National Bird Day - January 5th

2012 Free Bird Photo Contest

To celebrate National Bird Day and in collaboration with Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment and the DVD/Blu-ray release of its comedy about birding, "The Big Year," in January 2012 we hatched a Free Bird Photo Contest! The four-week competition was open to all and attracted some 200 entries.

The winning photo of a Carolina Wren was taken by Kanokwalee Pusitanun of Cedar Park, TX. Kanokwalee will receive a pair of powerful binoculars, a bird feeder or house from the Born Free USA online store and a copy of "The Big Year."

Winning Photo
Carolina wren

Final Results:

  • FIRST PLACE: Carolina wren by Kanokwalee Pusitanun, Cedar Park, TX
  • SECOND PLACE: Green-winged macaw by Marc Johnson, Rockland, MA.
  • THIRD PLACE: Snowy white owl by Rick Espe, Auburn, WA
  • FOURTH PLACE: Green heron by Marc Hoffman, Kirkland, WA
  • FIFTH PLACE: Bali myna by Joseph Mietus, Chicago, IL

Here's what Kanokwalee had to say about her winning photograph:

"I took that photo in my backyard in the late afternoon using my Nikon D5100 and a 500mm Sigma lens that I borrowed from my sister. I had been in Llana, Texas, watching and taking pictures of the Llano bald eagles that morning. My sister offered to lend me her lens for the trip but I was already on my way. So, I picked it up on my way back. I was very excited about trying it out. That was the first time I used that lens. I have not given it back to her. It's going to be hard parting with it.

"I love that picture. It was a bit dark when I took it. When I looked at it at first, I couldn't tell what he had picked up. I thought it was a small berry or something. I was a little sad when I saw the next day that it was a ladybug. I had just saved a ladybug that landed inside my car a few days earlier (after I took a few pictures of him first). But, that's the way things go."

The Finalists' Photos
Green-winged macaw
Snowy white owl
Green heron
Bali myna

The Runners-Up (in alphabetical order of the photographers):

  • Green violet-ear by David Aborn, Chattanooga, TN
  • Hummingbird by Ann Bormann, Redmond, WA
  • Barn swallows by Kelly Ann Chitwood, El Dorado, AR
  • Painted bunting by Kelly Ann Chitwood, El Dorado, AR
  • Bald eagle by David L. Cuthrell, Bath, MI
  • Great gray owl by Sherrie Duris, Oregon, OH
  • Hooded merganser by Larry Hancock, Ardmore, OK
  • Mallard by Marc Hoffman, Kirkland, WA
  • Trumpeter swan by James Lawson, Anchorage, AK
  • Gull by Joseph Mietus, Chicago, IL
  • Northern cardinal by Jenny O'Dell, Wheeling, WV
  • American robin by Kanokwalee Pusitanun, Cedar Park, TX
  • Snowy egret by Cheryl Rutherford, New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada
  • Rock pigeon by Franne Stroblas, Phoenix, AZ
  • Anhinga by Cathie Westcot, Shoreline, WA
The Runners-Up Photos
Green violet-ear
Barn swallows
Painted bunting
Bald eagle
Great gray owl
Hooded merganser
Trumpeter swan
Northern cardinal
American robin
Snowy egret
Rock pigeon