The 2021 Garden for Wildlife™ Photo Contest showcased the impact that habitat gardens can have on wildlife and people alike. Take a look at the top overall submissions, individual category winners, and category runner-up winners from this year's contest. For even more inspiring photographs, don't miss this year's collection of honorable mentions.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Lizard on Flowers
"Lizard with dew on it, climbing over flowers at Burden Museum and Gardens."
"A pine siskin enjoying the steam from some warm water in our bird bath on a cold winter's morning."
Kebler Surprise - Butterfly on Aster at Kebler Pass
"Leaf peeping is incredible in Colorado in the fall when the aspens blaze golden yellow against the Rocky Mountains and deep green pines. Kebler Pass is an amazing dirt road drive from Crested Butte with some of the most fantastic fall scenery in the state. Right along the dirt road I spotted this tiny butterfly flitting through a grove of aspens full of tansy asters and daisies in late afternoon golden light."
YOUNG HABITAT PHOTOGRAPHERS
Thoughtful Great Horned Owl
"Owls are birds from the order Strigiformes, which includes over 200 species of mostly solitary and nocturnal birds of prey typified by an upright stance, a large, broad head, binocular vision, binaural hearing, sharp talons, and feathers adapted for silent flight."
WILDLIFE OBSERVED WHERE PEOPLE LIVE, WORK, PLAY, LEARN AND WORSHIP
Peek-A-Boo Mule Deer Bucks in The Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens
"The Xeriscape Demonstration Gardens in Colorado Springs is one of my favorite places to photograph bees, butterflies, and birds. This day I had been photographing as usual when some rustling alerted me to several bucks napping hidden in the flower gardens!"
CERTIFIED WILDLIFE HABITAT LANDSCAPES
Male and Female Northern Cardinals as They Sit on My Certified Wildlife Habitat Sign
"I was going outside to feed the birds in my yard. It was snowing and I looked up to see a pair of northern cardinals. The male and female were sitting in the snow on my Certified Wildlife Habitat sign. Shortly after I took the photo the pair flew over to one of my feeders and helped themselves to plenty of bird seed. I belong to Friends of the Smokies and I volunteer for maintaining trails in whatever state I am visiting."
CLOSE-UP NATIVE PLANTS AND THEIR WILDLIFE VISITORS
A Golden Sweat Bee Gathers Pollen from a John's Wort Blossom
"The St. John's Wort in my yard burst with blossoms like I've never seen, and the Golden Sweat Bees loved it. When the tiny bees got weighed down with pollen, the fragile pistils would bend as they hung on upside down. Then they'd carry the pollen away and come back for more."
PEOPLE IN THE WILDLIFE GARDEN
Raleigh, North Carolina
Family fun in the sunflowers
"The City of Raleigh annually grows a multi-acre sunflower field for the enjoyment of residents and the benefit of local birds and insect pollinators. I was there to photograph birds such as goldfinches and indigo buntings, but I spotted a little girl seemingly floating through the garden on her dad's shoulders. I was able to photograph her, several rows away, as she raised her hands in delight. She apparently did this at her mom's urging, who was not visible to me other than her raised hand."
Take the Clean Earth Challenge and help make the planet a happier, healthier place.Learn More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead More
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.