Bird Photo Competition 4 2018 : Entry Number 102

Judges Comment

Most bird photographers concentrate on aesthetics or action, but there is a small photojournalism niche that's getting increasing attention as more people seek photography that tells stories. Here, the story is one that would be unfamiliar to many viewers, namely that huge numbers of birds are deliberately trapped using nets for research purposes. Proponents say this research is essential to build knowledge about birds and to target conservation activities. Opponents say the activity is performed mainly for curiosity or even sport and any benefits don't justify the tens of thousands of birds killed or injured in the process. In any case, this image nicely depicts the grittiness of the activity, emphasised by placing an immaculate, elegantly posed 'free' Kingfisher next to a dishevelled netted individual. Imagery of this type can influence public opinion more than words and can result in significant impact on previously unchallenged human activities. [Post-Results Edit: The photographer's comment states that the actual story here is the deliberate trapping of birds to protect crops, rather than the deliberate trapping of birds in the name of research. I've left my judge's comment as it was to provide food for thought on both stories and to further illustrate the topics that can be impacted by bird/wildlife photography.]

Photographers Comment

Farmers of many south Asian countries started using fishing nets in the field to protect their crop from small birds specially when the seeds of paddy started to grow. But it became a death trap for many species who have no connection with the destruction of the paddy seed. Like this common kingfisher who might aiming for the shallow water bodies besides the paddy fields for the small fish but ending trapped into the net. Every year thousands of bird died like this. Location :- West-Bengal, India. Taken with Nikon D810, Nikon 300 f4 + 1.4 TC