Capturing Nature’s Magic

Winners of the 2020 Garden for Wildlife photo contest reveal living gems.

  • Lisa Moore
  • Garden Photography
  • Apr 01, 2021

NATURE NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE, inspiring wonder in all who take the time to really look. More than 430 photographers took that time last year, submitting nearly 4,300 images to the National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife™ photo contest, which celebrates the ordinary glories of wildlife nurtured by native plants. You can see all 12 winners at

GRAND PRIZE: One May morning in Nebraska, biology professor Tyler Moore was photographing a spiderwort bloom in his yard when a hoverfly swooped in for a snack—and earned Moore the grand prize. To attract wildlife to his yard, Moore filled it with native plants, then began teaching his two young children about the visitors those plants sustain. “For most kids, a bug is a bug,” he says, “but mine know if it’s a bee, a wasp or a beetle—and they’re learning to appreciate the differences.”

Eastern Bluebird eating Staghorn sumac.

FIRST PLACE: After a spring snow in Vermont, Mark Paul spotted eastern bluebirds feeding on the fruity seeds of staghorn sumac. Sitting in his car (his “photography blind”), he took scores of images. This lovely frame with its midair seed earned first place for close-ups of native plants with wildlife. “I’m a nature lover with a camera,” says Paul, who uses his work to help raise awareness about Vermont wildlife worth saving.

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

Garden for Wildlife 2020 Photo Contest Winners »
Garden for Wildlife 2020 Honorable Mentions »
National Wildlife's 2020 Photo Contest Winners »
National Wildlife's 2020 Honorable Mentions »
Learn more about National Wildlife Federation's Photo Contests »

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