|Laughing Falcon - photo Perla Damara|
Thus, the idea for the contest was born. I'll be birding without a camera for a while, and will likely be blogging less also.
All VRR count crew members and the educational interns were eligible for participation, and many liked the idea well enough to take a day to go out in the field and document good birds. Anything could be photographed, but it was understood that a great photo of a very common, easily photographed bird was not going to win against an equally great photo of a rarer or more secretive bird. The idea was that all participants and myself would vote, and that you could not vote for your own photo.
Well, the voting part got curtailed by my sickness (food poisoning) the last few days, but the winner was obvious to everyone. So, I proudly present on this blog some of the entries in this competition.
Incidentally, the camera in question is a Canon PowerShot FZ-20.
The winning photo at the top of a Laughing Falcon was made by Perla, who worked on environmental education this season (and did a great job). Laughing Falcon is not a particularly rare species in central Veracruz, but like most raptors it is not so easily photographed when perched. She had many photos of this individual, from many different angles; it was clear that she had spent time thinking how to best capture the bird. Perla surprised us with great photos of other species also. She came into the project knowing little about birding, but quickly learned a great deal. I hope that she will continue to go out in the field and document her sightings, and maybe get hooked on birding. Mexico is a great place to live as a birder.
The other photos are in no particular order.
|Vermilion Flycatcher - photo by Roberto Rodriguez|
|Sharp-shinned Hawk and Ferruginous Pygmy Owl - photo by Rigoberto Mendoza|
|Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - photo by Jeniffer Abrego|
|Black Vulture with Turkey Vultures - photo by Lynn Schofield|
|Willet - photo by Alfredo Beltran|
|Ruddy Ducks - photo by Irving Chavez and Pilar González|
|Double-striped Thick-knee - photo by John van Dort|
I'm not planning to give up birding altogether, but I'll be birding without a camera for a while. I may end up blogging less, or perhaps I'll just work on improving the static pages of this blog. I'm going to play it by ear a little bit.