They appear to be doing a wildlife version of the stereotypical chat at the office water cooler – eight Western Bluebirds perched around a bird bath, showing off their colourful plumage as they quench their thirst.
Kelowna’s Laurie Schretlen snapped this amazing photo, capturing a candid moment in time that snagged first place in the BC SPCA’s 2013 Wildlife-in-Focus Photography Contest in the Backyard Habitats category.
Contest participants helped raise $3,900 for wild animals in need in British Columbia, submitting nearly 700 photos.
“We live in one of the most beautiful places on earth and are surrounded by such a diversity of wildlife throughout the province,” says Sara Dubois, manager of wildlife services for the BC SPCA. “The images of our local wild animals that were captured by such a wide range of photographers are absolutely stunning.”
First-prize winners in both categories – Backyard Habitats and Wild Settings – will be featured in the BC SPCA’s spring/summer issue of AnimalSense magazine; the top three in each category will receive a great prize that may include: a handbag from Astrosatchel, a point-and-shoot camera from Broadway Camera, a Wild ARC prize pack, or subscriptions to either Canadian Geographic Magazine or Canadian Art Magazine. The 2013 winners are:
Other local entrants earning honourable mention were Stephen Joseph Richard of Kelowna and Tania Simpson of Peachland.
The annual contest runs from June through September each year and encourages participants to actively explore green spaces, roadsides, beaches and their own back yards to find striking images of local wildlife living in such close proximity of humans. “Wildlife” includes free-living birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects but not exotic, feral or domestic animals, or wildlife in zoos or rehabilitation facilities.