The photo entitled "Mother and Sons" by Ho Van Dien
It is without a doubt a stunning picture -- it has even won the third prize from a recent regional photo contest organized by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity.
But now many are not sure how the photographer, Ho Van Dien, could make that shot even possible.
The 36-year-old from the central province of Binh Thuan insists that it was patience, and luck.
But Tuoi Tre newspaper said many netizens, including photographers, think he might have forced the birds out of their nest.
The photo features a mother hoopoe feeding her three babies on a tree branch. Some have pointed out that the baby birds looked too young to be able to perch on a tree branch in such an orderly manner.
In recent years, there were rumors that some Vietnamese photographers had staged scenes of mother birds feeding their babies by tying the babies to tree branches.
They were strongly criticized by bird lovers who said these photographers tortured the birds and violated professional ethic codes.
Dien denied such allegations, saying he did not force the baby birds out of their nest or glue or tie them to the tree branch.
He said he was “saddened” and “shocked” by the accusations.
“I saw the mother and father birds flying over the nest many times. I decided to put a tree branch outside the nest so that the baby birds can walk out of the nest on it,” he said.
“One bird, two birds, and then three birds perched on the tree branch.
“It took me three days to observe and take this photograph.
“That was still a short period of time. There was an occasion I had to lie on the rooftop of a house for seven days to observe some bird nests.”
Dien previously won three awards in local photo contests, all of the awarded photos featuring birds.