1st Place - Outstanding Achievement
"Bringing Home Breakfast"
I know this osprey quite well. This osprey has made his nest with his mate in the same spot in a very large county park in St. Petersburg, FL adjacent to a parking lot where I often park when I do a training session on my bike. The regulars call him "Fleck" due to a fleck at the 7 o'clock position of his right eye. I often photograph him and on this day, I was photographing an owls nest about a mile away and stopped by to see if there was any action at the osprey nest. I found him sitting on a power line with a fish and knowing that he is uncomfortable around people and other birds when he has caught a fish, I readied my camera for action. He did not disappoint and took off towards his adjacent nest and I started firing my camera. I filmed a complete sequence in which the bird landed on the nest and fed the fish to his waiting mate which the locals have named Jewel. When I got home and was uploading my images, I almost fell off my chair when I saw that I had made this amazing capture of the bird with his wings in the so-called angel wing position, making direct eye contact t with me and clutching a fish in one talon - a one in a million capture!! It is my favorite image of all time and I started shooting in the early 1950's!
Biography: Retired airline pilot and award winning nature photographer