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Contest rules 2023

Contest rules 2023

Before entering into the competition please read carefully the following Rules and the Terms and Conditions of the Birdo - Bird Photographer of the Year competition. Bird Photographer of the Year competition. By submitting an entry to the competition, you are agreeing to be bound by the following Rules:



The Birdo Bird Photographer of the Year international photo contest is open to everyone of all ages and nationalities, both amateur and professional photographers and it is free of charge. Every entrant needs to complete a registration on the competition website in Hungarian or English language. One or more entries can be submitted but the images must comply with the categories, furthermore, each category sets out specific restrictions regarding age and technical requirements.
Entrants must accept the Terms and Conditions, including the copyright statement and the privacy notice of the Contest. The photographer must be the author and the copyright holder of the photographs submitted. By entering the competition, the entrant declares that third parties do not have any rights over the photos uploaded.



Birdo aims to give photographers the opportunity receive recognition for their work in this challenging genre and put their creativity to good use in raising awareness on bird protection. Birdo therefore only accepts photos that are based on the principle of ethical bird photography. Entrants must not distress, disturb or damage the wildlife for the purposes of photography. Photos can only depict wild birds photographed in natural or urban habitat. Images of tamed, captive or nesting birds will be deleted immediately. 
Despite of recognizing the legitimacy of drone photography, we do not accept drone images either, because the natural movement of birds can be impeded by drone photography.



Entries are only accepted through the Contest website.

Images must have been taken no earlier than 1 January 2018. Timely restriction does not apply to the Story-telling category, so images taken before 2018 can also be submitted provided that at least one image shot after 1 January 2020 must be included into the photo series.

Images submitted to previous editions of BIRDO contests cannot be submitted to the competition again.

All entries must be submitted online only. The Contest takes place in two rounds. Images can be uploaded, edited or withdrawn freely at any time until the end of the entry period. Subsequent to a preliminary check images will be published on the Competition website.

The Jury will judge the submissions to the Competition anonymously. The judges will choose a shortlist of entries (maximum 500 images). These will remain published while the other entries will be deleted from the website.

Small versions of shortlisted images also appear on the Facebook and Instagram pages of the Contest, from which the public will select by voting the best image (People ’s Choice Award).

Entrants that are shortlisted for the second round of judging will be notified via email to provide raw format files or if unavailable original untouched JPEGs and a brief introduction of the entrants. These must be supplied by the given deadline otherwise it is considered an irreplaceable deficiency.

The Jury will evaluate and score the images, in respect of each category, taken to the second round. Winners will be revealed at the Awards ceremony 4. November 2023.



Organisers invited a panel of international judges with professional capacities. The names of the current jury members are made available on the contest website.

The jury evaluates the images submitted on the basis of their own professional criteria via an online interface specially designed for this purpose. To ensure that judging is as fair and efficient as possible, the whole procedure takes place anonymously and independently of the organisers and also of the other jury members.

The jury is obliged to exclude entries that do not meet the contest rules. The contest has two voting rounds. After all entries have been received, they will undergo the first round of judging. Images will be scored in the second round. The individual scores of the judges are totalled and each entry is ranked accordingly. In the event of equal scoring the organisers send the images of the category in question back to re-scoring. The final category results will remain unknown to the jury until the awards ceremony.

All decisions by the jury will be final and binding.



The winners of the competition will receive monetary and non-monetary rewards. Prizes are decided by the Organisers and described in detail on the Contest website.

5.1. Grand prizes

Birdo - Bird Photographer of the Year 2023

The overall winner of the Contest is the photographer who presents outstanding work in most categories and achieves the highest scores overall.
In the event of a tie, the grand title will be awarded to the photographer, who achieves the highest scores overall based on the points awarded by the jury in the second round. Photos submitted in the photo series category will not be participated in the Bird Photographer of the Year competition.

Birdo Young Bird Photographer of the Year 2023 

The title Birdo Young Bird Photographer of the Year is awarded to the young photographer, whose at least two out of the submitted images achieves podium, and one of them is selected for 1st or 2nd place and collects the highest scores overall with their images.

Birdo Bird Photo of the Year 2023 

The bird photo of the year will be the photo that achieves the highest score in the relevant scoring of the jury.

Scoring system

Scores given for awarded images in single image categories as follows:

  • - 10 scores for 1st place
  • - 8 scores for 2nd place
  • - 6 scores for 3rd place
  • - 2-2 scores for 4-5th places
5.2. Category prizes

Prizes will be awarded to the 1st-3nd place in each category with the exception of the Story-telling category, where only 1st place is announced.

5.3 Special Awards

The entrants may also receive additional prizes offered by the contest partners and sponsors. Sponsors are free to decide which photo from the final shortlist of 150-200 images to award with a special prize based on their own criteria. Details regarding prizes on offer by the sponsors will be available and updated on the Competition website.

People’s Choice Award

A shortlist of entries (maximum 500 images) will anonymously and automatically enter for the People’s Choice Award, posted for voting by the public through social media. The photo with the top votes at the end of the people’s choice voting period will be named the People’s Choice Award winner.


All winning photographers will benefit from extensive press coverage and social media promotion of the awards by Birdo and its partners:

  • - Travelling exhibitions across the country of award-winning and highly rated photos across the country
  • - Publication on the competition website and social media platforms
  • - Showcase in the Birdo award book
  • - Media coverage (Nature Photography Magazine...)



First round: 3 April – 9 July 2023

Submission start date: 3 April 2023

Submission closing date: 9 July 2023

Judging process (first round): 10 - 25 July 2023

Second round (submission of original files): 30 July - 13 August 2023

Judging process (second round): 14-31 August 2023

Public voting:14-31 August 2023

Award Ceremony: 4 November 2023

The Awards Ceremony will be held at the Budapest Zoo & Botanical Garden.



The Birdo Bird Photography of the Year Contest 2022 consists of 6 categories for individual images (C1-C6), an artistic category (C7), a documentary photo series. (C8), an open format (C9) and a portfolio category for young photographers (C10).

C1 Bird Portrait
C2 Birds in the Environment
C3 Bird Behaviour
C4 Birds in the Air
C5 Details
C6 Birdo Special Theme: I gotcha!
C7 BirdArt
C8 Open
C9 Youth
C10 Story-telling

Conditions per category:

Categories C1 to C6

  • - images should be single frame photographs
  • - 3 photos per category, in total 18 images may be submitted
  • - images must comply with the rules of technical requirements
  • - only images for which the RAW or DNG file is held are accepted
  • - entrants are aged 21 years or above on the 9 July 2023

Category C7

  • - images should be single frame photographs
  • - in total 3 images may be submitted
  • - images must comply with the rules of technical requirements, digital manipulation is actively encouraged only in this category, but the entrant must hold the original RAW images from the montage or multiexpo,
  • - only images for which the RAW or DNG file is held are accepted
  • - entrants are aged 21 years or above on the 9 July 2023

Category C8

  • - images should be single frame photographs
  • - in total 3 images may be submitted
  • - images must comply with the rules of technical requirements
  • - images that do not have an original RAW or DNG raw file are only acceptable here
  • - submitted images should be at least 10 megapixels
  • - this category is open to everyone in terms of age, a representative may act on behalf of a minor aged entrant
  • - photographers entering here cannot compete in any adult category other than the documentary category.

Category C9

  • - images should be single frame photographs
  • - up to 10 images may be submitted in this category
  • - images must comply with the rules of technical requirements
  • - only images for which the RAW or DNG file is held are accepted
  • - entrants are aged 21 years or below on the 9 July 2023, a representative of a minor aged entrant may apply for the Contest

Category C10

  • - a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 8 photo series must be uploaded
  • - only one series is acceptable per Entrants
  • - images must comply with the rules of technical requirements
  • - images taken with any device can be submitted
  • - images with or without an original RAW or DNG raw file are allowed here
  • - this category is open to everyone in terms of age, a representative may act on behalf of a minor aged entrant

Entrants may submit images in any category if they meet the above criteria for that category. An image cannot be entered in more than one category.



8.1 Registration

Every entrant needs to complete a registration on the competition website prior to submission. Anyone registering more than once will be excluded from the Contest. During account registration the following information should be given:          

  • - name
  • - e-mail address
  • - telephon number

The above data are necessary for maintaining contact, communicating information about the application and requesting information. The user account created by the entrant will be inactivated once the contest is closed and will be made available again for the next year's call. Accounts may be deleted upon request in which case the uploaded images will be deleted in accordance with points 3 and 11 of the participation conditions.

8.2 Image submission in the first round

All means of taking the photo (e.g. DSLR, MILC, bridge, analogue, compact, mobile phone etc.) are eligible that ensure sufficient quality of images and meet the criteria of the category, but drone photos are not acceptable.

Images can be submitted anytime during the entry period. The same image cannot be entered in more than one category. The image must not contain any reference to the identity of the author, otherwise the image will not be eligible for participation.

Images will be checked against the minimum technical requirements from the moment of upload and that are not of acceptable quality will be immediately disqualified from the competition. The entrant will be informed of the disqualification and another image can only be uploaded during the entry period. Please read carefully the technical requirements before submission! 

If there are less than 10 entries submitted in a category, the Jury reserves the right to transfer the images to other categories and not to publish results in the relevant category. The entrants of this category will be notified about this fact in email.

All images must have complete information attached as follows

  • - the title of the image
  • - species of the bird
  • - the location where the photo was taken
  • - time of the photo was taken
  • - type of camera
  • - focal length
  • - aperture
  • - shutter speed
  • - ISO
  • - flash
  • - a short description (maximum 500 characters) of the way the image was taken

8.3 Image submission in the second round

In the second-round raw format files or, if unavailable, original untouched JPEGs of the images should be uploaded by the deadline on the same file name as the one submitted in the first round. 

The following information should be given in the second round:     

  • - A brief introduction of the entrant (maximum 800 characters): since when has s/he been dealing with photography,  why has s/he started taking photos, why is s/he interested in birds
  • - In the Story-telling category a detailed description (maximum 500 characters) of what project is presented by the series.



9.1. General requirements

In the first round digital images must be uploaded in JPG format saved in the best quality (Photoshop, jpg options: quality = 12), high-resolution, sRGB colour space and the file size cannot exceed 5 megabytes.

Entrants that are shortlisted for the final round of judging will be required to provide original RAW, DNG format files except the Open category, where original JPEG files, without interpolation shall be presented in the image size at least 10 megapixels.

For analogue entries, the original camera file of the image and the highest resolution TIFF file available without interpolating must be submitted in the second round.

9.2. Entry rules on manipulation

  • - submitted image must contain all available EXIF data
  • - the entry cannot be made by enlarging from a smaller image
  • - cropping the photo over the 50% of the original image will lead to disqualification
  • - any page size is acceptable, but standard page sizes (1:1, 3:2, 4:3, 5:4, 16:9) are highly recommended.

9.3 Changes that are not acceptable

  • - changing the content of the image
  • - combination of two or more photos, not of the same scene exept in BirdArt category
  • - the addition or deletion of objects in the image
  • - borders, signatures, dates or watermarks

9.4. Normal processing of the original file is acceptable. That includes:

  • - cropping the photo up to 50%
  • - the use of digital half-filters
  • - HDR, stitched panoramas 
  • - as the correction of technical defects and lens defects
  • - HDR and panorama photos from combining multiple shots
  • - removal of dust spots and moderate reduction of image noise
  • - minor adjustments to colour, white balance, tone, lighting levels and curves, shadows and highlights, saturation, contrast, sharpness

The jury decides on whether the image has been significantly retouched or altered beyond the limit of acceptance.

9.5 In the BirdArt (C7) category the following image processing techniques are also acceptable 

  • - a conversion to black and white or infrared
  • - in-camera multiple exposures but only for an image created by combining consecutive shots taken at the same scene



10.1 Exclusion of images

If an image is submitted that does not comply with any rule of the Contest, the Jury will exclude the photo from the Contest and will delete it.

It must be considered that the RAW file and the original untouched high-resolution file corresponding to the photograph will be requested. Failure to submit the original file within the established deadlines will result in the disqualification of the photograph.

The failure to upload a brief introduction (maximum 800 characters) by the deadline specified in the call for entry into the second-round, results in the withdrawal of the entrant in the Contest.

If the jury has to exclude all entries from a category, Birdo make no award in that category.

10.2 Exclusion of entrants

Those Entrants will be excluded from the Contest who:

  • - upload a photo that violates ethical principles
  • - do not submit self-made photos
  • - register with more than one username

The Birdo reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and remove any entry that does not comply with the requirements laid out in the Contest Rules. If a breach has occurred, but is discovered after an award, then Birdo may withdraw the relevant entry from any of the Exhibitions and/or related activity and require the return or reimbursement of any prize already received.



By entering the competition, entrants the Birdo Photo Contest the unlimited non-exclusive use of high-resolution images for activities in all media ((,,, including social media, online and print, in relation to the contest and all promotional activities (advertising, publications, press releases by third parties, albums, exhibitions etc.) without any remuneration being due.
In connection with publishing the submitted photos, the Organiser indicates the full name of the entrant as author.

The panels created for the exhibition of the Birdo are the property of the Organisers.

In the case of using the images for commercial products, the Organisers will contact the photographers to discuss the conditions.


Last updated: 3 April 2023

Birdo Team
Email: info(at)birdphotocontest(dot)eu