The St. Clair County Eagle Watchers, a birding/photography group on Facebook, took a field trip to the Howell Nature Center, where they saw rehabilitated raptors such as an American kestrel, an Eastern screech owl and a bald eagle named Kili.

Olivia Fontana of Algonac took a photo of the fierce-looking eagle. She said, “I recall all of us being so enthralled to see Kili, snapping away (without a flash, of course), when suddenly he fluffed his feathers, probably tired of the paparazzi! Luckily, I wound up with the intense-looking shot as a result!”

Her photo, titled “Stern,” is one of this week’s finalists in The Detroit News’ Celebrate Michigan Photo Contest under the Woods and Wildlife theme.

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Other contest finalists this week are:

  • “Kensington Spring!” by Jeffrey Wagoner of Plymouth. In early spring, just after daybreak in Kensington Metropark, “A sudden snow squall surprised me as much as it did the egret,” he said. “In this image, I liked the contrast of the barren remnants of winter with the vigor of a new visitor to the park."
  • “Summer Is Colorful – Yeah!” by Mukesh Nyati of Ypsilanti. Nyati had to look no further than his backyard for an artful photo.  “Butterflies, bees, flowers all came together for this amazing treat to the eyes. “
  • “Tahquamenon Falls Fall,” by Tom Clark of Essexville. Clark went to the Upper Peninsula last October, chasing waterfalls and fall colors, and found both with a classic shot of the famous upper falls.

There’s still time to enter your photos at, but don’t delay.   The Woods and Wildlife theme closes at noon Friday. The final four of the 16 finalists will be announced next Wednesday. Then two winners will be selected, one by the Detroit News photo staff, the other a People’s Choice winner selected by public voting July 25-29.

Both winners will receive a $300 Visa gift card as their prize.

Theme 3, Four-Season Fun, opens Friday and runs through Aug. 17. At the close of the summer contest on Aug. 29 three more photos will be chosen from among all of the finalists to receive Awards of Excellence in the form of $100 Visa cards.

Study the official rules and follow along all summer at for weekly stories and a running photo gallery of the finalists and winners selected to date.

The contest is open to non-professional photographers age 18 and older. All photos must have been shot in Michigan by the person submitting them, with no significant alteration by a software program.

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