2023 National Wildlife Photo Contest: Honorable Mentions & People’s Choice Winners

See 64 stunning honorable mentions and People’s Choice picks from our 52nd annual photo contest

  • NWF Staff
  • PhotoZone
  • Jan 24, 2024

THE PHOTOS were just too good! We couldn’t not share more standouts from the 52nd annual National Wildlife Photo Contest. Along with the winning photos, judges selected the 60 honorable mentions below from nine categories totaling nearly 40,000 entries by more than 4,000 photographers. You voted, too! Nearly 7,000 of you weighed in on the People’s Choice award, resulting in the winner and three runners-up below.

“These memorable images stay with us, fueling a love for wildlife and the world around us,” says Jennifer Wehunt, editorial director of National Wildlife magazine. “These photos remind us of what we are working to conserve for future generations.”

View the photos below, revisit the 2023 winners then enter the 2024 photo contest today!

2023 Honorable Mentions

2023 People's Choice Award

Kingfisher fishing for their offspring, Geel, Belgium

People’s Choice Award Winner
"Perfect Dive"
Otto Beyens, Waregem, Belgium

In August 2022, Otto Beyens traveled two hours to visit his friend and view the kingfishers that frequent his garden. Hoping to get the "perfect shot," Beyens took over 1,000 pictures of the birds flying, perching and diving for fish. "At first I just wanted to get a kingfisher on a branch, but I saw one diving five or ten times an hour and thought maybe I can try to get a photo of that," says Beyens. "I kept my camera focused on the water and when he dove, I pressed the button and hoped for a good picture."

Golden crowned kinglet, Central Park, New York City

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
"Golden Crowned Kinglet: The Tininess in Nature"
Sean Medina, Woodside, New York

While taking walks in Central Park, Sean Medina keeps an eye out for the "little things." "When I look for birds, I'm always paying attention to the slightest and smallest of things," says Medina. His watchfulness paid off when he came across this golden crowned kinglet, one of the smallest passerines in North America.

Fox and deer, East Brunswick, New Jersey

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
"The Fox and The Deer"
Amulya Rao, East Brunswick, New Jersey

Since the pandemic, Amulya Rao has taken to spending mornings taking photos of wildlife in her backyard. On a particularly still morning, she was able to capture a rare sight: a deer and a fox standing side by side. "When I take photos, it feels like I am speaking with the subject," says Rao. "This morning, it was just the three of us and nothing else. The deer, the fox and me."

Peregrine falcon, Chicago, Illinois

Peoples’ Choice Award Runner-up
"Peregrine Falcon"
Keen Harrison, Chicago, Illinois

When a pair of peregrine falcons chose to nest on top of Keen Harrison’s Chicago apartment building, she got the special opportunity to observe the birds regularly. "It was a joy to awaken each morning to the sound of the falcons calling to each other," says Harrison. In this shot, the falcon comes in for a landing on a balcony rail.

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