The National Audubon Society has crowned the winners of its annual photography competition. The Grand Prize went to the photo above by professional nature photographer Liron Gertsman of Vancouver. These are two rock pigeons engaged in allopreening, a new word I learned today that means grooming each other as a courtship gesture. Look how their iridescent feathers stand out against the dark background! Rock pigeons generally mate for life and share child care duties.
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The photograph that won in the Professional category is this Atlantic puffin, captured in the Westman Islands off Iceland by Shane Kalyn. Kalyn shot this puffin sitting on a lava formation on a rainy day. It was the first Atlantic puffin that he’d seen!
Other awards were given in categories such as Amateur, Female Bird, Plants for Birds, Fisher, Youth, and Video. You can see all the award winners and honorable mentions at the Audubon contest site. The top 100 photos not making the winner’s circle are listed here. -via Kottke