2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards Contest Winners
First Place: Peter Brannon
Location and date: Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida, April 13, 2018.
Ever since I first witnessed Limpkins exhibit this behavior, I wanted to photograph it. Limpkins will occasionally erupt in an aerial “boxing match” when their feeding areas overlap. There were several challenges to getting this shot: Having to be fast enough to catch the action with little warning, and you are not always guaranteed a pleasing angle of the birds. These birds tend to forage in groups, so getting this capture with the two birds this isolated was very fortuitous. The water levels at the lake were ideal to try and get this shot. Lots of birds foraging for mollusks and a fair amount of interaction.
Gear and settings: Nikon D850; 500mm AF-S F/4D IF-ED lens; 1/3200 sec at ƒ/5.6; ISO 400; Handheld.
Second Place: Carol Greiner
Title: Western Grebes
Location and date: Pyramid Lake, Nevada, July 23, 2017.
This area of Pyramid Lake had been dry for years due to drought that reduced lake inflows to well below average. But the record-wet winter of 2016-17 resulted in high levels of snowmelt, and the area became covered with several feet of water. A local birder reported several hundred Western and Clark’s Grebe nests near the shoreline. I was able to photograph the grebes by standing near the lakeshore in several feet of water, wearing hip waders and using a tripod.
I made multiple trips to the lake, rising at 4 a.m. to get there by dawn. Frequent major brush wildfires in the area made it impossible to reach the area on many days. Unfortunately for the grebes, the tremendous snowpack runoff continued well beyond the normal peak, and the lake continued to rise through mid-July, gradually flooding most of the nests before the eggs could hatch; sadly, many eggs floated away despite the efforts of the grebe parents to build up the nest faster than the rising water. This nest was one of the few successful ones, and at least two chicks hatched. As soon as an egg hatches, the chick climbs on the back of a parent. This parent is arriving back at its nest and jumping back on it with the chick nestled in its feathers. Chicks sometime fell off during this maneuver, but quickly climbed back on. If the chick fell off in the water, the swimming parent would extend its leg to the side and the chick would use it to climb back on.
This wonderful opportunity to observe grebes close to shore has not reoccurred since 2017, likely due to the lake’s increased level. I feel quite fortunate to have had the opportunity to see many aspects of the grebes at close range, including courtship behaviors (“rushing” where two grebes run across the water surface, mimicking behavior, the “grass dance”); mating; aggressive chasing; and chick feeding.
Gear and settings: Canon EOS-1DX Mark II; Canon EF 600 mm f/4L IS II USM + Canon 1.4X extender, version III for a combined 840 mm focal length. 1/4000 sec, f/8.0, ISO 800, -1/3 EV; Really Right Stuff tripod.
Third Place: Kim Caruso
Title: Northern Cardinals
Location and date: Santa Clara Ranch, McCook, Texas, June 8, 2017.
The day started out as a steamy summer morning, already well on the way to 90+ degrees by 7 a.m. I was sitting in a sunken blind during a photo workshop waiting for local wildlife and birds to visit a small pond when a cardinal pair flew in and started to drink, bathe, and forage around the water’ edge.
Suddenly the male began to display and dance around the female in a behavior I had never seen before, so I started to rapidly fire off as many images as I could. Almost as soon as it began, the dancing stopped and they returned to foraging. When looking through photos at the end of the day, I saw this image and I knew it was special.
The gift of photography was so evident to me that day as I realized that it allowed me to share a special moment that I would never have appreciated otherwise.
Gear and settings: Canon EOS -1DX Mark II; EF500mm f/4 IS II USM + 1.4x III; 700mm; f/8.0, 1/2500, ISO 1000; auto WB, no flash; Gitzo Tripod with Gimbal head.
Frequently asked questions and official rules
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions. If your question isn’t answered here, please send us an email at [email protected] with the following details:
- The name of the contest (2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards)
- Your username
- The image ID # (if applicable)
- The exact nature of your problem
Question: Who may enter?
Contest is open to individuals over the age of 18 and residents of the U.S.
Question: How do I enter?
Click “Submit Your Images.” You’ll need to be logged in to your BirdWatching account to enter. If you don’t have an account, click here to register for your free account.
Question: In what format should I submit my photos?
Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG format and cannot exceed 4 MB in size.
Question: How many photos may I enter?
You may enter as many photos as you like. Pricing is one (1) photo for a $25 entry fee, or two (2) photos for a discounted fee of $35.
Pricing For Submissions
Regular Entry Period
1 Photo: $25
2 Photos: $35
There is no limit to the number of photos you may submit. Each additional submission after your second photo is $25.
Simply visit the entry page at https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/photo-awards/ and the system will determine your order status.
Question: Is my credit card information secure?
Absolutely! The payment form is hosted on our secure payment processor’s site and your credit card information (including your physical address) is submitted directly to the applicable credit card company through 256-bit encrypted pages. The header graphic is the only non-secure item on the payment page and only your email and the success/failure message of the transaction are submitted back to our site.
Question: Can I pass the word on this competition to my friends, classmates, Facebook/Twitter followers, etc.?
Yes, please! The link to the contest portal is https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/photo-awards/
Question: Do I have to print or mail in my photos?
No. Please upload entries using the online entry form. Mailed submissions will not be accepted.
Question: Can I process my photos using Photoshop or another image-processing program?
Yes, but keep digital processing to a minimum. Acceptable adjustments include color balance, contrast, dust spotting, and sharpening. Do not digitally retouch your images to alter reality. Do not remove distracting elements such as foreground branches or clean up cluttered backgrounds. Do not add to the foreground or background. We are assuming that your digital image reflects what your camera recorded at the moment you made the picture.
Question: When will the winners be notified?
Question: When will the winners be announced?
The winners’ photos will be published in a special multi-spread feature in a future issue of BirdWatching magazine. Exact issue month and year will be communicated to the winners. All winners will be announced online sometime in August 2019.
Question: What are the prizes?
See the contest landing page or the official rules for a complete list of contest prizes.
Question: When I try to enter online, I get an error message. What's going on?
If your attempts at entering online aren’t successful, our system might be struggling. Try waiting a few minutes, then clear your browser’s cache and cookies—you might even try restarting your computer—and go to the online entry page again.
Additionally, title your photos with alphanumeric characters only. Please don’t use apostrophes, ampersands or any other character symbol, as doing so may cause errors during uploading.
Question: I've tried clearing my cache and cookies, and I even bought a new computer. The online entry form just isn't working for me.
Double-check that the size of your images meets our requirements. If all else fails, send us an email at [email protected]. In your email, please indicate:
- The name of the contest (2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards)
- Your username
- The image ID # (if applicable)
- The exact nature of your problem
Question: Can I submit pictures of captive birds, i.e. in zoos, aviaries, parks (i.e. Disney), pets, or do they have to be of wild birds only?
We will only consider submissions of wild birds. Please do not enter photos of captive birds.
BirdWatching 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards Official Rules
The 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards Photo Contest (“Contest”) is open only to individuals who are over 18 years of age and who are residents of the U.S. Employees of Madavor Media, LLC, (“Sponsors”), and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and their immediate family members (spouse, parent, child and sibling and their respective spouses, regardless of where they reside) and/or those living in same household of each, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate or win. Sponsors reserve the right to verify all eligibility requirements. Contest is subject to all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
The Contest will begin on April 17th, 2019, and end on June 28th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PT (the “Contest Period”). Please Note: A non-refundable one-time entry fee of $25 per single (1) entry, $35 for two (2) entries is required to submit an entry in this Contest (“Entry Fee”).
HOW TO ENTER:
Click the submit your images button above to pay the non-refundable Entry Fee of $25 per single (1) entry, $35 for two (2) entries, (iii) and complete and submit the online entry form. All entries must be received by June 28th, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. PT to be eligible. Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG and cannot exceed 4 MB in size.
Please note: Entries submitted online will be eligible for (i) the Grand Place Prize (as described below), (ii) Second Place Prize (as described below), (iii) Third Place Prize (as described below), and (iv) Finalist Prize (as described below).
Entry must be the original work of the entrant and entrant must be the sole owner of the copyright of such entry. Entry must be in keeping with the Sponsors’ image and may not be inappropriate or offensive, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, nor can it defame or invade publicity rights or privacy of any person, living or deceased, or otherwise infringe upon any person’s personal or property rights or any other third-party rights. The Sponsors reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to disqualify any entry they deem to be offensive, inappropriate, that is not in keeping with Sponsors’ image or that is otherwise not in compliance with the terms of these Official Rules. Entrant must have obtained express written consent to submit any entry that contains persons other than entrant or third-party elements not owned by entrant and, if requested to do so, produce such written consent from appropriate parties in a form and manner acceptable to the Sponsors.
By submitting an Entry, entrant acknowledges and agrees that Sponsors may obtain many Entries in connection with this Contest and/or other contests staged and/or promoted by the Sponsors, and that such Entries may be similar or identical in theme, idea, format or other respects to other Entries submitted in connection with this Contest and/or other contests sponsored by the Sponsors or submitted for other reasons or other materials developed by the Sponsors. Entrant waives any and all claims entrant may have had, may have, and/or may have in the future, that any Entry and/or other works accepted, reviewed and/or used by the entrant may be similar to his/her Entry, or that any compensation is due to entrant in connection with such Entry or other works used by Sponsors.
GRAND PLACE PRIZE JUDGING:
One (1) potential Grand Place Prize winner, one (1) potential Second Place winner, one (1) potential Third Place winner, and up to twenty-five (25) potential Finalists will be determined from among all eligible entries received by a panel of qualified judges, based equally on the following criteria: Adherence to Theme, Composition and Creativity/Originality (“Judging Criteria”). The entrants who submitted the entry receiving the highest scores, as determined by the Sponsors in their sole discretion, will be the potential winners and finalists respectively.
In the event of a tie for any prize, an additional “tie-breaking” judge will determine the applicable winner or finalists from among those tied using the Criteria. The Sponsors reserve the right to not award any prize if, in their sole discretion, an insufficient number of eligible and qualified entries are received. Decisions of the Sponsors and judges are final and binding.
Potential winners will be notified by telephone, mail and/or e-mail between July 30th, 2019 and August 31st, 2019, and will be required to execute and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and, unless prohibited, a Publicity Release, a W-9 Form and any additional documents that may be required by prize provider within fourteen (14) days of date of issuance. If any potential winner is an eligible minor in his or her jurisdiction of residence, prize may, at the Sponsors’ discretion, be awarded in the name of the parent or legal guardian, and such parent or legal guardian will be required to fulfill all requirements imposed on winners set forth herein. Noncompliance with this time period or with these Official Rules, or the return of any prize notification as undeliverable, may result in disqualification and, at the Sponsors’ discretion, the prize will be awarded to an applicable runner-up.
Grand Place Prize: $1,000 (U$D) cash prize;
One (1) Zeiss Conquest HD 8×42 Binoculars (ARV $999.99); One (1) LOWA Locarno GTX Lo Hiking Shoes (ARV $195); One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine (ARV $59.95); One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists; Placement as BirdWatching Facebook Cover Photo (ARV priceless); publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.
Total First Place ARV: Approximately $1,254.94
Second Place Prize: $500 (U$D) cash prize; One (1) Zeiss TERRA 8×42 Binoculars (ARV $449.99); One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine ($59.95); One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists; Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.
Total Second Place ARV: approximately $509.94
Third Place Prize: $250 (U$D) cash prize; One (1) one-year print and digital subscription to BirdWatching magazine ($59.95); One (1) Hardcover, high-quality Bay Photo photo book featuring winners and all finalists; publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery (ARV priceless).
Total Third Place ARV: Approximately $309.95
Current total ARV of all prizes: approximately $2,074.83
If, for any reason, the Sponsors do not feature any of the winning entries in BirdWatching Magazine or Birdwatchingdaily.com, no compensation or substitution will be provided; however, remainder of prize package will be awarded and the Sponsors will have no further obligation to winners. All prize details are at the sole discretion of the Sponsors. No substitution, cash equivalent or transfer of prizes permitted by winners. Sponsors reserve the right to substitute a prize (or portion thereof) of comparable or greater value, in their sole discretion. All federal, state and local taxes as well as any costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein as being awarded are sole responsibility of each winner. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by the Sponsors. Limit one (1) prize per household.
USE OF ENTRY:
By submitting an entry, entrant grants the Sponsors and their designees an irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide perpetual license to use the entry and his/her name, city and state of residence for credit purposes in Sponsors’ online galleries, without further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law. In addition, each winner grants to the Sponsors and their designees an irrevocable, royalty-free, nonexclusive, worldwide perpetual license to use and distribute the entry (as submitted, or as cropped by the Sponsors), and his/her name, city and state of residence for credit purposes, in any and all media now or hereafter known, including without limitation in BirdWatching, and any Madavor Media magazines for purposes of promotion of this Contest except as otherwise stated herein, without further compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.
USE OF PERSONAL INFORMATION:
MISCELLANEOUS: Released Parties (as defined below) are not responsible for late, lost, garbled, damaged, incomplete, delayed, undelivered, or misdirected entries or photographs or for computer, technical, printing, typographical, human or other errors relating to or in connection with the Contest, including, without limitation, inability to access any website associated with the Contest, errors which may occur in the administration of the Contest, the processing or judging of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any Contest-related materials. If for any reason the Contest (or any portion thereof) is not capable of running as planned, including infection by tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Sponsors reserve the right, at their sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest and, if terminated, at its discretion, determine winners from among all non-suspect, eligible entries received up to time of such action using judging procedure described above. By participating, entrant agrees (i) to be bound by the terms of these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsors and judges, which are final and binding in all respects, and (ii) to hold the Sponsors and their respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, prize suppliers and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective directors, officers, employees and agents of the foregoing (collectively, the “Released Parties”), harmless against any and all claims and liability arising, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, out of or in connection with participation in this Contest, acceptance and use of any prize or Released Parties’ use of any of the rights granted herein. Sponsors may disqualify (and void all associated entries) anyone from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in its sole discretion, it determines that such person is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, deception or other unfair practices, or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrant or Sponsors’ representatives or who is otherwise not in compliance with the terms of these rules. ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, THE SPONSORS RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.
WINNERS’ LIST: For the list of winners (available after August 31, 2019), send a separate, stamped, self-addressed envelope to: BWM 2019 BirdWatching Photography Awards Contest Winners’ List, Attn: Marketing Department, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184, to be received by September 30, 2019.
Madavor Media, 25 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 404, Braintree, MA 02184
Zeiss, 12121 Scripps Summit Drive #400, San Diego, CA 92131
LOWA, 86 Viaduct Rd., Stamford, CT 06907