Matt Malwitz: 2024 Audubon Photography Grand Prize Winner

Congratulations to BCC's Mathew Malwitz! The 2024 Audubon Photography Awards

Matt Malwitz: 2024 Audubon Photography Grand Prize Winner – Congratulations to Bergen County Camera’s Mathew Malwitz! Please join us in congratulating Matt Malwitz on this exciting achievement!

Click here to view the 2024 Audubon Photography Awards winners

Matt Malwitz: 2024 Audubon Photography Grand Prize Winner

Matt Malwitz: 2024 Audubon Photography Grand Prize Winner - Blackburnian Warblers

Congrats to Mathew Malwitz!

2024 Audubon Photography Awards

We are proud to share that Bergen County Camera’s Mathew Malwitz is the Grand Prize Winner of the 2024 Audubon Photography Award! Matt’s image of a battle between Blackburnian warblers stood out among over 8,500 contest submissions this year.

Photo Details:

Category: Amateur
Species: Blackburnian Warbler
Location: Promised Land State Park, Greentown, Pennsylvania
Camera: Nikon Z9 with a NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR lens; 1/2500 second at f/4.0; ISO 1250

Behind the Shot: While out for a walk, I had been following the song of a Magnolia Warbler along a trail when two quarreling Blackburnian Warblers dropped from the trees above. They landed a few feet in front of me, prompting me to carefully step back. They remained motionless, and I worried that the fall had injured them, but a moment later they began battling again. Once I realized the pair were too busy to notice me, I slowly dropped to the ground at their level to get a better look into their world. I adjusted my settings for action and snapped as they fought. The scene lasted a few minutes before they let each other go and returned to the canopy.

Bird Lore: The fiery throat of the male Blackburnian Warbler might suggest tropical heat, but this long-distance migrant mostly avoids the hottest zones. On their South American wintering grounds on the slopes of the Andes, Blackburnians range through cool, moist forest and mix peacefully among flocks of resident tropical birds. On their breeding grounds in northeastern North America, they flit about in shady coniferous groves—but the scene can get heated as males fiercely compete to claim the best nesting territories.

Judge’s Take (Daniel Dietrich): This photo incorporates so much of what we all hope for in a spectacular image. The photographer had the knowledge to get very low to create a foreground and background that perfectly highlights the subject. The intense action is captured perfectly as the two animals grasp at each other’s beaks. The symmetry of the wing position and color of the birds are brilliant.

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