Grand Prize Winner: Double-crested Cormorant by Joanna Lentini, Location: Los Islotes, Mexico /Hometown: Warwick, New York, USA (all images courtesy Audobon Society)

The National Audubon Society annually rewards excellence in nature photography; the 2020 winners offer a stunning array of aviary photographs that continue to amaze with their vivid colors and curious behaviors.

Joanna Lentini’s Grand Prize-winning image of a double-crested cormorant is a stunner, revealing the beautiful synchronicity of nature underwater. She explained to the Audubon society how she was able to capture the moment with her Canon EOS 7D Mark II:

I’ve spent many hours underwater at this California sea lion rookery in the Bay of La Paz, but I had never before encountered diving cormorants there. Shifting my focus from the playful sea lions, I watched in awe as the cormorants plunged beak-first into the sea to snap at the sardines swimming by. Although I spent a long time admiring these birds, I didn’t see a single one catch a fish. Adding insult to injury, curious sea lion pups would zip by the hunting birds and nip at them from behind.

Enjoy images by other winners from this year’s contest.

Fisher Prize Winner: American Dipper, photo by Marlee Fuller-Morris, Location: Yosemite National Park, California, USA / Hometown: Portsmouth, Virginia, USA
Amateur Winner: Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, photo by Gail Bisson, Location: Tárcoles River, Costa Rica / Hometown: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Amateur Honorable Mention: Anna’s Hummingbird, photo by Bibek Ghosh, Location: Ardenwood Historic Farm, California, USA / Hometown: Fremont, California, USA
Plants For Birds Winner: American Goldfinch on a cup plant. photo by Travis Bonovsky, Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA / Hometown: Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, USA
Plants For Birds Honorable Mention: Tennessee Warbler on an eastern prickly gooseberry, photo by Natalie Robertson, Location: Point Pelee National Park, Ontario, Canada / Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Professional Winner: Magnificent Frigatebird, photo by Sue Dougherty, Location: Genovesa Island, Ecuador / Hometown: Bend, Oregon, USA
Professional Honorable Mention: Greater Sage-Grouse, photo by Gene Putney, Location: Jackson County, Colorado, USA / Hometown: Longmont, Colorado, USA
Youth Winner: Northern Jacana, photo by Vayun Tiwari, Location: New River, Orange Walk District, Belize / Hometown: Sunnyvale, California, USA
Youth Honorable Mention: Greater Roadrunner, photo by Christopher Smith, Location: San Joaquin River Parkway, California, USA / Hometown: Fresno, California, USA

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.