2022 Photo Contest – Open November 1st until Dec 31st!

Welcome to the Missouri River Bird Observatory’s 7th Annual Photo Contest
Sponsored by Wood & Huston Bank!

At MRBO, we believe that birds provide people with awe, happiness, and connection to the natural world. This connection benefits both adults and children in many ways.  One of the goals of this contest is to inspire as many people as possible to photograph beautiful images of birds that can be shared with others. At the same time, we are able to raise funds in support of MRBO’s on-going education and outreach programs. Find out more about our education programs by going to the ‘What We Do’ tab at the top of the screen.

For all amateur photographers, this is an opportunity to contribute to conservation education in Missouri and have a chance to win cash prizes!

You can submit photographs any time between November 1st and December 31st, 2022.

This year, we have youth (<16 years of age) and adult prizes as well as one Conservation Grand Prize.

To enter your photograph in the Conservation Grand Prize category, you will need to provide a conservation description. For example: why the photo is valuable to you in a conservation context, or why you think the photo would help others learn about the conservation of a species.

All other photos can simply be entered with a title only.
Please note that youth photos are eligible for adult prizes, though the reverse is not true.

Photography Contest Prizes
Conservation Grand Prize:
First Place: $500
Second Place: $250
Third Place: $150
Youth First Place: $300
Youth Second Place: $200

All proceeds from contest entry fees benefit the Missouri River Bird Observatory’s education program. Entry fees are $25 per photo for adults, and $10 per photo for youth aged <16 years old.  (When you submit payment on MRBO’s Square checkout page, please choose “Pick Up” so you don’t mistakenly get charged for shipping!)

Photographs will be used in MRBO printed and social media, in traveling slideshows and presentations, and in video productions.  All use of photographs will be for the purpose of furthering bird conservation.

Please read the submission guidelines and contest rules below.

To view previous photo entries go here!

Submission Options


Warbler Bathtime
by Jamie McGuire

Photograph quality will be judged on the basis of composition (1/3), technical and artistic quality (1/3) and originality (1/3).

Photographs submitted to the Conservation Grand Prize category will be judged on composition (1/3), technical and artistic quality (1/3), originality (1/3) plus your conservation description (0-20 points). 

(Please note that entries into the Conservation Grand Prize category are also eligible for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place categories).

Photographs are judged anonymously (i.e. the judges will not know the name of the photographer).  The decisions of the judges will be final.

Hope is the Thing With Feathers 
Photography Contest Rules
1. Photographs must have been taken in Missouri.
2. All photos must contain bird life (i.e. contain at least one bird).  The bird or birds depicted must be wild birds depicted in a natural setting (i.e. no domesticated or pet birds; no birds in hand captured as part of banding operations or birds in rehabilitation facilities).
3. Images must not be enhanced or digitally altered beyond standard optimization (minor cropping and color correction). You may be required to provide MRBO with RAW image files in the timeframe provided upon request (generally within 7 days).  
4. Photographs must have been obtained ethically.  MRBO adheres to the National Audubon Society’s Guide to Ethical Bird Photography. Please read this guide prior to contest submission.
5. Current and former employees of MRBO are not eligible to enter.
6. Contest is open only to amateur photographers.  Those who make more than $5,000 a year from their work as a photographer are not eligible.
7. All submitted images may be used by MRBO, with credit given to the photographer, in future publications, presentations, videos, slideshows, social media, etc.; the photographer also retains the rights to use/publish each photo.
8. By submitting a photograph, you affirm that you are the sole author and own all rights to the photo.
9.  Deadline for photo submission is 11:59 p.m. CST, December 31st, 2022. The submission system will not allow any photos after that time.

2022 Photo Contest Judge

Noppadol Paothong
Missouri Department of Conservation photographer; Art in Nature

David Stonner
Missouri Department of Conservation photographer; David Stonner Photo Journal

Steve Garr
Missouri Bluebird Society, founder/president; Birds-I-View, owner

Tina Casagrande
The New Territory founder and publisher: https://newterritorymag.com

Ethan Duke
Missouri River Bird Observatory Co-Founder/Director