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2023 BirdWatching Photography Awards

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BirdWatching is proud to present…

The 2023 BirdWatching Photography Awards

For more than three decades, BirdWatching has published extraordinary photos taken by the world’s best bird photographers. We’re continuing that tradition in 2023 with the fifth annual BirdWatching Photography Awards, our premier contest for bird photography. Submit your best photos of wild birds for a chance to win cash and great prizes from our sponsors!

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography. Please review our contest FAQ section and official rules regarding restrictions on the eligibility of certain types of images.

All photos entered must be of wild, free-flying birds. Photos of feeder birds taken with standard feeder fare are acceptable, but no photos of birds baited with vertebrates—dead, alive, or replicated—are permitted.

Submit your best photos now – final deadline to submit is March 14, 2023

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Hours
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Enter Now
BirdWatching Plus and VIP Members can take advantage of their FREE entry.
You must have the bird in your heart before you can find it in the bush.
John Burroughs

Prizes

1st Prize
  • $1,000 cash prize
  • One (1) Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Camera
  • One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card
  • One (1) K&F CONCEPT X Series Carbon Fiber Tripod
  • One (1) Bay Photo 20×30 Metal Print of your winning image
  • One (1) one-year VIP BirdWatching membership
  • Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching
  • Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery
2nd Prize
  • $500 cash prize
  • One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card
  • One (1) K&F CONCEPT NANO-X Pro Circular Polarizer Filter
  • One (1) Bay Photo 12×18 Metal Print of your winning image
  • One (1) one-year VIP BirdWatching membership
  • Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching
  • Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery
3rd Prize
  • $250 cash prize
  • One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card
  • One (1) Bay Photo 11×14 Metal Print of your winning image
  • One (1) one-year VIP BirdWatching membership
  • Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching
  • Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery

Entry Fees

$25

Per Entry

Enter Now
BirdWatching Plus and VIP Members can take advantage of their FREE entry.

Browse The Best

We’ve had some stunning entries to our BirdWatching Photography Award contests over the years. Check out the winners from our previous contests below.

Get Inspired

Need some tips brushing up on your photography technique? Check out our section on photographing birds to get up to speed and put together your best work for this contest!

Past Contests

Explore past winners, finalists and prizes from our previous contests.

View Contests

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:

  1. The name of the contest (2023 BirdWatching Photography Awards Photo Contest)
  2. Your username
  3. The image ID # (if applicable)
  4. The exact nature of your problem

Question: Who may enter?

Answer:

Contest is open to individuals over the age of 18 and residents of the U.S. and Canada, excluding Quebec.

Question: How do I enter?

Answer:

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?

Answer:

Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG format and cannot exceed 5 MB in size. Also, make sure your photo is in the sRGB color space, or else your image may look discolored.

Question: I'm having trouble uploading my image?

Answer:

If you’re having difficulty uploading your image, please try a different browser. If you still have difficulties, please contact us at [email protected]. Please include your phone number in your message so we can respond with assistance.

Question: What kind of photography is eligible?

Answer:

The contest is open to photos of wild, free-flying birds. Photos of feeder birds taken with standard feeder fare are acceptable, but no photos of birds baited with vertebrates—dead, alive, or replicated—are permitted.

In addition, the following types of photographs are considered ineligible for entry in this contest:

  • Images that indicate the wildlife subject is “harassed” or crowded
  • Close-up images of nests using a wide-angle lens
  • Images taken at game farms, zoos, wildlife-rehabilitation agencies, etc. Images of captive wildlife must be identified as such and the facility at which they were taken must be noted.

The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify images that, in their sole discretion, appear to be the result of questionable practices, as defined by, but not limited to, those described above.

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography. Learn more from the North American Nature Photography Association’s Principles of Ethical Field Practices and the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics.

Question: How many photos may I enter?

Answer:

There is no limit to the number of photos you may enter.

Question: How much does it cost to enter?

Answer:

Entry fees during the Contest Period are $25 for each submission. Entry fees during the Extension Period, March 15 to March 28, will be $30 for each image. All submissions are final. Refunds will not be provided.

Question: Is my credit card information secure?

Answer:

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: I want to enter your contest but I’m confused about how entering works. It’s asking me to pay before uploading my image(s). Is this right?

Answer:

In order to enter our photo contests, you first pay for your submission package. Once you do this, you will be redirected to submit your entry. You can submit your entry any time before the contest deadline

Question: Can I pass the word on this competition to my friends, classmates, Facebook/Twitter/Instagram followers, etc.?

Answer:

Yes, please! The link to the contest portal is https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/photo-contests/photography-awards/

Question: Do I have to print or mail in my photos?

Answer:

No. Please only 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?

Answer:

Entries must be a single image as captured by the camera, with adjustments limited to standard photo processing such as color and exposure adjustments and basic retouching such as spot removal or noise reduction. Images must not be “composite images” that combine subjects or elements from different scenes—replacing a background or sky, for example. Exceptions include the use of HDR exposure stacking, focus stacking or similar techniques used for a single composition where the camera was not moved. As part of the judging process, our judges at their discretion may request the original RAW file capture for review.

Question: Can I watermark my photos?

Answer:

While we prefer you do not use watermarks on your submitted images because they can muddle the judging process, we understand that you want to protect your work. You may use a small watermark in the corner of your image, but we ask that you refrain from using a substantial watermark that covers a large portion of your photograph.

Question: When will the winners be notified?

Answer:

By August 31, 2023.

Question: When will the winners be announced?

Answer:

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 by August 31, 2023.

Question: What are the prizes?

Answer:

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?

Answer:

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.

Answer:

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:

  1. The name of the contest (2023 Bird Photography Awards Photo Contest)
  2. Your username
  3. The image ID # (if applicable)
  4. The exact nature of your problem

BirdWatching 2023 BirdWatching Photography Awards Official Rules

ELIGIBILITY:
BirdWatching‘s 2023 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. and Canada (excluding Quebec). 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.

QUALIFIED ENTRIES:
Entries must be a single image as captured by the camera, with adjustments limited to standard photo processing such as color and exposure adjustments and basic retouching such as spot removal or noise reduction. Images must not be “composite images” that combine subjects or elements from different scenes—replacing a background or sky, for example. Exceptions include the use of HDR exposure stacking, focus stacking or similar techniques used for a single composition where the camera was not moved. As part of the judging process, our judges at their discretion may request the original RAW file capture for review.

The contest is open to photos of wild, free-flying birds. Photos of feeder birds taken with standard feeder fare are acceptable, but no photos of birds baited with vertebrates—dead, alive, or replicated—are permitted.

In addition, the following types of photographs are considered ineligible for entry in this contest:

  • Images that indicate the wildlife subject is “harassed” or crowded
  • Close-up images of nests using a wide-angle lens
  • Images taken at game farms, zoos, wildlife-rehabilitation agencies, etc. Images of captive wildlife must be identified as such and the facility at which they were taken must be noted.

The contest judges reserve the right to disqualify images that, in their sole discretion, appear to be the result of questionable practices, as defined by, but not limited to, those described above.

BirdWatching is committed to ethical practices in wildlife photography. Learn more from the North American Nature Photography Association’s Principles of Ethical Field Practices and the American Birding Association’s Code of Birding Ethics.

CONTEST PERIOD:
The Contest will begin on January 17, 2023 at 7:00 AM PDT, and end on March 14, 2023 at 11:59 PM PST (the “Contest Period”). After March 15, users can still submit photos from March 15, 2023 at 12:00 AM PST until March 28, 2023 at 11:59 PM PST (the “Extension Period”) at an increased price.

HOW TO ENTER:
Click the submit your images button above to submit. All entries must be received by March 28, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. PST to be eligible. Each photograph must be submitted in .JPG and cannot exceed 4 MB in size. Entry fees during the Contest Period are $25 for each submission. Entry fees during the Extension Period, March 15 to March 28, will be $30 for each image. All submissions are final. Refunds will not be provided. Please note: Entries submitted online will be eligible for (i) the Grand Place Prize (as described below), (ii) Second Place Prize (as described below), and (iii) Third Place 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, and one (1) potential Third Place winner 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.

WINNER NOTIFICATION:
Potential winners will be notified by telephone, mail and/or e-mail by August 31, 2023 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.

PRIZES:

Grand Place Prize: $1,000 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) Canon EOS R10 Mirrorless Camera (ARV $979); One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (ARV $23.99); One (1) K&F CONCEPT X Series Carbon Fiber Tripod (ARV $559); One (1) Bay Photo 20×30 Metal Print of your winning image (ARV $201); BirdWatching VIP Membership (ARV $95.88); 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 $2,858.87

Second Place Prize: $500 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (ARV $23.99); One (1) K&F CONCEPT NANO-X Pro Circular Polarizer Filter (ARV $269.99); One (1) Bay Photo 12×18 Metal Print of your winning image (ARV $69.69); One (1) One-year BirdWatching VIP Membership (ARV $95.88); 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 $959.55

Third Place Prize: $250 (U$D) cash prize;

One (1) SanDisk 128GB Extreme PRO UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (ARV $23.99); One (1) Bay Photo 11×14 Metal Print of your winning image (ARV $56.20); One (1) One-year BirdWatching VIP Membership (ARV $95.88); Publication in a special multi-spread feature in an issue of BirdWatching (ARV priceless); Publication in the BirdWatching online Winners’ gallery.

Total Third Place ARV: Approximately $426.07

Current total ARV of all prizes: approximately $4,244.49

If, for any reason, the Sponsors do not feature any of the winning entries in BirdWatching Magazine, no compensation or substitution will be provided; however, the 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 the sole responsibility of each winner. Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either expressed 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:
Your personal information collected in connection with this Contest will be used in accordance with Madavor Media’s Privacy Policy (available at https://www.birdwatchingdaily.com/privacy-policy/) including, without limitation, for marketing and promotional purposes.

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 2023), send a separate, stamped, self-addressed envelope to: BirdWatching 2023 Bird Photography Awards Photo Contest Winners’ List, Attn: Marketing Department, 35 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 101, Braintree, MA 02184, to be received by September 30, 2023.

SPONSORS:
Madavor Media, 35 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 101, Braintree, MA 02184