NEW YORK (January 13, 2020) – Today, the 2020 Audubon Photography Awards are officially open for photo entries of bird and native plants for the eleventh year. Judges will award six prizes to photographers, including the Grand Prize, Professional Prize, Amateur Prize, Youth Prize, Plants for Birds Prize, and the Fisher Prize.

For the second year, Audubon will be judging photos for the Plants for Birds Prize, which highlights the importance of native plants that provide natural green spaces for birds and the insects they feed on. Also in its second year, the Fisher Prize will be awarded to the photograph depicting the most creative approach to bird photography across all divisions: Professional, Amateur, Youth and Plants for Birds.

Winning photos will be featured in future issues of Audubon magazine and Nature’s Best Photography magazine. These photos and honorable mentions will also be showcased in the traveling Audubon Photography Awards exhibit hosted by Audubon chapter and centers nationwide. Prizes for each division include:

  • Grand Prize: $5,000 USD
  • Professional Prize:  $2,500 USD
  • Amateur Prize:  $2,500 USD
  • Plants for Birds Prize: $2,500 USD
  • Fisher Prize: $1,000 USD
  • Youth Prize: Six days at Audubon's Hog Island Audubon Camp during the 2021 season.

The judges for the 2020 contest are:

  • Sabine Meyer, photography director, National Audubon Society
  • Steve Freligh, publisher, Nature’s Best Photography
  • Melissa Groo, wildlife photographer and winner of the 2015 contest’s Grand Prize
  • 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"

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

The Audubon Photography Awards not only celebrate the beauty and splendor of avian life, but also tells a stunning story of our birds and the threats they face today and in the future. In a statement this month, Audubon applauded the introduction of a critical bill for bird conservation, the Migratory Bird Protection Act. This bill will reaffirm the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, which has saved birds like the Snowy Egret, the Sandhill Crane, and the Wood Duck, as well as create more certainty for business and incentives for innovation to protect birds. Take action to defend America’s most important bird law by asking your U.S. Representative to support and cosponsor the Migratory Bird Protection Act.

Additional Details & Rules:

The contest is open to all legal residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 13 years of age or older as of the date of the submission. Audubon encourages and enforces ethical bird photography. Photos that do not adhere to Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography will be disqualified.

Entry fees are discounted at $15 per image between January 13 and March 30, 2020, and increase to $20 per image at 12:00 pm (Noon) Eastern Time on March 30 through April 6, 2020. No payment is required for submissions to the Youth Division or the Plants for Birds Division for entrants who are 13 to 17 years of age.

Review the official contest rules and eligible photographs here.

For additional inspiration, check out the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards winners!


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 how to help at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

Media Contact: Chandler Lennon,, 212.979.3063

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