2019 Audubon Photography Awards Marks 10th Year of Exquisite Bird Photography

Introducing two new prizes this year, Audubon celebrates more winners than ever before.

NEW YORK (July 11, 2019) – Today, the National Audubon Society named six photographers as winners in the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards, across four divisions and six prizes. In the 10th year of the contest, winning photos and honorable mentions were selected from 2,253 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 10 Canadian provinces and territories to appreciate the wonder of birds and the places they inhabit.

This year, judges introduced the Plants for Birds Prize and the Fisher Prize. The Plants for Birds Prize was awarded to the highest scoring photograph submitted in the Plants for Birds Division, featuring birds and plants native to the area the photo was taken. The Fisher Prize was awarded to the photograph depicting the most creative approach to bird photography across all divisions: Professional, Amateur, Youth and Plants for Birds.

Presented in association with Nature’s Best Photography, winning photos and honorable mentions will be featured at the biennial Audubon Convention in July 2019, in future issues of Audubon magazine and Nature’s Best Photography magazine, and in a special traveling Audubon Photography Awards exhibit hosted by Audubon chapters and centers across the country.

Many of the distinguished photographs portray striking bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), one of Audubon’s founding conservation victories and one of the most important bird conservation laws, that has protected countless birds since 1918. This pivotal wildlife protection law is under attack by the current administration through a new legal interpretation that ends the ability to hold industries accountable for bird deaths.

The new Plants for Birds Division highlights the importance of native plants that provide natural green spaces for birds and the insects they feed on. Audubon’s Plants for Birds program, supported by Coleman and Susan Burke, helps participants find bird-friendly plants native to their area that will attract and protect birds as well as make outdoor spaces better for the environment in the face of a warming climate.

Now, introducing the winning photographs:

Grand Prize Winner

Professional Winner

Amateur Winner

Youth Winner

Plants for Birds Winner

Fisher Prize Winner

Professional Honorable Mention

Amateur Honorable Mention

Youth Honorable Mention

Plants for Birds Honorable Mention

The 2019 Audubon Photography Awards are sponsored by Canon. As part of the partnership, Audubon and Canon are working together to introduce people to the wonder and beauty of birds through photography with the “Birds in Focus” event series traveling across the nation.

More information on the contest below.


  • Grand Prize: $5,000
  • Professional Prize: $2,500
  • Amateur Prize: $2,500
  • Plants for Birds Prize: $2,500
  • Fisher Prize: $1,000
  • Youth Prize: A week honing bird-photography skills with the Hog Island Audubon Camp (accommodations and travel included)

JUDGES (Meet them!):

  • Steve Freligh, publisher, Nature’s Best Photography
  • Melissa Groo, wildlife photographer and winner of the 2015 contest’s Grand Prize
  • Kenn Kaufman, bird expert and Audubon field editor
  • Sabine Meyer, photography director, National Audubon Society
  • Allen Murabayashi, chairman and co-founder, PhotoShelter
  • John Rowden, director of community conservation, National Audubon Society

JUDGING CRITERIA: technical quality, originality, artistic merit. All photographers must follow Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography.

To learn more about the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and how Audubon is fighting to protect migratory birds in North America, please visit: https://www.audubon.org/news/audubon-lawsuit-seeks-restore-protections-migratory-birds.

To learn more about Audubon’s Coleman and Susan Burke Center for Native Plants and Audubon’s Native Plants Database, please visit: https://www.audubon.org/native-plants.


About Audubon
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more at www.audubon.org and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.


Media Contact: Chandler Lennon, clennon@audubon.org, 212-979-3063