Unveiling the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards Winners

Celebrating the Centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with Striking Bird Photography

NEW YORK, NY – Today, the National Audubon Society declared four talented photographers winners in the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards, the ninth year of the annual contest.

The winning photographers and their stunning photographs were selected from more than 8,000 entries submitted by photographers from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and 10 Canadian provinces.

This year’s judges included world-renowned birder Kenn Kaufman, wildlife photographer and winner of the 2015 contest’s Grand Prize Melissa Groo, and chairman and co-founder of PhotoShelter Allen Murabayashi. Winning photos and honorable mentions will be featured in Audubon magazine, Nature’s Best Photography magazine and the 2018 Nature’s Best Photography Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

This year’s exquisite photographs celebrate the splendor of many bird species protected under the 100-year-old Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), the most important bird conservation law, which is currently under attack by the Administration.  

Now, introducing the winning photographers:

Grand Prize Winner

Professional Winner

Amateur Winner

Youth Winner

Professional Honorable Mention

Amateur Honorable Mention

Youth Honorable Mention

Youth Honorable Mention

For high-resolution image files and more information on the Audubon Photography Awards please contact Nicolas Gonzalez, ngonzalez@audubon.org, 212-979-3100.

Canon is the official sponsor of the 2018 Audubon Photography Awards exhibition, which brings the prize-winning photographs to Audubon centers and chapters around the United States. 

More information on the contest below. 


  • Grand Prize: $5,000 USD
  • Professional Prize: $2,500 USD
  • Amateur Prize: $2,500 USD
  • 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

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

To learn more about the “Year of the Bird” and the partnership between National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world celebrating the year, please visit: https://www.audubon.org/yearofthebird.

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.

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

Contact: Nicolas Gonzalez, National Audubon Society, ngonzalez@audubon.org, (212) 979-3100