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See the Soaring Shortlist for the 2018 Bird Photographer of the Year Awards

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Kingfisher diving (Spain) by Mario Cea Sanchez

With a focus on our feathered friends, the Bird Photographer of the Year contest fosters a “growing interest and passion for photographing one of the most interesting and engaging areas of natural history.” Much like last year's collection of awe-inspiring winning photos, this year's recently released shortlist showcases the unique beauty and behaviors of birds around the world.

The Bird Photographer of the Year contest is split into 8 categories. Some, like Best Portrait and Attention to Detail, capture the distinctive features that make the subjects so special. Others, including Bird Behavior and Birds in Flight, showcase the animals in action, while Birds in the Environment and Garden and Urban Birds place an emphasis on the creatures' surroundings. Finally, the Creative Imagery category gives applicants ample artistic freedom, and the Young Photographer of the Year “aims to encourage and recognize the younger generation of birders and photographers.”

Each grouping has its own shortlist from which the winners will be selected. When picking their victor, the judges will not consider the person behind the camera. On a mission to make avian photography accessible to all, the contest's organizers—Nature Photographers Ltd and the British Trust for Ornithology—welcome submissions from everyone, whether you're a “hardened pro” or “hobbyist with a cameraphone.”

The winners of this year's Bird Photographer of the Year competition will be announced on August 20. Until then, enjoy this amazing selection of shortlisted photos.

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Starlings at the Tor (Ham Wall Nature Reserve, Somerset, United Kingdom) by Chris Sweet

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Alexandrine parakeet standing on swallows nest (Chambal River, India) by Georgina Steytler

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Red-billed oxpecker on an impala (Kruger National Park, South Africa) by Edmund Aylmer

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Whooper swans (Janakkala, Finland) by Antti Siponen

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Pygmy Cormorant (Hungary) by Bence Mate

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Sanderling wading birds stop during migration (Asturias, Spain) by Mario Suarez Porras

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Griffon vulture (Alaska) by Pedro Jarque Krebs

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Grey heron (Hungary) by Bence Mate

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Ruddy duck (British Columbia, Canada) by Jess Findlay

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

White-tailed eagle (Hortobágy, Hungary) by Ben Hall

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Snowy owl (Canada) by Markus Varesvuo

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Toco toucan (Poconé, Brazil) by Petr Bambousek

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Giant cowbird taking ticks from a capybara (Pantanal, Brazil) by Petr Bambousek

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Northern gannet with discarded netting in its beak (Heligoland, Germany) by Petr Bambousek

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Canada Goose (London, United Kingdom) by Renato Granieri

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

White-backed vulture (Zimanga, South Africa) by Clint Ralph

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Northern gannet (Bempton Cliffs, United Kingdom) by Janine Lee

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Great Grey Owl (Alberta, Canada) by John Launstein

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Dalmatian pelicans (Lake Kerkini, Greece) by Johan Siggesson

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Water rail (Salamanca, Spain) by Mario Cea

Bird Photographer of the Year 2018 Bird Photography Contest

Stellar's Sea Eagle (Hokkaido, Japan) by Gladys Klip

You can see more shortlisted bird photography on the contest's website.

Bird Photographer of the Year Awards: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest

My Modern Met granted permission to use photos by the Bird Photographer of the Year Awards.

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