The Society of International Nature and Wildlife Photographers (SINWP) has announced the winners of the SINWP Bird Photographer of the Year 2021, which, now in its fourth year, is run in aid of the charity RSPB.
This year saw over 1,700 photographs entered from around the globe, and the images covered all wonders of the bird world from kingfishers, bald eagles, puffins and peacocks.
It was Alan Jones from Midlothian, Scotland who won the competition, with his shot of a Red-billed Oxpecker sat on a buffalo's face.
"The image was taken at Zimanga reserve in the Kwa-Zulu Natal region of South Africa, in the Eastern Cape," Alan says. "The reserve has some amazing hides which allows you to collect images at water hole level. This hide allows overnight sessions and is well equipped, even including wi-fi which allowed me to post images taken during the night on Facebook!
The bird is a Red-billed Oxpecker, which is sitting on a buffalo's face. Oxpeckers feed exclusively on the bodies of large mammals. It seems the jury is still out on whether they do the animal more harm than good. The buffalo appears to tolerate oxpeckers while other species will not.''
Alan shot the image was taken with a Canon EOS 70D (opens in new tab) and Canon 100-400mm IS II USM lens at 100mm, using a manual exposure mode, 1/125sec at f/5.6, at ISO 1600.(opens in new tab) (opens in new tab)