Spotting Scope Contest WINNER!

This contest got a little nuts!  It is hands down my favorite contest of all the ones I've ever done, because people made me laugh so freakin' hard! You guys--you are not good photographers.  Out of over 500 submissions, I alas, can only have one winner.  We narrowed down the 512 entries to 151 finalists and you can see the finalist set over on Flickr...along with the hilarious descriptions. From there, we used a random number generator to select five finalists from the 151 and then we assigned our aloof pet rabbit Dougal to select the winner by scattering treats all over cards with the random five names.  Whichever one he ate off of was the winner.  But first! Let's see some of my personal faves from the finalists

Christine Williams rgv bird feeder the above feeder in the Rio Grande Valley by Christine Williams, that is a crap photo!

I noticed that we had some subcategories like...people who were too close to the bird  (they seriously needed a scope):

Dawn Bailey pelican

Dawn Bailey, you were lucky this bird didn't give you pouch lice...

AJ Zich turkey

I'm not sure what the turkey had in mind for AJ Zirch.

Deborah Weston

Deborah Weston, I hope you survived the goose attack.

Chelsea McGlynn penguin

Chelsea McGlynn claimed this penguin gave her nasty bite.  Hopefully her camera survived.

Another category that cracked me up was the "near miss." We've all been there.

Sharon Hull Eagle

Sharon Hull almost got that bald eagle (incidentally, that was the most submitted bird species).

Kathy Java red tail

Almost got that red-tailed hawk Kathy Java!

There were some photobombs, I loved this:

R Oxley jay photobomb

Robin Oxley was trying to get the jay but the lady wasn't thrilled, the jay was stealing her food.

Melissa Hero condor

There were some digiscoping fails like poor Melissa Hero's condor picture.

Carrie Laben binoculars flamingo

Then there people like Carrie Laben who got shots of their optics as opposed to the actual bird.

Shelley Rutkin Willet

Poor Shelley Rutkin had more vignetting in her photo than actual bird.

Saundra coopers hawk



I loved the people like Saundra Martz who got shot of their screen in opposed to the Cooper's hawk who is hiding Where's Waldo style in the photo.

Mandy Klehr Over-exposed Gull mouthThis one by Mandy Klehr cracked me up because she labeled it over-exposed gull mouth...which would be a great name for a Courtney Love cover band.

Then there were the photos where I just kind of asked for it (like the guy giving me the bird...well played, sir, I sprayed coffee out of my nose on that one. But other photos from people who have picked up on certain things about me and used photos that they thought would get our attention.

Mark Robininson me peeing

At first, I didn't quite get this photo...then I saw the feet, then recognized my own feet...a birder on a trip with me out in North Dakota submitted of photo of me peeing behind a truck on the prairie...yep, that's a bad bird photo.  You're a dead man, Robinson.  Just sayin'.

kirk mona dead eagle

Kirk Mona submitted this photo of dead eagle he found...very creative, my man.

Wendy Root Bald Eagle

And bless Wendy Root's heart.  I do see the eagle, Wendy.  Thank you for pointing it out.  I'm gonna go watch some brown birds now.

Claudia Lee turkey


Though in focus, Claudia Lee's photo is certainly not the best turkey photo I've ever seen.  Very creative, Claudia!

And there are the ones that just are so cute:

deanna wright snowy owl with arrow

Like people who have to point out exactly where the bird is and yet, I'm still dubious there is an actual bird. Nice try, Deanna Wright.

Jen Vieth word documentI love this one because it's a crap photo of a bobwhite and Jen Vieth, bless your little heart, you sent the image in a word document. Some of you may not get the beauty of that, but those who do are shaking their head and saying, "Alright."

Adam Beeler encoded

This was from Adam Beeler and was supposed to be a bad photo of long-tailed manakins and instead, there was a problem with the encoding of the photo in his email.  I don't know if he sent it to me this way on purpose but either way--THAT is a very lousy photo of a bird.

Be sure to see the full set of the bad photo finalists.

And now, here is the video announcing our grand prize winner! Thanks again to everyone who entered. All of you made me laugh in the best way for days during this contest:

And now for the video of our winner.  Watch Dougal select who wins my spotting scope:

Link to the winning photo.