National Wildlife Photo Contest Category Spotlight: Backyard Habitats

from Wildlife Promise

You don’t have to go on safari or travel to some exotic locale to get wonderful nature photos. The Backyard Habitat category of our National Wildlife Photo Contest celebrates the wild creatures, native plants and natural settings found closer to home – right in your own backyard!

Last year’s first place winning photography in this category was taken in British Columbia, Canada. Concealed inside her house behind a hanging basket in the window, photographer Alandra Palisser captured a photo of a Rufous hummingbird “fascinated by its own reflection in a mirror ball, which it thought was an intruder in its territory.” Palisser’s yard is a haven for hummingbirds and other wildlife, filled with native plants such as bee balm, multiple nectar feeders and several water features, including a small lily pond containing a fountain. “Watching the birds gives us much pleasure,” she says.

First place winner, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Alandra Palisser.

First place winner, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Alandra Palisser.

In contrast, last year’s second place winning photo by Jody Kress is an intimate close-up of a sweat bee on a morning glory blossom, taken in Desoto, Indiana.

Sweat bee on flower

Second Place, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Jody Kress.

Honorable mentions in this category included a gathering of bluebirds at a backyard feeder in the snow and a white lined sphinx moth at a milk thistle.

Honorable Mention, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Jack Meier.

Honorable Mention, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Jack Meier.

 

White-lined sphinx moth

Honorable mention, Backyard Habitats, 2012 National Wildlife Photo Contest. Photo by Howard Cheek.

Get 7 tips on photographing the wildlife in your yard without even leaving your house in our article How to Photograph Wildlife Through a Window.

Or, to get your own shots of the smallest backyard creatures, check out photographer Rob Sheppard’s article Get Buggy: Tips for Photographing Insects, where he shares his secrets for getting great close-ups of insects, spiders and other tiny creatures.

Check out this year’s entrants in the Photo Contest here. You can vote for and share your favorites or even enter your own photos. We’d love to see them!