Audubon Photography Awards Grand Prize Winner 2020

Cazadora del mar

Cazadora del mar

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Baja California Sur, Mexico

Grand Prize Winner - National Audubon Society Photography Awards

Item No. 7376


Shimmering in the shallows below a rocky islet known as Los Islotes in Baja California Sur, Mexico—sardines gather in the thousands. Having spent many hours underwater at this California sea lion rookery, I had never before encountered diving double-crested cormorants there. Shifting my focus from the playful sea lions, I watched in awe as the cormorants plunged into the sea beak first. The silvery fish moved through the water column with effortless grace, narrowly escaping the aquatic birds with each sweeping pass.

A great deal of energy must be expended on such a hunt, and despite spending a bit of time admiring these birds morph into marine life, I did not witness a single one succeed. Adding insult to injury, at times curious sea lion pups would zip by the hunting birds, nipping at them from behind.

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If you'd like to join me for future trips to the region, you can read more here.