The Bird Photographer of the Year contest is a celebration of the avian world. And now, it is on its seventh year. For the 2022 edition, more than 20,000 images from 115 countries were submitted for consideration and compete in eight categories: Best Portrait, Birds in the Environment, Attention to Detail, Bird Behaviour, Birds in Flight, Black and White, Urban Birds and Creative Imagery.

As Will Nicholls, wildlife cameraman and director at Bird Photographer of the Year said:

Birds are an incredibly diverse group of animals, and we’ve seen stunning images of everything from mallard ducks to harpy eagles this year. We celebrate birds and conservation through images, and it is always a pleasure for everyone on the judging panel to see the work of such talented photographers.

A selection of finalists from the Best Portrait, Bird Behaviour, and Conservation Award categories shows the strength of this year’s competition. The photographs, which were taken in diverse locations around the world, reveal the diversity of birds. Although the winners won’t be announced until September 8, 2022, the competition is giving us a sneak preview of some of the finalists across several categories.

Below are our favorites. And check out last year’s winners if you want to see more.

“Life Hanging in the Balance,” Great Blue Heron Ardea herodias, Skagit Valley, Washington, Glenn Nelson, United States of America, Category: Bird Behaviour
“Hummingbird Hideaway,” Anna’s Hummingbird Calypte anna, Vancouver, British Columbia. Liron Gertsman, Canada, Category: Bird Behaviour
“Full Contact,” Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia, Hortobágy National Park, Hungary, Gabor Baross, Hungary, Category: Bird Behaviour
“Gentoo Dancing at Sunset.” Gentoo Penguin Pygoscelis papua. Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands. Audrey Wooller, United Kingdom. Category: Best Portrait.
“Fight.” Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus. Finnmark, Norway. Erlend Haarberg, Norway. Category: Bird Behaviour.
“SIngle File.” King Penguin Aptenodytes patagonicus. Gold Harbour, South Georgia, South Georgia. Ben Cranke, South Africa. Category: Best Portrait.
“Upland Buzzard Versus Corsax Fox.” Upland Buzzard Buteo hemilasius. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Baozhu Wang, China. Category: Bird Behaviour.
“Wart Head.” Ocellated Turkey Meleagris ocellata. Chan Chich, Belize. Leander Khil, Austria. Category: Best Portrait.
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