Awards and Competitions


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The Birdwatch ID photo guide

We run mystery bird quizzes to accompany our comprehensive ID photo guides. Click here to find the identity of the mystery bird and the winner's name for the last three quizzes.

Which shearwater?

The Urban BirderClosing Date: 11 Jul 2015

WITH a view to getting some of the scarcer tubenoses on your British list – and particularly Balearic Shearwater – you book a pelagic trip off the south-west coast in late summer to increase your chances of seeing some of these legendary species. Luck is with you and a small flock of shearwaters and storm-petrels is lured in by the pungent chum knocked together by the captain of your shark-fishing boat.

However, as you decided to charter your own boat rather than take one of the more established pelagic tours, there is no experienced birder or guide on board. You have no choice but to identify the birds yourself.

A subtly brown-tinged individual glides past and is clearly part of the Manx Shearwater species complex. But is it your desired Balearic Shearwater, or is it another Manx – or perhaps something even rarer?

It drifts close enough for you to note all the diagnostic features and you’ve got good sharp images of it. Using what you have learnt from our comprehensive ID photo guide in the July 2015 issue of Birdwatch, can you spot the tell-tale diagnostic plumage and structural differences that will help you determine which species this bird is?

More Information

Birdwatch Artist of the Year Award

This prestigious award, held in association with the Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) and Swarovski Optik, is given to the artist whose work at the SWLA’s annual exhibition The Natural Eye is considered to be the most outstanding. Submissions must be made in accordance with the criteria outlined by the SWLA. The award judges are Dominic Mitchell (Managing Editor, Birdwatch), Bruce Pearson (SWLA), Chris Rose (SWLA), Andrew Stock (SWLA) and Peter Antoniou (Managing Director, Swarovski Optik UK). The winner is announced at the preview of The Natural Eye, which currently takes place in late October, and coverage appears in Birdwatch in the following issue (usually the December edition, published November). The prize is Swarovski optical equipment of the winner’s choice (terms and conditions apply) and a three-year subscription to Birdwatch magazine.

2013 winner

Short-eared Owl 1 by Nik Pollard

Short-eared Owl 1
By Nik Pollard

Click on the picture to the left to see bigger versions of the artworks

Read the news story

Birdwatch Bird Book of the Year

This annual award recognises excellence in ornithological publishing by nominating as its winner the most original, important or popular book on birds published during the year. Shortlisted titles chosen by the Birdwatch editorial team range from field guides and monographs to atlases and photographic works; from this shortlist Managing Editor Dominic Mitchell selects the winning title. Details of the winner and any highly commended entries are featured in Birdwatch each year in the February edition (published January).

2013 winner

Cuckoos of the World by Johannes Erritzeo, Frederick P Brammer, Richard A Fuller and Clive F Mann

Bird Atlas 2007-11
By Dawn Balmer, Simon Gillings, Brian Caffrey, Bob Swann, Iain Downie and Rob Fuller
Published by BTO Books, Thetford

Dominic Mitchell on why this book is a worthy winner
Read David Callahan's review
Buy the book