Many mornings, photographer Bill Bickle wakes up before the crack of dawn. He goes down to the Moira River, near his home just north in Belleville, and waits. And waits.
It’s not unusual for Bickle to sit outside for three hours. And every once in a while, his patience pays off big time.
His photo of a mallard hen protecting her babies from an attacking heron was a winner in the first annual Canadian Geographic’s Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year Contest.
The photo — along with 29 others — are now on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature through Sept. 7., and will be traveling across Canada over the next three years.
The subjects were shot across the country, and range from Arctic animals to backyard wildlife to unusual insects.
“The idea of this exhibit is to promote the appreciation of nature, and the fact that wildlife is fragile and is to be preserved,” said Caroline Lanthier, project manager for the exhibit at the museum.
Presented in five categories — birds, mammals, urban wildlife, all other animals, and baby critters — the work was judged on its quality, but also the story behind it, Lanthier said.
The competition has allows participants to mix their two loves — photography and nature, said Canadian Geographic president and publisher Andre Prefontaine.