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2020 Audubon Photography Awards Winners Display the Magic of Avian Life

In its eleventh year, North America’s premier bird photography competition showcases the splendor of birds through captivating photographs.

NEW YORK – Today, the National Audubon Society announced the winning photographs of the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards six prizes and four honorable mentions. The award-winning entries were selected from more than 6,000 submissions from across all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and seven Canadian provinces and territories.

The eleventh year of the contest honored images that evoke the ingenuity, resilience, and beauty of birds small and large, terrestrial and aquatic across four divisions: Professional, Amateur, Youth and Plants for Birds. The winning photos will be featured in future issues of Audubon and Nature’s Best Photography magazines.

The 2020 contest includes the second year of winning photographs for the Plants for Birds Prize and the Fisher Prize. The Plants for Birds Prize highlights the essential role of native plants and the natural habitat and food sources they provide for birds. The Fisher Prize, named after former creative director of Audubon Kevin Fisher, is awarded to the photo that exemplifies a blend of originality and technical expertise.

As many enjoy the allure and beauty of birds, two-thirds of North American birds are threatened by extinction from climate change according to Audubon’s latest climate science report, Survival by Degrees: 389 Bird Species on the Brink, including species featured in the winning and forthcoming Top 100 collections. Learn more about how climate change will affect the birds in your backyard and communities by entering your zip code into Audubon‘s interactive Birds and Climate Visualizer.

Finally, the winning photos of the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards:

Grand Prize Winner

Double-crested Cormorant. Photo: Joanna Lentini/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Grand Prize Winner


Professional Winner

Magnificent Frigatebird. Photo: Sue Dougherty/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Professional Winner


Amateur Winner

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron. Photo: Gail Bisson/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Amateur Winner


Youth Winner

Northern Jacana. Photo: Vayun Tiwari/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Youth Winner

Plants for Birds Winner

American Goldfinch on a cup plant. Photo: Travis Bonovsky/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Plants for Birds Winner


Fisher Prize Winner

American Dipper. Photo: Marlee Fuller-Morris/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Fisher Prize Winner


Professional Honorable Mention

Greater Sage-Grouse. Photo: Gene Putney/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Professional Honorable Mention


Amateur Honorable Mention

Anna’s Hummingbird. Photo: Bibek Ghosh/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Amateur Honorable Mention


Youth Honorable Mention

Greater Roadrunner. Photo: Christopher Smith/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Youth Honorable Mention


Plants for Birds Honorable Mention

Tennessee Warbler on an eastern prickly gooseberry. Photo: Natalie Robertson/Audubon Photography Awards/2020 Plants for Birds Honorable Mention


2020 Contest Prizes:

  • Grand Prize: $5,000
  • Professional Prize: $2,500
  • Amateur Prize: $2,500
  • Plants for Birds Prize: $2,500
  • Fisher Prize: $1,000
  • Youth Prize: Six days at the Hog Island Audubon Camp in Maine to become a better birder or bird photographer during the 2021 season (transportation included)

Meet the 2020 Contest Judges:

  • Steve Freligh, publisher, Nature’s Best Photography
  • Melissa Groo, wildlife photographer and winner of the 2015 contest’s Grand Prize
  • Sabine Meyer, photography director, National Audubon Society
  • Allen Murabayashi, chairman and co-founder, PhotoShelter
  • John Rowden, senior director of bird-friendly communities, National Audubon Society
  • Jason Ward, bird expert and host of "Birds of North America"

Editor's Note: After learning about serious allegations against Jason Ward, the National Audubon Society has severed its ties with him.

Judging Criteria & Official Rules:

To learn more about Audubon’s Plants for Birds program and Native Plants Database, please visit:


About Audubon
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 and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @audubonsociety.

Media Contact: Chandler Lennon,, 804.832.0832


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