Emerald glass frog pangolin photo challenge

The “Birds of the World” Challenge 2023

In this blog, you will find the images selected as Highly Commended and the overall winner from our Birds of the World Round in the 2023 Pangolin Photo Challenge, along with the camera settings!

Our most renowned challenge is the Birds of the World Challenge. This year, participants were required to showcase stunning wild bird photography in their natural environments. They were encouraged to capture the beauty and variety of birds authentically and respectfully, without resorting to baiting or photographing birds in captivity.

Thank you to everyone who took part, and if you would like to join in the fun this year, then click here to learn about how to take part in the 2024 Pangolin Photo Challenge. It’s free and easy, and there are plenty of safari prizes to be won!

Didn’t catch the Birds of the World Finalists video?

View the video here, and then share your thoughts on who should win. Afterwards, take a look at our outstanding images below to see if your predictions were correct.

Highly Commended
Pink World, by Caterina Dona’

Pink World Caterina Dona Pangolin Photo Challenge

NIKON Z 6_2 with a VR 300mm f/2.8G

f/9 | 1/1000 | 300 mm | ISO 560

Caterina’s photo, titled Pink World, beautifully captures the elegance of a flock of flamingos in Camargue. The gentle pink pastel hues of the flamingos against the backdrop of the wetland create a striking visual contrast that draws the eye. We love how Caterina naturally framed the shot, with two flamingos on either side, one standing and the other feeding.

Highly Commended
King Fisher, by Håkan Kronholm

King Fisher Håkan Kronholm Pangolin Photo Challenge

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV with an EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

f/6.3 | 1/1000 | 278 mm | ISO 100

This photograph of a kingfisher in the morning light, taken by Håkan Kronholm, beautifully displays a variety of golden hues. The image captures the kingfisher’s outline as the sunlight shines through its wings. Adding to the composition, a branch extends to the right, mirroring the direction of the kingfisher’s wing.

Highly Commended
Gentoo’s Slow-Speed Sojourn, by Bircan Harper

gentoo's slow speed sojourn by bircan harper pangolin photo challenge

NIKON Z 9 with a VR 300mm f/4E

f/18 | 1/50 | 300 mm | ISO 900

Bircan Harper snapped this photo at Port Charcot Landing in Antarctica during a snowstorm. The slow shutter speed of 1/50 creates a sense of motion, giving the impression that the gentoo penguin is moving despite being still. This breathtaking image freezes a beautiful moment in time.

Highly Commended
Shake it Off, by Ralph Burgess

ralph burgess shake it off pangolin photo challenge

Canon EOS R3 with an RF600mm F4 L IS USM

f/4 | 1/2000 | 600 mm | ISO 1000

Ralph Burgess’ photograph “Shake it Off” portrays a white-fronted bee-eater set against a dark backdrop, emphasising the contrast between the vibrant bird and the surrounding darkness. In this bee-eater image, Ralph’s skill shines through as he expertly showcases the butterfly’s dust particles, creating a sparkling effect amidst the darkness.

Highly Commended
Overcrowded, by Muriel Moreau

overcrowded, by muriel moreau pangolin photo challenge

NIKON D850 with a 500.0 mm f/4.0

f/4 | 1/1250 | 500 mm | ISO 200

We could admire this image for hours! Muriel Moreau has captured a photograph of a flock of red-billed Quelea in Mana Pools. These birds are known for their massive flocks, sometimes numbering in the millions. With their sociable nature, they tend to congregate in large gatherings, creating captivating patterns in the sky as they fly.

Tranquillity, by Krzysztof Baranowski

krzysztof baranowski tranquillity pangolin photo challenge

Canon EOS R6 with an EF200mm f/2L IS USM +1.4x III

f/3.2 | 1/2000 | 280 mm | ISO 1600

Krzysztof Baranowski has emerged victorious in the Birds of the World challenge with a remarkable photo showcasing a male and female great grey owl. The male owl’s gesture of presenting a vole to its companion highlights an important behaviour in the animal world. The female owl’s captivating eye contact with the camera adds allure, captivating viewers and making the image unforgettable. A well-deserved win! Congratulations!


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