PHOENIX — Sometimes things happen when you least expect them. “I came upon this brave cactus wren taking on the cholla cactus,” said Pamela Parker of Mesa, explaining how she got the winning shot of this year’s wildlife photo contest. “I loved how the wren was framed by all the needles and had to take the photo.” She kept a watchful eye, taking several shots and capturing the bird surrounded by the cactus.
Parker used a handheld camera because she likes to be “on the same level as my subjects.” She caught the photography bug in 2014 after receiving a camera as a gift from her husband. After taking a photography class, she started visiting local parks to practice her new obsession. When Parker took her first photos, she “stood in amazement and awe. I will never forget that feeling.”
More than 250 photographers entered this year’s wildlife photo competition. Thirteen winning images are published in a full-size 2018 wildlife calendar in the November–December 2017 issue of Arizona Wildlife Views magazine, which will be on sale for $3 starting this week at all Arizona Game and Fish Department offices.
In addition to Parker, the other 12 winning photographers are:
- Greg Collins, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.: Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep
- Timothy Cota, Mesa: brown vine snake
- Joshua Esquivel, Sedona: rufous hummingbirds
- Gary Michael Flanagan, Gilbert: great blue heron
- Eric Heaton, Gilbert: bull elk and harem
- Donal Hill, Flagstaff: Abert’s squirrel
- Bryan Keil, Scottsdale: green heron
- Peggy Kniffin, Chandler: burrowing owl
- Bob Reisinger, Tempe: drake gadwall
- Kathy Ritter, Happy Jack: white-tailed deer
- Tam Ryan, Mesa: coyotes
- Bruce D. Taubert, Glendale: American badger
Given the strength and diversity of this year’s 600-plus entries, the judges singled out 38 more images from 32 talented photographers for honorable mention. These photos also are featured in Arizona Wildlife Views magazine. The names of honorable mention photographers are posted on the photo contest’s Web page, www.azgfd.gov/photocontest.
Arizona Game and Fish welcomes new subscribers to Arizona’s award-winning magazine about wildlife and outdoor recreation. The regular price is $8.50 for six issues (one year), but through December 31, subscriptions are on sale for $7 for seven issues. They can be purchased online here.
Those who subscribe by December 31 will receive the calendar issue showing this year’s winners and honorable mentions.