is user-supported. When users buy via links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read more.

Roadrunner image bags photograph of the year

This year’s bird photography competition has over 22,000 images from different photographers around the world. However, the Roadrunner facing the USA-Mexico border wall spotlights as the winning image of the year.

The amazing talents at the competition put their best foot forward for a £5,000 grand prize. The awarded images appear on the Bird Photographer of the Year website and in a hardback book, published by Harper Collins and with a foreword by actor, musician, and comedian Bill Bailey.

Alejandro Prieto

The man behind the winning photo is none other than Alejandro Prieto, who disclosed that the image depicts the struggles of the wall barrier for families and animals who strived to crossover.

David Lindo, a birder, and the competition judge said, “Prieto’s image immediately caught the attention of the judges. It is not your typical bird photo, and the story behind the image is so strong.

“The roadrunner appears so vulnerable facing up to the huge border wall that dominates the frame.”

Alejandro’s winning image features in the February 2021 issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine as part of a photo story of his project to document the impact of the border wall on wildlife.

A male black grouse lekking at sunrise – Winning photograph of the young bird photographer of the year

The competition covered eight major categories in the adult competition, plus a Conservation Award and a Portfolio Award. There was also a Young Bird Photographer of the Year section to the competition, split into three age groups.

Levi Fitze, a 17-year-old budding photographer, receives the overall Young Bird Photographer of the Year for his image of a male black Grouse lekking at sunrise.

The highlight of the award came when the Bird Photographer of the Year donated more than £8,000 to its partner charity Birds on the Brink, which supports grass-roots bird conservation projects around the world.

As the event concludes, the opening for new images in the 2022 competition begins on 30 September 2021.