2017 Audubon Photography Awards Winners 

Each year the submissions just get better and better.

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. 

Judges

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

Audubon Photography Awards

The 2017 Top 100

Explore the incredible pool of photographs our judges had to choose from, along with each image's backstory.

Atlantic Puffin. Photo: Ann Pacheco/Audubon Photography Awards

Previous Photo Awards Winners

Flip through the winners and favorites from the past six years.