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Photographing wildlife requires a special amalgamation of patience and talent. Birds make the task all the more difficult since they are way too fugitive and keep disappearing into tall trees. More so, when they spot their human enemies.
The winners of last year National Audubon Society were the maestros of the ninth-annual Audubon Photography Awards. The judges selected the winners from more than 8,000 entries, which came from the 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 10 Canadian provinces. Each photo was judged based on “technical quality, originality, and artistic merit,” according to the Audubon website.
The winners and honorable personalities in the Professional, Amateur, and Youth categories are mentioned below. You’ll see that some of these birds are actually pretty common and local! But the photographs might just make you feel that they’re some ethereal flying creatures residing on earth.

1. Great Gray Owl by Steve Mattheis

This picture was captured by Steve Mattheis in Teton County, Wyoming. The great grey owl might look massive as it does possess the longest wingspan of any North American owl, but the bird is mostly made up of feathers and weighs merely two or three pounds, according to the Nature Conservancy.

2. Black-necked Stilts by Gary R. Zahm

This long-legged bird has got no hesitation in moving into human-influenced habitats like sewage ponds. It prefers large places with shallow water and scanty vegetation, according to the Audubon guide.

3. Long-tailed Tit by Diana Rebman

These birds are abundant in Europe and Asia, also their numbers seem to be expanding. They are cooperative breeders, reports The Guardian, meaning that the younger ones help the adults raise the babies.

4. Cobalt-winged Parakeets by Liron Gertsman

These small parrots are common in South America. They’re one of many species of parrot that flock to “clay licks,” according to the World Parrot Trust—walls of clay that parrots eat, probably to put up with the deficiency of minerals in their diet.

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