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
...like 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, you were lucky this bird didn't give you pouch lice...
I'm not sure what the turkey had in mind for AJ Zirch.
Deborah Weston, I hope you survived the goose attack.
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 almost got that bald eagle (incidentally, that was the most submitted bird species).
Almost got that red-tailed hawk Kathy Java!
There were some photobombs, I loved this:
Robin Oxley was trying to get the jay but the lady wasn't thrilled, the jay was stealing her food.
There were some digiscoping fails like poor Melissa Hero's condor picture.
Then there people like Carrie Laben who got shots of their optics as opposed to the actual bird.
Poor Shelley Rutkin had more vignetting in her photo than actual bird.
I loved the people like Saundra Martz who got shot of their screen in focus...as opposed to the Cooper's hawk who is hiding Where's Waldo style in the photo.
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.
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 submitted this photo of dead eagle he found...very creative, my man.
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.
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:
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.
I 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."
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.
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.