2012 Photo Contest Winners

2012 Photo Contest




Young Bobcat, San Bernard NWR, TX | Keith Ramos 

A young male bobcat curiously looks around a live oak after being released into the wild by a wildlife rehabilitator.  The bobcat was one of three cats released along the trails at the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge, TX.  The other two disappeared quickly through the woods, but this one took his time before joining the rest.


 Manatee Kisses, Crystal River NWR, FL | Carol Grant

During certain winter days a magical confluence of lovely spring water and Florida manatees occurs in the freshwater springs at Crystal River NWR, FL. The interaction between manatees is fascinating to observe quietly in their warm water refuge. Although the larger female manatee didn’t appear to be the younger calf’s mother, she did seem to be coaxing him into some reassuring “kisses”.




Eagle Aerial Combat, Upper Mississippi River NWR, IL | Les Zigurski

When bald eagles are moving back to their nesting areas in late winter, they often gather in large numbers at the backwater lakes of the Upper Mississippi River NWR, IL. It is here, where the ice is starting to melt, that it is easy for them to pick fish out of the newly opened water. In this photo, the eagle on the right has just flown down from the roost and caught a fish. As it was rising from the water the other eagle flew, trying to  steal the fish. The bird who originally caught the fish lost its grip, and the fish was dropped back into the water.


Yellow Warbler, St. Marks NWR, FL | Betsy Kellenberger

Late summer at the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, FL is my favorite time to photograph butterflies.  While trying to get a good angle on a monarch butterfly I noticed this little yellow bird flitting among the wildflowers.  It was trying to catch butterflies just as I was!  By following it around I was able to get several clear shots of the yellow warbler before it disappeared in the bushes.


Honorable Mentions: 

Great Horned Owl, Camas NWR, ID | Lloyd Bush

Bonyard Sunrise, Cape Roman NWR, NC | Ben Sumrell

Hawaiian Monk Seal Pup, Northwest Hawaiian Islands NWR, HI | Mark Sullivan

Dunlin on Old Piling, Edwin B. Forsyth NWR, NJ | William Schmitz

Working for Lunch, Ridgefield NWR, OR | Gary Davenport

To see the complete photo contest finalists gallery with

over 150 outstanding Refuge images click here.

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NWRA wishes to thank the 2012 Refuge Photo Contest sponsors: 

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