The Winning Images from the Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Audubon Photography Awards
Photo by Jack Zhi

The National Audubon Society has revealed the winners of its thirteenth annual Audubon Photography Awards. The highlighted photos show the beauty of birds and the joy of capturing them in their environments through photos and videos.

This year, judges awarded eight prizes across five divisions from a pool of 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and seven Canadian provinces and territories. The organization says it decided to continue to award the Female Bird Prize and Video Prize, which were successfully introduced last year.

The Female Bird Prize highlights female birds, which are often overlooked and underappreciated in bird photography and conservation. The Video Prize recognizes the dynamic movement and behavior of birds and the ways we view and memorialize them.

All photos and videos are judged by the 2022 panel for technical quality, originality, and artistic merit. All photographs must also follow Audubon’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography and Videography.

The grand prize winner receives $5,000 and the remaining category winners receive anywhere between $1,000 and $2,500 except for the Youth division, whose winner receives six days at the Audubon’s Hog Island Audubon Camp during the 2023 season.

In addition, all award winners and honorable mentions will be featured in the Summer 2022 issue of Audubon magazine and will also travel the country as part of an Audubon Photography Awards exhibit, where they will be on display at 28 venues in 19 states — including many Audubon nature centers — between October 2022 and June 2023.

Grand Prize Photo

The grand prize photo, above, was awarded to photographer Jack Shi from Costa Mesa, California for his photo of a large, mostly white White-tailed Kite as it hovers mid-air with its wings and tail feather spread wide. It directly faces the camera with its underside exposed and clutches a vole in its yellow talons. Another raptor flies above the forward-facing kite, its profile visible in front of a cloudless blue sky.

Below are all of the other winners for each remaining category.

Professional Award Winner

A White-tailed Ptarmigan sits atop a rock overlooking mountains and a valley. The bird’s back faces the camera, and its head is turned to the side, showing the viewer its profile. The bird’s brown and white feathers look similar to the pattern of the green lichen covering the rock. | Photo by Liron Gertsman

Amateur Award Winner

A Western Grebe’s red eye stares into the camera, its body facing forward on nearly still water. Two chicks ride on its back, with their head cocked around the adult grebe’s neck to either side. Each holds either end of a silver fish in its beak. | Photo by Peter Shen

Youth Award Winner

A Black-bellied Whistling-Duck with a long brown body and pink legs perches on the edge of a gaping hole in the trunk of a palm tree. Its head, which also sports a bright pink bill, peers into the hollow of the trunk that is yellow with early morning light. Behind the tree is dense greenery. | Photo by Jayden Preussner

Plants for Birds Award Winner

A little Nashville Warbler, yellow with a gray head, clings to the stalk of a scarlet bee balm plant. Its profile faces a pink seedhead where a few bright red flower segments remain and stand out against a green background. In the bird’s beak is a tiny snail. | Photo by Shirley Donald

Female Bird Prize

A female Greater Sage-Grouse stands in profile surrounded by sagebrush. Spent seedheads stretch slightly higher than the bird. White snow covers the ground to the bird’s belly and clings to the surrounding plants. The bird has a warm brown eye, a short but stout black beak, and finely patterned gray, white, brown, and black feathers. The bird is front-lit by bright morning sun coming from the right of the frame. | Photo by Alan Krakauer

Fisher Prize

Professional Honorable Mention

With their wings open, two male Sharp-tailed Grouse engage in a tussle, suspended in the air just above and in front of beige grasses. The bird on the left looks up at the bird on the right, appearing to snap at it. The bird on the right looks down on its aggressor, its feet splayed in front of it. | Photo by Liron Gersman

Amateur Honorable Mention

Two black Common Ravens stand on white snow. Standing slightly to the side, the bird on the left appears to groom the second, its beak on the second bird’s head. The bird on the right stands sideways in a slightly crouched position, its glossy feathers fluffed out. | Photo by Ankur Khurana

Youth Honorable Mention

The head of a Greater-Prairie Chicken in profile is in sharp focus, the grassland background blurred behind it. The bird’s mouth is opened slightly, and the orange air sacs on its neck are deflated and have a bumpy texture. The horn-like feathers on its head are erect, and above the bird’s alert eyes protrude textured golden eyebrows. Its body is covered in brownand white-striped feathers. | Photo by Amiel Hopkins

Plants for Birds Honorable Mention

A Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi drinks nectar upside down from the pink, clustered flowers of the sandalwood tree. Below the blooms, a black and orange bee approaches, its beating wings blurred. The bird’s small green body is in soft sunlight as its slightly curved black beak disappears into a flower. | Photo by Warren Johnson

The video awards winners and all other winners and honorable mentions can be seen on the National Audubon Society competition website, which also reveals more details about how each photo was taken.

Image credits: All photos are individually credited and provided courtesy of the Audubon Photography Awards.