Press Room

2021 Audubon Photography Awards Winners Enchant with Birdlife Imagery

The leading North American bird photography competition broadens winners with the first year of prizes for female birds and bird videos.

NEW YORK – Today, the National Audubon Society named the winning photographs and videos of the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards, with eight prizes across five divisions. In the twelfth year, winning entries and honorable mentions emerged from 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 10 Canadian provinces and territories.

For the first time, the competition awarded the Female Bird Prize and Video Prize. The Female Bird Prize was introduced to draw attention to female birds, which are often overlooked and underappreciated in both bird photography and conservation. The new Video category aims to illuminate unique and fascinating ways birds behave and interact with their environments. Previously featured prizes, such as the Plants for Birds Prize and Fisher Prize, were also awarded in this year’s contest.

Winning photos and videos will be featured in the Summer 2021 issue of Audubon magazine. Top photos and honorable mentions will also be showcased in a virtual Audubon Photography Awards exhibit. The 2021 Audubon Photography Awards team worked in collaboration with the photographers to ensure that the intent and essence of each photo was incorporated into vibrant alternative text in order to make the awards accessible to the largest audience possible.

As these photos and videos enchant people with the beauty of birds, two-thirds of North American birds are threatened by extinction from climate change according to Audubon’s 2019 climate science report, 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.

At last, the winners of the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards:

Grand Prize

Greater Roadrunner. Photo: Carolina Fraser/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Grand Prize


Professional Award Winner

Northern Cardinal. Photo: Steve Jessmore/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Professional Award Winner


Amateur Award Winner

Sandhill Crane. Photo: Robin Ulery/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Amateur Award Winner


Youth Award Winner

Purple Sandpiper. Photo: Arav Karighattam/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Youth Award Winner


Plants for Birds Award Winner

Red-winged Blackbird and lily pad. Photo: Shirley Donald/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Plants For Birds Award Winner


Video Award Winner

Red-tailed Hawk. Photo: Bill Bryant/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Video Award Winner


Female Bird Prize

Northern Harrier. Photo: Elizabeth Yicheng Shen/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Female Bird Prize


Fisher Prize

Anna’s Hummingbird. Photo: Patrick Coughlin/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Fisher Prize


Professional Honorable Mention

Red-tailed Hawk. Photo: Steve Jessmore/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Professional Honorable Mention


Amateur Honorable Mention

Peregrine Falcon. Photo: Tom Ingram/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Amateur Honorable Mention


Youth Honorable Mention

Canada Goose. Photo: Josiah Launstein/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Youth Honorable Mention


Plants for Birds Honorable Mention

Anna’s Hummingbird and cattail. Photo: Karen Boyer Guyton/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Plants For Birds Honorable Mention


Video Honorable Mention

Great Gray Owl. Video: Brent Cizek/Audubon Photography Awards/2021 Video Honorable Mention


2021 Contest Prizes

  • Grand Prize: $5,000 USD
  • Professional Prize:  $2,500 USD
  • Amateur Prize:  $2,500 USD
  • Plants for Birds Prize: $2,500 USD
  • Video Prize: $2,500 USD
  • Female Bird Prize: $1,000 USD
  • Fisher Prize: $1,000 USD 
  • Youth Prize: Six days at Audubon's Hog Island Audubon Camp during the 2022 season.

Meet the 2021 Contest Judges:

  • Mike Fernandez, video producer, National Audubon Society
  • Sean Graesser, biologist, conservation photographer, and founding member and creative director of Wild Bird Research Group
  • Sabine Meyer, photography director, National Audubon Society
  • Kathy Moran, deputy director of photography, National Geographic Partners
  • Allen Murabayashi, co-founder, PhotoShelter
  • John Rowden, senior director of bird-friendly communities, National Audubon Society
  • Tara Tanaka, bird photographer, videographer, and Swarovski’s Digiscoper of the Year (2011 and 2012)
  • Founders of the Galbatross Project:
    • Brooke Bateman, senior scientist, National Audubon Society
    • Stephanie Beilke, conservation scientist, Audubon Great Lakes
    • Martha Harbison, senior network content editor, National Audubon Society
    • Purbita Saha, member, Bergen County Audubon Society, and former Audubon magazine editor 
    • Joanna Wu, avian biologist, National Audubon Society

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


Stay abreast of Audubon

Get updates about our conservation work and how to help birds.