Anyone who has been a regular visitor to the Wingscapes BirdCam Photo Gallery over the past year should not be in the least surprised to learn that, as the result of both the number as well as the superb quality of all the wonderful photos he has uploaded this past year, David Lindquist has been selected as the BirdCammer of the Year for 2009.
From his surprising discovery of a "Female Summer Tanager" in his backyard feeder:
To his artfully composed Eastern Bluebird and Gray Catbird pairing in "The Blue and the Gray:"
And who could forget his amazing "Laughing Gull 3" image, one of a series of beach-oriented photos he captured at Kure Beach, North Carolina:
David's remarkable contribution to the BirdCam Photo Gallery as well as his continued exploration into the possibilities of how many different things can be done using the Wingscapes BirdCam have well earned him our sincere gratitude, our respect, and the title BirdCammer of the Year for 2009.
As everyone can (and is encouraged to) rate and comment upon images in the Wingscapes BirdCam Photo Gallery, determining the Photo Gallery User Favorites was a very straight-forward task; however we did notice a bit of a theme common to the highest user-rated images.
"Green Feet," Joe in Concord, Ohio's image of a Pileated Woodpecker received five star ratings across the board:
As did Cher from Central New York State's Red-bellied Woodpecker titled "The Contortionist!"
Next up - the "Overall Favorite" BirdCam photos.
Just what makes a Wingscapes BirdCam Photo Gallery image an Overall Favorite is not easy to describe. It could be the subject of the photo, the way the picture is framed, or even something as subtle as the message the image conveys. However it is described, we think we've picked a couple of the best here.
First, from John in Scappoose, Oregon, a Douglas Squirrel attempting to work out the answer to an age-old question of "Squirrel Philosophy:"
Then, shifting subjects from the ridiculous to the sublime, Hob in Kilauea, Kauai shared with us all this truly heartwarming image of a Laysan Albatross nestling being cared for by an attentive parent:
Coming up next, we finally announce the BirdCammer of the Year for 2009.
There have been so many beautiful photos uploaded to the Wingscapes BirdCam Photo Gallery that picking the best was not an easy task. However choose we must, so after considerable consideration we finally selected two that really defined the title of "Most Beautiful."
From Glenna in Mississauga, Ontario, this lovely as well as vivid "Perching Ruby:"
And from Cher in Central New York State, this amazing "Eastern Bluebird:"
Coming up next time - Photo Gallery User Favorites.
Next in our review of the best BirdCam photos of 2009, we present the Most Unusual Species or Behavior category.
First up, a bird that most bird watchers would give their eye teeth to open the blinds and see in their yard - the California Condor (photo uploaded by James from Kern County, California):
Next, Stephen from Rockland, Maine contributed this astonishing image of an Atlantic Puffin:
Finally, not so much an unusual species but certainly an unusual behavior for a familiar backyard species, David from Cary, North Carolina sent us this Carolina Wren doing its best hummingbird impersonation:
Hearty thanks indeed to James, Stephen, and David for sharing these great images with us all by uploading them to the Wingscapes BirdCam Photo Gallery.
Next, our choices for the Most Beautiful Photograph...
I've posted some great videos captured by the BirdCam prototype at a remote web page. We had always planned for the BirdCam to take both photos and video, but for some reason, I expected that the most common usage would be for still images. After having time to test the cameras and play with the video function, my mind has changed about this.
The videos reveal so much about behavior, I really think people are going to be fascinated when they start reviewing candid scenes taken in their backyards. There are many ways the BirdCam enhances the bird-feeding/-watching hobby...and video does an amazing job of showing how much more is happening on their feeders every day than most people realize.
Take a look at these shots...cardinals yelling at other birds, doves chasing off mockingbirds, Carolina wrens - everywhere, but usually alone - dark-eyed juncos have a shy "where's waldo" presence...enjoy!
KEEP IN MIND...
These are early test shots. Some are overexposed and most do not have sound. Both of these issues have been resolved and will not be a problem with the final BirdCam.