The more than 5,500 photos entered in this year's contest, our eighth, show birdlife at its most vivid, vulnerable, formidable, and elegant. Photographers from 49 states and eight Canadian provinces submitted images in three categories: professional, amateur, and youth. While it wasn't easy whittling those down, the following seven images proved exceptional. The category winners, in addition to garnering cash and trip prizes, are being displayed within the 2017 Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Kenn Kaufman: Bird-guide author, Audubon field editor
Melissa Groo: Professional photographer and 2015 Grand Prize winner
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
Explore the incredible pool of photographs our judges had to choose from, along with each image's backstory.
Photo: Ann Pacheco/Audubon Photography Awards
Flip through the winners and favorites from the past six years.
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