Photogenic Tūī Star in Museum Youth Photography Competition

Wednesday 24 March 2021

Are Tūī Aotearoa New Zealand’s most photogenic bird? The winning images of Canterbury Museum’s Amazing Animals! photography competition suggest they might be.

The winners of both categories in the youth wildlife photography competition, held for the second time this year, both turned their lenses on Tūī – with stunning results.

Zion Cooper, 13, won the 11 to 15 Years category with an image skilfully capturing the iridescent blue of a Tūī’s wings. He called the image The Show Off.

“This photo was taken at Tiritiri Mātangi Island near the feeders. The Tūī was acting aggressively toward another Tūī so eventually he flashed his wings out angrily, allowing me to take the photo,” Zion says.

The winner of the 10 Years and Under category, nine-year-old Angus Winter, photographed a Tūī keeping watch from high on a harakeke (flax) flower. Angus, described as “bird-obsessed” by his dad, captured the image on a family trip to Ōkārito on the West Coast.

Eleanor Begley, 13, was the runner up in the 11 to 15 years category with her incredibly detailed close-up of a fly. The judges awarded two further images in this category a Highly Commended: 13-year-old Brooke Kemp’s seal and 12-year-old Nathan Antoun’s photo of a bee.

In the 10 years and under category, Frankie Hindson, 8, was the runner up with her photo of Buddy the broody hen. Another of winner Angus Winter’s photos, capturing a curious Kererū (wood pigeon), was Highly Commended.

The winning photographers win a $100 Prezzy card, while the runners-up are awarded a $50 Prezzy card. All entries are displayed in the Museum Foyer.

Canterbury Museum Associate Curator Natural History Johnathon Ridden, one of the competition’s judges, says the judging panel was staggered by the quality of the entries.

“All the entries were just fantastic, which made choosing the winners very difficult. We’d like to thank everyone who entered. Canterbury is clearly home to some very talented young photographers.”

Amazing Animals! was open for entries between 1 December 2020 and 28 February 2021.The competition was previously run in 2018.

The competition was designed to complement Wildlife Photographer of the Year, an exhibition of the world’s best wildlife photographs direct from the Natural History Museum, London, which has been on at the Museum since November last year.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year closes on 28 March.

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