Celebrating its 14th year, the Audubon Photography Awards continues to shine a spotlight on the remarkable talents of photographers, ranging from professionals to passionate amateurs and talented youth, who capture awe-inspiring visuals of our avian friends. The recently unveiled winners of the 2023 edition were meticulously chosen from a pool of 2,200 participants residing in every corner of the United States, spanning all 50 states, as well as from eight Canadian provinces.

Within the collection of winning photographs, a rock pigeon tenderly tending to its mate, a reddish egret swiftly snatching a minuscule fish, and a daring chinstrap penguin plunging into the frigid waters of the Antarctic come to life. Although not every species featured in these images may be in immediate peril, collectively they serve as a testament to the vast diversity of birds and underscore the potential loss looming amidst the climate crisis.

An esteemed panel of judges, comprising accomplished wildlife photographers, conservationists, and esteemed members of the National Audubon Society, meticulously evaluated each entry to determine the winners and honorable mentions. Below, you’ll find a captivating glimpse of the winning photographs, while the Audubon website showcases all the top entries from 2023. And you can find previous years’ winners from its site.

Let these remarkable images transport you into the world of birds, their beauty, and the urgent need to protect and preserve their habitats for generations to come.

Tree Swallows and bald cypress by Vicki Santello/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Plants For Birds Honorable Mention
Location: Atchafalaya Swamp, Louisiana, USA
“Thousands of Tree Swallows sit on two cypress snags in a swamp, looking like leaves. One tree is larger in the foreground and the other is smaller in the background. More birds fly around the trees, their dark forms in contrast to the purple and blue sky.”
Baltimore Oriole by Sandra M. Rothenberg/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Female Bird Prize Winner
Location: Warren, PA, USA
“A bright yellow female Baltimore Oriole with thin light strands of grass held in her bill perches at the end of a branch and faces to the right in the frame. The strands billow around her, slightly out of focus, in front of a blurred green background.”
Dunlin by Kieran Barlow/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Youth Winner
Location: Barnegat Light, New Jersey, USA
“A sandpiper in profile appears to have jumped from the rocks to avoid an incoming wave. The bird’s wings are behind its body, its feet just above the rock in front of a background of water droplets from the surf.”
Reddish Egret by Nathan Arnold /Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Amateur Honorable Mention
Location: San Carlos Bay – Bunche Beach Preserve, Fort Myers, Florida, USA
“A Reddish Egret stands in shallow water against a blurred yellow background, its body facing left and its wings open behind it. A small fish and water droplets are suspended in the air in front of the bird’s open bill.”
Verdin and cane cholla by Linda Scher/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Plants For Birds Winner
Location: Sweetwater Wetlands, Tucson, Arizona, USA
“A gray Verdin with a yellow head and a small rust-colored patch on its wing stands in profile on a broken cacti branch that’s white, brown, and green. The bird carries a pale green caterpillar in its bill.”
Green-winged Teal by James Fatemi/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Youth Honorable Mention
Location: Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
“A male Green-winged Teal sits on top of a female in the water, his bill appearing to push the female’s head down. His brown and green head stands out against an otherwise gray background with blurred snowflakes around the frame.”
Atlantic Puffin by Shane Kalyn/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Professional Winner
Location: Westman Islands, Iceland
“An Atlantic Puffin sits on the edge of a craggy cliffside, its head turned to the left, its white breast in sharp contrast to the gray background. Lime green algae and small purple wildflowers drape the cliff, breaking up the otherwise dark image.”
Chinstrap Penguin by Karen Blackwood/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Amateur Winner
Location: Near Esperanza Station in Cierva Cove, Antarctica
“A Chinstrap Penguin, wings outstretched, dives from an iceberg. Head down, its bill is nearly touching the water’s surface. In the background, a white and blue iceberg is capped with fresh white snow. Deeply etched lines on the iceberg’s sides appear like hashtags behind the black bird.”
Rock Pigeons by Liron Gertsman/Audubon Photography Awards/2023 Grand Prize Winner.
Location: White Rock, British Columbia, Canada
“Two pigeons face left in profile, each with one orange eye in view against a black background. One bird is preening the other, its bill buried in gray, green, and purple iridescent feathers.”
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