You be the Judge: Portrait « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

You be the Judge: Portrait

You Be the Judge: Portrait

Well, we have finally made it to the last category. While it has been a ton of work, far more than I could ever have imagined. But it has been a ton of fun, highly rewarding, and I believe, highly educational. As regular readers know, the judging for the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition has been complete for some time. All of the judges including me were stunned by the quality of the images. We have been and will continue to be posting all of the images that were sent to the judges category by category. Each of you will have a chance to judge each category. Please read the directions below carefully. Your votes will not determine the winning images but it (usually) has been and will continue to be fun to see how everyone’s votes compare to the votes of the judges. So far the top pick of the public vote has matched the top pick of the judge’s panel in several categories; in spite of the fact that this may very well be the strongest category, I am pretty sure that that will be the case here.

With 1153 images entered, this category was, as expected, hugely popular, the most popular by far. The 14 images sent to the five judges, and presented here below reveal that there were some very good images in this group. Here is the next-to-last thank you to Darrell, Chris, Julie, and Tim. And another big time thanks also to Peter Kes and Denise Ippolito for pitching in during the first rounds of image selection. We worked very hard for nearly three full days to get from more than 5500 images down to the final 163 that were sent to the judge’s panel.

Here we were looking simply looking for images that showed the whole bird.

Before you vote, please be sure to click on each image so that you can view it at full size. Then pick your five favorites and vote them 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 with 5 being your very favorite. Like this:

Roseate Spoonbills squabbling: 5
Siskins fighting: 4
Snowy Egrets midair combat: 3
Great Crested Grebe displaying: 2
Common Tern feeding chick: 1

Please do not let the votes of others or the names assigned to the images influence your vote. Please put each of your five favorites on its own line by hitting “enter” after each one. No ties; please assign a single digit, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 to each of your five favorites. As you will see there are a great many dramatic images here.

Please Note

If you wish to comment on any or all of the images, please do so below your five voting lines; this will make tallying the votes easier. Votes cast by those who fail to follow the formatting directions will be relegated to the Trash Bin.

The voting will be closed in about two days and the actual winning images for this category will be posted soon thereafter. A tally of the public vote along with my analysis and comments will follow.

Thanks for voting and please remember to breathe deeply and have fun.

Jacana chick on Lily-leaf


Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl


Songbird on teasel


Long-eared Owl


Kingfisher sky-pointing




Common Yellowthroat


Short-toed Snake Eagle


Tropical Songbird


Giant Kingfisher




Fledgling Red-winged blackbird


Resplendent Quetzal


Raptor drinking

58 comments to You be the Judge: Portrait

  • avatar Jay

    Thanks Artie, for making me feel completely incompetent with a camera. It may be time to just put the kit for sale on e-bay and find a new hobby. And, looking at these, you should just divide the prizes between all of them and call it a draw.

    5 Common yellowthroat
    4 Songbird on Teasel
    3 Kingfisher skypointing
    2 Giant Kingfisher
    1 Resplendant Quetzal

  • Raptor drinking: 5
    Common Yellowthroat: 4
    Jacana chick on lily-leak: 3
    Sparrow: 2
    Ferruginous Pygmy-owl: 1

    A very difficult choice to make, all these photos are so good.

  • avatar Sachi

    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 5
    Giant Kingfisher: 4
    Resplendent Quetzal: 3
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: 2
    Songbird on teasel: 1

  • avatar Sarah Mayhew

    Great group of images!

    Jacana Chick: 5
    King Fisher sky pointing: 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl: 3
    Raptor Drinking: 2
    Short-toed Snake Eagle: 1

  • Jacana Chick
    Short Tailed Snake Eagle
    Resplendent Quetzal
    Pygmy Owl
    All really great images and hard to leave out any. Congratulations.

  • avatar Jennie Stock

    Short-toed snake eagle : 5
    Sparrow: 4
    Quetzal: 3
    Jacana chick : 2
    Raptor drinking: 1

  • Songbird on teasel – 5
    Kingfisher Sky Pointing – 4
    Raptor drinking – 3
    Resplendent Quetzal – 2
    Common Yellowthroat – 1

    Well done to every one and the judges. These have been great images to see and to set myself up against.

    Thanks Artie!


  • avatar Geoff

    Raptor drinking – 5
    Jacana Chick – 4
    Quetzal – 3
    Yellowthroat – 2
    Kingfisher – 1

  • avatar Jeff Dyck

    5 – Short-toed Snake Eagle
    4 – Raptor Drinking
    3 – Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
    2 – Common Yellowthroat
    1 – Francolin

  • avatar Gary Ellwein

    Raptor Drinking 5
    Snake Eagle 4
    Jacana Chick 3
    Sparrow 2
    Francolin 1

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Jacana Chick on Lily Leaf: 5
    Kingfisher Sky Pointing: 4
    Short-Toed Snake Eagle: 3
    Raptor Drinking: 2
    Canary Yellowthroat: 1


  • avatar Nancy Bell

    Jacana chick 5
    Raptor drinking 4
    Songbird on teasel 3
    Common Yellowthroat 2
    Short-toed Snake Eagle 1

  • avatar Doug Zoern

    Short-toed Snake Eagle – 5
    Kingfisher sky-pointing – 4
    Raptor drinking – 3
    Songbird on teasel – 2
    Francolin – 1

    WOW! I think this was the hardest one.
    Tropical Songbird made my top eight but the light area in the background kept it out of the top 5 but the bird is so cute and has nice detail.

    Sparrow also made the top 8 but not the top 5. No real reason other than that the subject is common. It’s a wonderful image and would look great in our house.

    Jacana Chick also made the top 8 but the clipped lily and the blurry reflection kept it from the final five.

    All the above reasons seem so bogus because they are all wonderful images. But, when you have to limit yourself to five you have to find some reason to exclude some. Interesting lessons there.

  • avatar Mark A Jordan

    Raptor Drinking: 5
    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: 3
    Short-toed Snake Eagle: 2
    Sparrow: 1

    Great shots! Thanks Mr Morris for letting us judge. Learned alot.

  • Sparrow – 5
    Short-Toed Snake Eagle – 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – 3
    Francolin – 2
    Songbird on Teasel – 1

    This is the first category where I can honestly say that I liked the lion’s share of images. Some beautiful birds, captured beautifully, that’s for sure. The (chipping?) sparrow is my favorite image by far. Was a fan of it when I first saw it on BPN. I’d love to know which species of francolin? And what type of songbird is it upon the teasel? I’ll start researching this, but if anyone could write in and tell us, I’d certainly appreciate it…

  • Common Yellowthroat – 5
    Jacana Chick on Lily Leaf – 4
    Raptor Drinking – 3
    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl – 2
    Short Toed Snake Eagle – 1

  • avatar Gail bisson

    Jacana chick -5
    Giant kingfisher-4
    Kingfisher sky pointing -3
    Snake eagle-2
    Songbird on teasel
    simply amazing shots .Congrats everyone.
    quick question Artie:the raptor drinking is a stunning image but
    I wonder why it is in this category and not behavior?

  • Jacana chick – 5
    Raptor Drinking – 4
    Sparrow – 3
    Giant Kingfisher – 2
    Songbird on teasel – 1

    All of them are fantastic shots – congratulations to all involved

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    #5 – Songbird On Teasel
    #4 – Long-eared Horned Owl
    #3 – Francolin
    #2 – Short-toed Snake Eagle
    #1 – Jacana Chick On Lily-leaf

  • avatar Ivan Turpin

    Jacana Chick on Lily Leaf: 5
    Raptor Drinking: 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl: 3
    Short Toed Snake Eagle: 2
    Sparrow: 1

  • avatar Steve M

    Raptor drinking : 5
    Short-toed Snake Eagle : 4
    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf : 3
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl : 2
    Common Yellowthroat : 1

  • 5 – Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
    4 – Raptor drinking
    3 – Short-toed Snake Eagle
    2 – Sparrow
    1 – Jacana chick on Lily-leaf

    Wonderful photographic art every one…

  • avatar Paul Thomas

    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf – 5
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl – 4
    Tropical Songbird – 3
    Kingfisher sky pointing – 2
    Raptor drinking – 1

    The tropical songbird looks like a Cuban Tody. There are 5 species of Todies found only in countries of the Greater Antilles. They are not songbirds but are related to the kingfishers.

  • avatar Melissa Groo

    Almost impossible to pick the top five, these are all breathtakingly superb.Each finalist should be super proud to stand among these.

    Sparrow: 5
    Quetzal: 4
    Raptor drinking: 3
    Jacana chick: 2
    Short-Toed Snake Eagle: 1

  • Jacana chick on Lily-leaf 5
    Short-toed Snake Eagle 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 3
    Tropical Songbird 2
    Raptor drinking 1

    Spectacular images!!

  • avatar Andrea Boyle

    (sorry about the last entry below. Computer operator error…)

    Sparrow: 5
    Songbird on a Teasel: 4
    Jacana Chick: 3
    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl: 2
    Raptor Drinking: 1

  • avatar Andrea Boyle

    Oh my gosh… I’m so glad I’m not an anctual judge in this as all were outstanding!! Congratulations to ALL of you!! My choices:

  • avatar Col Seller

    Sparrow: 5
    Jacana chick: 4
    Francolin: 3
    Raptor drinking: 2
    Songbird on teasel: 1

  • avatar Sandy

    Jacana chick – 5
    Raptor drinking: 4
    Short-toed snake eagle: 3
    Quetzal: 2
    Pygmy owl: 1

  • avatar Dan Moser

    5 – Common Yellowthroat
    4 – Short-toed Snake Eagle
    3 – Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
    2 – Songbird on teasel
    1 – Jacana Chick

  • Jacana chick on Lily-leaf 5
    Raptor drinking 4
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl 3
    Resplendent Quetzal 2
    Short-toed Snake Eagle 1

    Very tough choices! ALL GREAT – STUNNING PHOTOS!!! Congrats to all of you!

  • Songbird on teasel: 5
    Common Yellowthroat: 4
    Sparrow: 3
    Jacana on Lily-leaf: 2
    Kingfisher sky-pointing: 1

  • avatar Carol Nichols

    Raptor drinking: 5
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: 4
    Jacana chick on lily leaf: 3
    Songbird on teasel: 2
    Fledgling Red-winged Blackbird: 1

    All of these images are stunning!

  • avatar Jeanette Nee

    Jacana Chick on Lily Leaf 5
    Raptor Drinking 4
    Resplendent Quetzal 3
    Short toed Snake Eagle 2
    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl 1
    Loved the usual photo of the Raptor drinking and the owl bringing prey for its chick.

    Well done all you bird photographers.

  • Jacana chick 5
    snake eagle 4
    quetzal 3
    raptor drinking 2
    sparrow 5

    These captures just blew me away, but I feel there were at least 2 that belonged in another category…jacana chick (small in the frame/environment) and raptor drinking (behavior).

  • avatar Scotty K

    Raptor drinking – 5
    Pygmy Owl – 4
    Jacana chick – 3
    Songbird on teasel – 2
    Yellowthroat – 1

    Without a doubt, one of the best collections of bird photos I have ever seen. Great job all!

  • avatar Debbie Zilli

    5-Jacana chick
    4-Ferruginous owl
    3-Raptor drinking
    4-Short Toed Snake Eagle
    1-Kingfisher sky pointing

  • avatar Mike Eckstein

    Jacana Chick 5
    Songbird on teasel 4
    Sparrow 3
    Common Yellow Throat 2
    Tropical Songbird 1

  • avatar Bill Eaton

    Raptor Drinking:5
    Pygmy Owl:4
    Jacana chick:3

  • avatar Kathleen Hanika

    Ferruginous Pygmy Owl-5
    Common Yellowthroat-3
    Songbird on teasel-2

  • avatar Greg Payne

    Jacana chick on lily leaf: 5
    Songbird on teasel: 4
    Sparrow: 3
    Raptor drinking: 2
    Short-toed Snake Eagle: 1

    Wonderful images. Great light and poses. Very inspirational. Makes me want to get out and work harder.

  • Jacana chick-5
    Raptor drinking-4

  • Jacana 5
    Songbird* on teasel 4
    Quetzal 3
    Pygmy Owl 2
    Kingfisher sky 1

    *A Many-colored Rush Tyrant?

    • avatar ThereseS

      That’s what I was thinking but I’ve only seen it in wetlands. It would be good to know what country it was in.

  • avatar Lisa

    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 5
    Raptor drinking: 4
    Common Yellowthroat: 3
    Songbird on teasel: 2
    Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl: 1

  • avatar Carl

    Jacana Chick: 5
    Common Yellowthroat: 4
    Short-toed Snake Eagle: 3
    Songbird on Teasel: 2
    Sparrow: 1

  • avatar George Cottay

    Common Yellowthroat: 5
    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 4
    Short-toed Snake Eagle: 3
    Francolin: 2
    Tropical Songbird: 1

  • avatar Pat Fishburne


    5 Feruginn’s Pygmy Owl
    4 Songbird on Teasel
    3 Jacana Chick
    2 Common Yellowthroat
    1 Long-eared Owl

  • Raptor Drinking: 5
    Francolin: 4
    Jacana chick on Lily-leaf: 3
    Resplendent Quetzal: 2
    Giant Kingfisher: 1

    I know the winner isn’t my first choice, but there are many images that are very close to each other in quality and uniqueness. Excellent!

  • avatar Arne

    jacana 5
    raptor 4
    francolin 3
    yellowthroat 2
    kingfisher 1

  • avatar Katja Zuske

    Jacana chick: 5
    Raptor drinking: 4 (so unusual, love it)
    Pygmy owl: 3
    Quetzal: 2
    Yellowthroat: 1

    Very cool shots, all!