Top 8 Bird Photographs from the 2015 Audubon Photography Awards

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You Won’t Believe the Incredible Winners–and See How to Enter for 2016

Audubon Photography Awards 2015 Melissa Groo, Great Egret

Great Egret. Photo: Melissa Groo/Audubon Photography Awards

2015 was the 6th year that the Audubon Society has sponsored this photography contest. This year’s winners are clearly outstanding with the Grand Prize going to the Great Egret, above, by Melissa Groo.

There were 4 different categories offered so that every photographer had a chance to enter. The were: Amateur, Fine Art, Professional, and Youth.

More than 2000 photographers from across the USA and Canada submitted almost 9000 entries!

The judging panel included:

Kenn Kaufman: Bird-guide author, Audubon field editor

Joel Sartore: National Geographic and Audubon photographer

Steve Freligh: Co-publisher of Nature’s Best Photography

Kevin Fisher: Audubon creative director

Sabine Meyer: Audubon photography director

Judging criteria: Technical quality, originality, artistic merit

More from the Grand Prize Winner

“A friend took me to a little-known heron and egret rookery. It was dark and gloomy, and the sun would be setting soon. I cranked up my ISO to get more light on the birds flying in for the night. When I couldn’t get enough shutter speed for sharp photos of the birds in flight, I decided to do portraits of the birds that had landed. I noticed this Great Egret and his bright-green lores. He immediately began to fluff out his feathers, then went through the most beautiful series of displaying poses. Later I was struck by how much this portrait reminded me of an Audubon painting.”

The winner in the Professional category was Chris Gug, with this photo of a fishing Cormorant:

The winning entry in the Fine Art category was this shot of Laughing Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, Royal Tern by Constance Mier:

Donald Wuori took the prize in the Amateur category for his shot of the Prothonotary Warbler

This shot by Steve Russell of American Flamingos captured an Honorable Mention in the Amateur category

Another Honorable Mention in the Amateur category deserves mentioning, this shot by Tim Timmis of Black Skimmers flying right at us

The Youth Category also had its share of great shots.

The winner in the Youth Category, a bathing Painted Bunting was shot by Zachary Webster

The Fine Art Category gives us this incredible Honorable Mention by Mary Angela Luzader of fighting Purple Gallinules

Enter your best bird photographs in the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards Competition here.

You’re crazy about birds and photography. Now combine your twin passions by entering your best bird photos in the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards. You could win a cash prize or, if you’re our Youth winner, a special trip that will help you become an even better bird photographer! Winning photos will be published in the May-June 2016 Audubon and in Nature’s Best Photography magazine, and displayed within the 2016 Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History!

Deadline to enter is February 19, 2016

All entrants must be legal residents of the USA or Canada and be at least 13 years of age.


Thanks to the Audubon Society for giving such an awesome platform to recognize wildlife photographers for their exceptional work

Be sure to see the entire Top 100

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