This year photographers from across the United States and Canada submitted more than 8,000 images to the ninth annual Audubon Photography Awards, and our panel of expert judges whittled down the entries to four exceptional winners. We know you want to see more of the entries, so every year we select 100 additional photographs to share. Displayed in no particular order, the images here feature birds in all their varied glory, from intimate portraits of family life to fascinating feeding behavior to massive flocks in motion.

Settle in and prepare to be delighted by the variety of birdlife and the story behind each shot—we certainly were. And should the stunning images spark an interest in picking up a camera to capture the beauty of birds, check out our photography guide; it’s got everything you need to get started, including tips and how-to’s, ethical guidelines, and gear recommendations. Next year, it could be your shot that makes the cut.