Typically each year the Audubon Photography Awards go on tour. Gallery-size prints of bird photography travel across the country, exhibited by Audubon centers and chapters, allowing fans of birds and photography to enjoy the stunning captures in person and up close. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we took the tour virtual—and now anyone can walk through an exhibit of the 2021 Audubon Photography Award winners online.
Judges selected the winners from more than 9,000 entries submitted by more than 2,400 photographers and videographers. In addition to a grand prize, amateur prize, professional prize, and youth prize, the judges awarded several special commendations. The Fisher Prize, named for former Audubon creative director Kevin Fisher, is bestowed on the image that takes the most creative approach to photographing birds. The Plants for Birds Award goes to the top photograph depicting the relationship between native plants and birds. This year we expanded the competition with two new prizes: a Video Award, for a new video category (view the top 10 videos here), and a Female Bird Prize, awarded to the best photograph of a female bird across all divisions.
The resulting collection portrays birds at their most powerful, artful, nurturing, and wild. So, go ahead, take a "stroll" through the gallery below—you'll have it all to yourself. Click "Start Guided Tour" (recommended) to be perfectly placed in front of each image; click the "information" button in the upper right to read the exhibit's interpretative placards and hit "pause" to spend as long as you like in front of each image. Alternatively, click "Enter Exhibition" to walk yourself around the room using arrow keys or the arrows in the bottom left. Maybe even put on some music while you explore.
Once you're done, be sure to check out the Top 100 images from this year's awards. And if you have a penchant for bird photography, or are interested in getting your feet wet, read advice from past contest winners on how to become a better bird photographer. You never know, next year you could see your image in the Audubon Photography Awards exhibit—perhaps even in person.