Striking Birds Swoop and Pose in Winning Audubon Photos

Pros and amateurs capture birds in the sky, sea, and on land.

white-tailed kites in the air

Jack Zhi / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Birds soar and tussle in the sky. One seems to ponder, as it stares off across a sweeping vista. Chicks ride on their mother's back, clutching the spoils of a fishing trip.

These are some of the winning images in the 2022 Audubon Photography Awards from the National Audubon Society. Now in its 13th year, the contest had 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and seven Canadian provinces and territories this year.

The grand-prize winner was the white-tailed kite, above, photographed by Jack Zhi in Costa Mesa, California. Zhi, of Irvine, California, captured the kites mid-air as one clutched a vole in its talons.

Contest winners and honorable mentions will be featured in the summer issue of Audubon magazine and will travel the country as part of a photo exhibit.

Here's a look at the rest of the winners, as well as some notable honorable mentions.

Amateur Winner

Western grebe in water

Peter Shen / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

A Western grebe stares right at photographer Peter Shen in the Calero Reservoir in San Jose, California. Two chicks ride on the grebe's back, each holding part of a fish in its beak. Shen, of Castro Valley, California, won in the amateur category for his shot.

Amateur Honorable Mention

two common ravens in the snow

Ankur Khurana / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Two black common ravens stand in the snow, with one bird appearing to groom the other. Ankur Khurana of Toronto photographed the birds in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario. 

Professional Winner

white-tailed ptarmigan

Liron Gertsman / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Liron Gertsman spotted this white-tailed ptarmigan, a grouse-like gamebird, in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Gertsman of Vancouver, British Columbia, won in the professional category for the contemplative image. 

Professional Honorable Mention

sharp-tailed grouse in field

Liron Gertsman / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Two male sharp-tailed grouse clash in mid-air in front of a sea of grass in Thompson-Nicola, British Columbia, Canada. This image was also captured by Gertsman.

Youth Winner

black-bellied whistling duck

Jayden Preussner Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Jayden Preussner won in the youth category for his photo of a black-bellied whistling duck perched in a hole on a palm tree trunk. From Miami Beach, Florida, Preussner spotted the duck at St. Johns Water Management Area, known as the Farm 13/Stick Marsh, in Indian River County, Florida.

Youth Honorable Mention

greater prairie chicken

Amiel Hopkins / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

Amiel Hopkins of Fairfax County, Virginia, photographed this brightly colored greater prairie-chicken in Fort Pierre National Grassland in Fort Pierre, South Dakota. The bird has distinctive orange sacs on its neck and fluffy golden eyebrows.

Plants For Birds Winner

Nashville warbler with common bee balm

Shirley Donald / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

A Nashville warbler holds a tiny snail while perching on the stalk of a scarlet bee balm plant in this winning image. Shirley Donald of Oro-Medonte, Ontario, Canada, took the photo in Blue Sea, Quebec. 

Plants For Birds Honorable Mention

Hawai‘i ‘Amakihi and ‘iliahi bird with berry bush

Warren Johnson / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

A Hawaii ‘amakihi bird—a species of honeycreeper—drinks nectar upside-down from an 'iliahi, a native sandalwood tree. Warren Johnson of Paia, Hawaii, saw the bird at Haleakalā National Park on Maui.

Fisher Prize Winner

Northern shoveler

Steve Jessmore / Audubon Photography Awards 2022

The Fisher Prize was named after Audubon's longtime creative director Kevin Fisher. It spotlights the most creative approach to photographing birds. 

This flock of Northern shovelers was photographed at the Muskegon County Wastewater Management System in Muskegon County, Michigan. Steve Jessmore of Alto, Michigan, took the image as one male rose above the rest, revealing the blue on the upper part of his wing. 

Female Bird Prize Winner

greater sage-grouse

Alan Krakauer / Audubon Photography Awards 2022 

This relatively new category spotlights often-overlooked female birds who aren't always as flashy as their male counterparts. Alan Krakauer of Richmond, California, shot this winning image of a greater sage-grouse in Fremont County, Wyoming. The female bird was standing in sagebrush in the snow.

View Article Sources
  1. "Audubon Announces 2022 Audubon Photography Awards Winners." Audubon.