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Birds of a Feather

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Published Oct 3, 2016 | View the Assignment | Features Photos From 27 Contributors

    31 photos selected by

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This beautiful purple honeycreeper zipped around me playfully, mostly avoiding the camera, but I ...

    #bird #purple_honeycreeper

    There were so many compelling submissions that it took me a considerable while to sieve through the large volume of images with avid birder and competent bird photographer Dorian Anderson. With his informed and passionate input, I was able to whittle down the incredible selection of shots that uniquely portrayed the diversity of birds extant in Colombia’s distinct habitats from the larger pool of photographs that failed the core parameters of this assignment.

    Of the 410 images that really catered to this assignment in exceptional ways, I began to appraise the value of each image based on composition, lighting, species captured, and story conveyed. It was very difficult to decant the final edit, as there were over 40 stills that managed to do all those things, which forced me to tweak my criteria further. Consequently, I looked for divergent narrative styles, such that each shot I chose for the feature addressed the ask presented at the outset uniquely and effectively. This way all viewers can perceive the real strength of the Your Shot community—the ability to innovatively push the boundaries on captivating, collaborative storytelling.

    Plumaje de una Guacamaya... Petén, Guatemala.

    #guatemala #nature #bird #animal #color #texture #macaw #guacamaya #peten #scarletmacaw #ara_macao

    Editor's Note

    This is a stunning capture, and I quite like the abstract manner in which the Colombian flag has been reflected in this bird's plumage. I am going to let this fly for it's interpretive quality.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Could see this bird was one of my most emotional moment.

    #rupicola #galodacampina #cock_of_the_rock #rupicola_rupicola

    Editor's Note

    This image of the Guianan cock-of-the-rock is mesmerizing to me—its otherworldly aesthetic swathed in dancing plumage, whispers of feathers gently cascading down its form, bringing it to life in wi... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    This top-notch Andean Cock of the Rock surprised us as it wasn't hiding in the thick vegetation o...

    #peru #bird #male #national #rock #cock #andean

    The rufous-crested coquette (Lophornis delattrei) is a rare hummingbird found in Bolivia, Colombi...

    #birds #peru #nature #wildlife #bird #hummingbird #feathers #colombia #rufous #coquette #moyobamba

    In a tropical garden, these tiny birds were calling.

    #birds

    The lesser yellow-headed vulture also known as the savannah vulture, is a species of bird in the ...

    #lesseryellowheadedvulture #earthcanvas

    Colorfull head of a South American king vulture

    #birds #bird #animals #vulture #colorfull_nature #south_american_birds #south_american_animal

    Because there are so many Egrets in the rookery at Gatorland, I wanted something different that t...

    #egret #portrait #florida #orlando #gatorland #great_egret

    Editor's Note

    The unconventional manner in which this highly common and frequently photographed bird has been photographed by you is truly inspiring! This is what pushes storytelling forward, looking at the same... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    To reiterate the parameters of Birds of a Feather, this assignment was looking for compelling images of birds that best exemplified the species found in Colombia. Why was this assignment so regionally specific? Because visual storytelling has the power to anchor an inchoate economy, in a value system that transcends the complete overshadowing of the wild for myopic monetary gain. Unless a camera captures and conveys these less observed organisms with an alien countenance to the public, their magic and beauty could be lost forever. As storytellers, you can bring into focus stories of living beings big and small, human and wild. You, as storytellers, can tastefully depict and ensure the preservation of life on Earth and cast a prominent light even on small, winged creatures that occupy the less explored areas of a country that wasn’t a preferred tourist destination until recently.

    I photographed this Blue-naped Chlorophonia in Santa marta, Colombia on a Colombia Birdwatch tour.

    #colombia #perching #perchingbird #colorfulbird #santamarta #chlorophonia

    Editor's Note

    Brilliant submissions! Thanks Owen. Love how vividly you have captured the hues of these truly vibrant birds. The saturation is so viscous, I can almost taste the hue. Thank you for bringing the ex... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Crimson-backed tanager, is one of the birds over which I have greater affection. With them I bega...

    #birds #colombia #tanager #tolima

    An exciting day spent at Costa Rica Nature Pavilion (La Virgen)

    #birds

    I went to find this little bird to a place where once, recently, prevailed FARC violence, kidnapp...

    #colombia #colombia_birds #peace_agreement #jucunda #pipreola

    With a massive range (from Canada south to Colombia and across all of North America) and stable p...

    #nature #bird #tree_swallow #birds_of_a_feather_assignment

    Editor's Note

    Stunning and I love that it has a morsel in its beak. Rather like an ornament on the hood of a car, it's such a delightful capture. Side bar: I spent an hour looking for this image because it disa... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Beauty of Paradise Tanager. Yellow Ring in his leg for tracking. Photographed in Baltimore aqua...

    #bird #yourshot #birdphotgraphy #bird_tracks #paradise_birds

    The golden-headed manakin (Ceratopipra erythrocephala) is found from Panama and Colombia to Peru....

    #birds #peru #nature #wildlife #bird #golden #manakin #wildphoto #cordillera_escalera

    The hoatzin is a bird from prehistory inhabiting areas of swamp and marsh in the Amazonian forest...

    #birds #wildlife #amazon

    a Collared Inca hummingbird. taken at Tandayapa Bird Lodge, Ecuador

    #hummingbird #ecuador

    Editor's Note

    This Inca caught my eye because I know just how hard it is to capture the bird in flight as they literally buzz with the energy of all life on Earth. Plus its monochromatic coloring is haunting.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Local alarm clock in the lower Andes

    #birds #nature

    Editor's Note

    These birds are so typically Colombian, that I had to include them in the spread. Plus loved the ... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    The Toucan Barbet is found in Columbia and Ecuador. Their numbers are in decline due to habitat l...

    #birds #nature #bird #animals #ecuador #columbia #toucan #ecuador_birds

    One more member of colorful and beautiful family of Tanagers. This is Turquoise Tanager. Lucky to...

    #tanager #colorful_birds #birds_of_a_feather #tanager_bird #turquoise_tanager

    I was in a canoe with my camera on a tripod trying to photograph this amazing bird!

    #birds #heron

    Editor's Note

    This bird basically looks like it belongs in The Capitol in The Hunger Games amidst the couture s... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    I was fortunate to spot this guy in the trees at Arenal National Park. Personally, I love the fo...

    #costarica #motmot #nature_hike #arenal_volcano_national_park

    High in the mountains of Costa Rica, this green toucan is a more common sight that anywhere in th...

    #birds #nature #wildlife #animals #portrait #costarica #emerald #toucan #toucanet #letsexplore

    Adults of H. mexicanus have long pink legs and a long thin black bill. This trait makes them quit...

    #birds #colombia #himantopus #charadriidae

    They must be resting after their long journey south from Alaska. I was happy the with the nice re...

    #birds #reflections #nature #wildlife #animals #migratory_birds #shore_birds

    This is got to be coolest hunting technique of the Snowy Egret that I have ever witness. Gilber...

    #birds #reflection #wildlife #birdsofafeather #letsexplore #nikonphotography #greatnature

    Editor's Note

    I chose this image for the feature because it is a powerful motion shot, and the reflection of the bird adds to the vitality of the composition. It is remarkably lit as well.... the light filters t... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Semipalmated sandpipers take flight, moving in a little closer as the tide creeps in. There was a...

    #birds #sandpiper #migration #semipalmatedsandpiper #natgeoinspires #protecttheselands

    Editor's Note

    Birds of a feather! This image brings a flock of life vividly, in a dynamic composition that has a singular motif—the sandpiper—repeated in several flashes of flight from border to border.

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    In the photo is a Spectacled owl at Toronto Zoo. He was sitting and gazing at an angle for a lon...

    #feather #nature #bird #yellow #zoo #eye #owl #colombia #captive #follow_me #spectacled_owl #ngmcreate

    Editor's Note

    Most birders would avoid this image because of what is reflected in the bird's eyes—captivity. It shows confinement in the most authentic way, and I like the claustrophobic feeling invoked by the b... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    Xena is a hawk headed parrot (Deroptyus accipitrinus) with a mercurial personality who has shared...

    #birds #nature #animal #pet #portrait #xena #birdsofafeather #hawkheadedparrot

    Editor's Note

    The caption of this image as well as the stunning portrait offers a depth of understanding I was hoping to explore in this assignment. Vanessa highlights the pet trade, a growing threat to the spec... More

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    i dbt know about this bird. if any one have so help me.

    #sky #cloud #moon #night #nature #bird #wild #space #full_moon #bloodmoon #landscacpe #eclipce

    Editor's Note

    Silhouette photography couldn't be executed more expressively. The heron is pronounced and breathtakingly encircled by the moon. Talk about framing a shot eh?!

    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist

    I thank every photographer who made this feature possible by realizing that within the narrow focus of this assignment lay the big opportunity to speak up for the wild birds of Colombia. I also commend those of you who correctly identified the species photographed and the location the image was acquired in; you made it significantly easier for me to curate your work.

    About the Editor
    Asher Jay
    National Geographic Explorer and Creative Conservationist
    Asher Jay, is saving the world’s threatened wildlife—with creativity. Her cause-driven art, sculpture, design installations, films, and advocacy advertising campaigns bring attention to everything from the blood ivory trade to plastic pollution. Jay’s upcoming projects will tackle biodiversity loss due to wildlife trafficking and climate change. Tackling issue after issue, ...

    Photographers Published In the Story