 2 brown birds soar into the air whereas flapping their wings and grappling with their ft. The skirmish is captured in gradual movement.

Video: Liron Gertsman/Audubon Images Awards

Location: ThompsonNicola, British Columbia, Canada
Digicam: Canon EOS R5 with a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM at 400mm and a Canon EF to RF mount adapter; 1/250 at f/5.6; ISO 400
Story Behind the Shot: Probably the most unimaginable issues I’ve ever had the possibility to expertise in nature is a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek, a website the place males collect to carry out courtship shows for visiting females. Sharp-tailed Grouse usually arrive at their lek earlier than dawn, and can dance and show by a lot of the morning. These birds are notoriously flighty and delicate to disturbance, so to look at them respectfully, I scouted out the situation the afternoon prior, and arrange a conceal exterior the perimeter of the lek after sundown. Waking up at 3 a.m., I hiked for 45 minutes by the darkish to succeed in my conceal. As the primary signal of daybreak mild began appearing on the horizon, the present started, with grouse dancing and producing otherworldly sounds. Every male on the lek has his personal small territory, and fights often get away between neighborhooing birds, as captured on this video. On the middle of the lek are the very best high quality territories, the place males are probably to mate with a feminine. As such, fights within the middle of the lek are significantly widespread. These Sharp-tailed Grouse belong to the “Columbian” subspecies, a inhabitants that has disappeared from 90 p.c of its former vary throughout western North America, and is listed as a inhabitants of particular concern in Canada and a number of other U.S. states.

12.) Bald Eagle by Barbara Carlson 

Video Transcript

In opposition to a transparent blue sky, an grownup Bald Eagle flies into the body and skims the highest of the timber. Mid-flight, the raptor extends its highly effective talons and snaps a big department clear off the highest of the tree with out pausing its flight.

Video: Barbara Carlson/Audubon Images Awards

Location: Kings River, Piedra, CA 
Digicam: Nikon D850 with a Sigma 150-600 mm shot at 600 mm; 1/400 sec at f9; ISO 400
Story Behind the Shot: I watched this Bald Eagle flying backwards and forwards throughout the river all morning gathering sticks for its nest. I used to be parked on the facet of the highway, digicam prepared, awaiting the chicken’s subsequent return from over the hill when a lot to my shock it appeared and flew simply above me, proper throughout my line of sight. With out stopping, the chicken grabbed and snapped a department off this tree with its spectacular talons. It felt just like the raptor knew I used to be observing and was solely attempting to impress me with its abilities, because it dropped this department shortly after performing its sleek feat! I used to be past thrilled to witness this conduct—one I’d by no means skilled earlier than by these stunning birds—and was much more thrilled that I used to be one way or the other in a position to seize the whole scene with my digicam.