About the Competition

Bird Photographer of the Year is a photographic competition; a celebration of avian beauty and diversity, and a tribute to the flexibility and quality of today’s modern digital imaging systems. Some fantastic prizes are on offer including our top prize of £5,000, plus other prizes of cash and equipment, so there are plenty of chances to win. Visit our prizes page for more information.

Last year's competition proved to be more successful than we could ever have imagined, with thousands of images entered from all four corners of the globe. We were treated to some simply spectacular images; a selection of the winning and shortlisted images can be viewed in our image gallery. Our congratulations go to the first edition competition winner Andy Parkinson from the United Kingdom with his stunning image of a Mute Swan.

Never before has there been a competition of this scale dedicated purely to the growing interest and passion for photographing one of the most interesting and engaging areas of natural history. The advent of digital technology has revolutionised photography in recent years and some fantastic images, of a quality that wouldn’t have been possible in the days of film, now proliferate on the Internet for millions to see.

A venture between Nature Photographers Ltd and the British Trust for Ornithology, Bird Photographer of the Year is a competition that will appeal to a wide range of people. Whether you are a hardened pro, a keen amateur with the latest kit, or simply a hobbyist with a cameraphone or small compact camera, there is an opportunity for you to have your pictures critiqued by leading experts, win prizes, appear in a stunning coffee table book and be on display at a national exhibition venue. And who knows, you could be our next ‘Bird Photographer of the Year’ and win £5,000.

The competition is open to residents of any territory and to entrants of all ages. There are eight categories to enter and two additional special awards, offering plenty of chances to win. With entry fees starting at £10 (£5 for Young Bird Photographer of the Year ), the competition is available to people who wish to submit anything from a single image to an extensive portfolio. Please refer to our competition rules / terms & conditions.

By entering the competition not only will you be celebrating the art of bird photography but you will also be doing your bit for bird conservation. One of the primary aims of the Bird Photographer of the Year is to help support the British Trust for Ornithology and the outstanding work that they do in the field of bird conservation. As direct partners in the competition, they will receive a percentage of the entry fees and competition profits. The money raised will go directly towards the valuable research they undertake. For more information click here to visit the BTO website.

President of the BTO and head competition judge Chris Packham comments:

"As President of the BTO I am proud to support Bird Photographer of the Year, a competition that will push bird photographers to new limits. We see lots of technically accomplished images and 'nice' portraits of attractive species. But what we are looking for as judges are those images which have an instant and enduring 'wow' factor. To have been gifted with so many of these 'wow' photos in year one of this competition is extraordinary, because photographing birds is enormously challenging. I am excited about seeing what this year brings and being involved again in choosing the best of the best."