Bird Observer is celebrating our fiftieth anniversary in 2022 with the publication of Volume 50 of our journal. We invite our subscribers to join the celebration by entering the Bird Observer Fiftieth Anniversary Photo, Video, and Writing Contest. We welcome submissions from photographers, videographers, and writers of all skill levels, except for Bird Observer staff, board members, and their immediate family members.
The contest is open only to Bird Observer’s current subscribers. Subscribe now and be eligible to enter.
The Bird Observer Fiftieth Anniversary contest runs from April 1, 2022, to October 1, 2022. Winners will be announced in our December 2022 issue.
Prizes for Entering
There will be one grand prize winner in each of three categories: photo, video, and writing. Each grand prize winner will receive a $100 gift card to Bird Watcher’s General Store, Orleans, MA; a $100 gift card to Bird Watcher’s Supply and Gift, Newburyport, MA; a $100 gift card to Birds and Beans Coffee; and a two-year extension of his or her subscription to Bird Observer, in addition to being featured in the December 2022 issue of Bird Observer in print and on our website, www.birdobserver.org.
At least 12 honorable mentions will win a one-year extension of his or her subscription to Bird Observer. Additional honorable mentions may be awarded at the discretion of the judges.
In addition to the winners, all contest entries have a chance to appear on our website.
What to Enter
You may submit original, previously unpublished digital photographs, digital videos, or nonfiction, fiction, or poetry that highlight the many facets of wild, native New England birds or birding in New England. Photographs and videos must be taken in New England. If you write about a birding experience, it must occur in New England. Submissions from your backyard or home patch bear equal weight with those from conservation lands, wildlife refuges, or wilderness areas.
We would like to see content that reflects our mission: to support and promote the observation, understanding, and conservation of the wild birds of New England. All submissions must align with the right of all people to enjoy birding and nature in a safe and welcoming environment free from discrimination and harrassment, be it sexual, racial, or barriers for people with disabilities. You must not infringe upon the rights of any other person to obtain any photo or video. Your photos or videos must not be obtained by capturing, moving, feeding, harassing, or disturbing wildlife, or by altering or damaging the environment in any way.
How To Enter
For the photo and video contests, you may submit a maximum of two entries. They can be entered at the same time or at any time during the contest. For the writing contest, you may enter one submission. You must submit all entries electronically, regardless of original format.
Go to the Official Entry Form
Specifics for Photo and Video Submissions
Your original photos or videos can be digital files, digital prints, slides, transparencies, color prints, black and white prints, or any other format that you are able to digitize for submission. You must submit your entries electronically via our online submission tool.
People in your photos or videos
You must obtain written permission (via print or email) from any recognizable people in your photos or videos to 1) submit these images to the contest, 2) publish the images in our print journal and electronically on our website, and 3) allow us to identify them by name. You must get permission from a parent or guardian for children under the age of 16. You must be able to show these consents to Bird Observer upon request.
Video entries must be in MP4 format. Photo entries must be in JPG (aka JPEG) format.
Please submit original materials only. We will not accept any screen captures of images, including those from social media platforms.
You may freely alter or compose photographs or videos to suit your artistic vision. All birds present in an image or video must have been photographed somewhere in New England.
Photo Image Size
The winning image will be featured in Bird Observer’s print journal as well as online. Please use the highest setting on your camera. Entries should have a resolution of at least 2272 x 1704 pixels (i.e., 4 megapixels or greater).
The winning video will be featured in Bird Observer’s online journal, and the print journal will provide a link to our website. The submission form limits file submissions to a maximum of 20MB. For video that is larger than 20MB, we will provide an alternate method for providing the file to us.
Specifics for Writing Submissions
You may submit one short work of nonfiction, fiction, or poetry of any type, so long as it is your original work. Entries may include—but are not limited to—observations, reflections, personal experiences, essays, natural history pieces, stories, and poems. Submissions must be in English and not contain material that is defamatory, obscene, offensive, infringing, indecent or otherwise unlawful or inappropriate as determined by the judges in their sole and absolute opinion.
Space is limited in Bird Observer; therefore, we require that your submission be between 500–1500 words, give or take a few, which equals about 1–3 type-written pages. Entries that run over the limit will automatically be disqualified. You must submit your entries electronically via our online submission tool.
Writing entries must submitted in PDF format.
There will be one grand prize winner in each of three categories: photo, video, and writing. Winners will be selected by a panel of Bird Observer staff. Entries will be judged based on qualities such as originality, creativity, artistic/literary merit, and technical expertise/writing skill. Judges shall determine eligibility with sole and absolute discretion. All decisions of the judges are final.
By entering the contest, you hereby grant to Bird Observer (i) a perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, fully paid, nonexclusive, worldwide license to use your content in our print journal and electronically on our website, and (ii) the right to use your name, city, state, and country of residence in such publications. All content will be credited with the caption “© Person’s Name.”
If you have a question, contact email@example.com.
By submitting content to the contest, participants agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Bird Observer, its respective officers, staff, volunteers, and representatives, from any and all third party liability for any injuries, losses, claims, actions, demands or damages of any kind arising from or in connection with the contest (collectively, “Losses”), including without limitation any third party claim for copyright infringement or a violation of an individual’s right to privacy and/or publicity right. The contest is void where prohibited by law. Each participant in the contest is responsible for ensuring that he or she has the right to submit entries in accordance with these rules.
Bird Observer is not responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by website users or by any equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the processing of submissions to the contest, including but not limited to any misprints or typographical errors. Bird Observer assumes no responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, communications line failure, theft or destruction or unauthorized access to, or alteration of, entries. Bird Observer is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, computer equipment, servers, providers, computer on-line systems, software, or failure of email on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the Internet or at any website, including injury or damage to Participant’s or to any other person’s electronic device related to or resulting from participating or uploading images or information in the photo contest. If, for any reason, the contest is not capable of completion as planned, including, but not limited to, infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures or any other causes beyond the control of Bird Observer that corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity or proper conduct of the contest, Bird Observer reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the contest.