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2019 Audubon Photography Awards Winners Announced Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

12 July 2019

The National Audubon Society has announced the winners of its 2019 photography awards, which this year included two new categories for birds in native plants and the Fisher Prize, which recognizes a creative approach to photographing birds that blends originality with technical expertise.

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The contest elicited entries from 2,253 photographers from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 10 Canadian provinces and territories. Wherever birds fly, you might say.


Grand Prize Winner
Kathrin Swoboda
Red-winged Blackbird

Amateur Winner
Mariam Kamal
White-necked Jacobin

Youth Winner
Sebastian Velasquez
Horned Puffin (captive)

Professional Winner
Elizabeth Boehm
Greater Sage-Grouses

Plants for Birds Winner
Michael Schulte
Hooded Oriole on a California fan palm

Fisher Prize Winner
Ly Dang
Black-browed Albatross


Amateur Honorable Mention
Melissa Rowell
Great Blue Herons

Professional Honorable Mention
Kevin Ebi
Bald Eagle and Red Fox

Plants for Birds Honorable Mention
Joseph Przybyla
Purple Gallinule on a fire flag

Youth Honorable Mention
Garrett Sheets

The winning images originally ran in the Summer 2019 issue of the society's magazine. The images and details for each are also available on the Audubon site.

2019 Audubon Photography Awards Marks 10th Year of Exquisite Bird Photography

Introducing two new prizes this year, Audubon celebrates more winners than ever before.

NEW YORK -- Today, the National Audubon Society named six photographers as winners in the Audubon Photography Awards, across four divisions and six prizes. In the 10th year of the contest, winning photos and honorable mentions were selected from 2,253 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 10 Canadian provinces and territories to appreciate the wonder of birds and the places they inhabit.

This year, judges introduced the Plants for Birds Prize and the Fisher Prize. The Plants for Birds Prize was awarded to the highest scoring photograph submitted in the Plants for Birds Division, featuring birds and plants native to the area the photo was taken. The Fisher Prize was awarded to the photograph depicting the most creative approach to bird photography across all divisions: Professional, Amateur, Youth and Plants for Birds.

Presented in association with Nature's Best Photography, winning photos and honorable mentions will be featured at the biennial Audubon Convention in July, in future issues of Audubon magazine and Nature's Best Photography magazine and in a special traveling Audubon Photography Awards exhibit hosted by Audubon chapters and centers across the country.

Many of the distinguished photographs portray striking bird species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of Audubon's founding conservation victories and one of the most important bird conservation laws, that has protected countless birds since 1918. This pivotal wildlife protection law is under attack by the current administration through a new legal interpretation that ends the ability to hold industries accountable for bird deaths.

The new Plants for Birds Division highlights the importance of native plants that provide natural green spaces for birds and the insects they feed on. Audubon's Plants for Birds program, supported by Coleman and Susan Burke, helps participants find bird-friendly plants native to their area that will attract and protect birds as well as make outdoor spaces better for the environment in the face of a warming climate.

Now, introducing the winning photographers:

Grand Prize Winner
Red-winged Blackbird by Kathrin Swoboda

Professional Winner

Greater Sage-Grouses by Elizabeth Boehm

Amateur Winner
White-necked Jacobin by Mariam Kamal

Youth Winner
Horned Puffin (captive) by Sebastian Velasquez

Plants for Birds Winner
Hooded Oriole on a California fan palm by Michael Schulte

Fisher Prize Winner<
Black-browed Albatross by Ly Dang

Professional Honorable Mention
Bald Eagle and Red Fox by Kevin Ebi

Amateur Honorable Mention
Great Blue Herons by Melissa Rowell

Youth Honorable Mention
Bobolink by Garrett Sheets

Plants for Birds Honorable Mention
Purple Gallinule on a fire flag by Joseph Przybyla

The Audubon Photography Awards are sponsored by Canon. As part of the partnership, Audubon and Canon are working together to introduce people to the wonder and beauty of birds through photography with the "Birds in Focus" event series traveling across the nation.


  • Grand Prize: $5,000
  • Professional Prize: $2,500
  • Amateur Prize: $2,500
  • Plants for Birds Prize: $2,500
  • Fisher Prize: $1,000
  • Youth Prize: A week honing bird-photography skills with the Hog Island Audubon Camp (accommodations and travel included)


  • 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
  • John Rowden, director of community conservation, National Audubon Society

Judging Criteria: technical quality originality, artistic merit.

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