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Bald Eagle and Great Blue Herons photo taken by Bonnie Block
Category: Professional Winner
Photographer: Bonnie Block/Audubon Photography Awards
Species: Bald Eagle, Great Blue Heron
Location: Seabeck, WA
Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II with a Canon 500mm f/4 IS II USM lens; 1/1600 second at f/6.3; ISO 800, manual mode
Snap Judgment: Seabeck is a small town on the edge of the Hood Canal, in western Washington. In early summer Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles converge here to feast on fish that get trapped in the exposed oyster beds at low tide. While both species catch their own fish, the eagles are especially fond of harassing the herons for their catch. They charge at the herons, which at times release their prey with a loud squawk, dropping the fish back into the water. Though they’re not always successful, the eagles seem to take pleasure in trying to steal a meal.
Bird Lore: The majestic Bald Eagle and America’s largest heron are both top-level predators, and they often pursue the same prey. Where concentrations of fish bring them together, clashes may erupt. In a direct standoff, the herons will usually yield to the eagles, but not without a noisy protest.
Eared Grebes photo taken by Steve Torna
Category: Amateur Winner
Photographer: Steve Torna/Audubon Photography Awards
Species: Eared Grebe
Location: Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone NP, Wyoming
Camera: Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens; 1/400 second at f/8: ISO 320
Snap Judgment: In May 2014 I was fortunate to see hundreds, perhaps a thousand, migrating Eared Grebes floating in a tight flock between the ice and the shore on Yellowstone Lake. I was drawn to their bright-red eyes, their golden "ears," and the way the flock created a colorful natural pattern. With their heads tucked into their feathers, the birds seemed harmonious and peaceful. They were silent—I never once heard a vocalization—and I felt a sense of gratitude that I could witness this tranquil and serene moment.
Bird Lore: Of the 20 species of grebes, the Eared Grebe—called the Black-necked Grebe in the Old World—is probably the most numerous. Its population in western North America has been estimated at more than four million, and its nesting colonies on marshy lakes may include hundreds of pairs.
Birds On Line

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