AUDUBON PHOTO AWARDS
Near Española, Galápagos Islands, Ecuador
By Carolina Fraser, at age 15
Collegeville, Pennsylvania, USA
Frigatebirds are the most aerial of all ocean birds. They have to be: with tiny feet, long wings, and a lack of waterproofing in their plumage, they are ill-suited for swimming or taking off from the water. But they can stay aloft for days, probably even sleeping on the wing, until they reach an island or ship where they can perch.
“While I was on a family vacation, there were frigatebirds landing on our boat. The rocking motion, heat, and brilliant sun were challengingâ€”but I braced myself, checked my camera settings, and focused on the birds' behavior. Graceful and acrobatic in flight, these birds will often eat fish from the ocean's surface, and may harass other birds for their prey.” —CF
Nikon D7200; 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED lens at 300mm; 1/2500 sec at f/5.6; ISO 250; hand-held.