Birds Star in Spectacular Scenes for This Year’s Audubon Photography Awards

Two Blackburnian Warblers face each other in profile, their gray and white wings outstretched behind them. Their yellow heads and orange necks stand out against a blurred gray background, and their bills and feet are entangled.

“Blackburnian Warbler” by Mathew Malwitz, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Grand Prize Winner. Promised Land State Park, Pennsylvania, USA

2024 marks the 15th year of the annual Audubon Photography Awards, which garnered over 2,300 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C., and 10 areas in Canada. Highlighting a wide range of skills from youth photographers to professional photojournalists, each image reveals the distinctive beauty of birds. From a Forster Tern spiraling through the air to a Sedge Wren grasping two long stems as if they were stilts, everyday spectacles are masterfully captured in high resolution.

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New this year, the Birds in Landscapes Prize showcases the relationship between avians and their environments. Kevin Lohman’s “California Quail” won this special division, capturing the feathered creature perched atop a small bush in a lush West Coast field.

Winning photographers will be featured in the Summer 2024 edition of Audubon magazine, and in the meantime, you can find our favorite images below and delve into the full collection on the contest’s website.


A Black-capped Chickadee clings to a single beige hook-shaped stem filled with seeds. The bird’s black legs appear to be spread at a 90-degree angle to hold the stem. The bird’s black bill is full of seeds.

“Black-capped Chickadee and Broad-leaf Cattail” by Linda Scher, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Plants For Birds Winner. Wood Lake Nature Center, Richfield, Minnesota, USA

Silhouetted grackles perch on power lines that bisect the image, with their tails nearly all pointing in the same direction. The sky is purple and pink. Through the whole of the photo are blurry figures of grackles flying through the air.

“Great-tailed Grackle” by Tristan Vratil, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Amateur Winner. Corner of Slaughter Lane and Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas, USA

A Forster’s Tern is in the air, its head turned almost 180 degrees so that its bill is pointing almost straight up, and its tail is twisted. The bird’s outstretched wings give the impression the bird is floating upside down. Water droplets appear in a stream from the bird’s bill and also below it.

“Forster’s Tern” by Kevin Lohman, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Professional Honorable Mention. Shoreline Lake, Mountain View, California, USA

A California Quail perches on top of a small bush in a field. One row of bushes and trees in the foreground is in focus, along with the quail, while other bushes are out of focus or blurred. The scene is a muted brown and orange, with layers of light and dark.

“California Quail” by Kevin Lohman, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Birds in Landscapes Prize Winner. Santa Cruz, California, USA

A tiny russet brown Sedge Wren grasps two long, parallel stems as if they were stilts. The bird’s head looks to the left of the frame. Green grasses surround the bird, and yellow flowers are at the bottom of the image.

“Sedge Wren and Gray-head Coneflower” by Trisha Snider, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Plants For Birds Honorable Mention. John E Pearce Provincial Park, Wallacetown, Ontario, Canada

A female Wild Turkey stands in profile, and her head is held high and wings are fanned out behind her. She stands between railroad tracks littered with leaves that extend into the distance.

“Wild Turkey” by Travis Potter, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Female Bird Prize Winner. Travis Potter/Audubon Photography Awards/2024 Female Bird Prize Winner

Two adult Red-necked Grebes face each other in the water. The entire grebe’s body on the right is visible, and two black and white-headed chicks sit on its back. One is leaning to receive a small fish from the bill of the parent.

“Red-necked Grebe” by Edwin ​​Liu, Audubon Photography Awards, 2024 Youth Honorable Mention. Colonel Samuel Smith Park, Etobicoke, ON, Canada


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