You Have to See the Winner of the 2021 Backyard Photo Contest

See Birds & Blooms' 2021 Backyard Photo Contest grand prize winner and learn the amazing story behind the captivating and quirky photo.

Every year, we invite Birds & Blooms readers to send us their best bird, butterfly and bloom photos for our annual Backyard Photo Contest.

For our 2021 contest, we received thousands of extraordinary entries and our editorial team narrowed it down to 12 finalists. From there, we turned it over to you to vote for your favorites. We are happy to announce you voted for Jason Patterson’s gorgeous photo of a pair of burrowing owls as the grand prize winner.

2021 Backyard Photo Contest Winner

A pair of burrowing owls sit together on a post, looking directly at the camera.Courtesy Jason Patterson
A pair of burrowing owls sit together on a post, looking directly at the camera.

In his original submission, Jason said: “My son and I enjoy observing owls because they show so much personality with the expression on their faces. We see plenty of screech owls, barred owls and great horned owls where we live. During the summer months when my son is out of school we go on short local trips to search for them, usually at local parks.

We did some research and were told that a few burrowing owls lived in Cape Coral, Florida. To see what we could discover, we went to Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library. We were successful and located a few burrowing owls. We sat in the car so not to disturb them and watched from a distance. What makes this so special is not only the photo of the two burrowing owls together, but the time my son and I spent together.”

Check out 13 fun facts about owls.

Thanks for the thousands of Birds & Blooms readers who submitted entries and voted for their favorite photo in the 2021 Backyard Photo Contest. Here’s some more exciting news! We have two photo contests planned for 2022: the Hummingbird Photo Contest and 2022 Backyard Photo Contest. Check our contest page next spring and summer for more details and to read the official rules.

Next, don’t miss more outstanding pictures of owls.

Rachel Maidl
Rachel Maidl is a former senior editor for Birds & Blooms magazine. She enjoys bird-watching in her urban backyard and local state parks, gardening for pollinators and researching new plants. Her favorite backyard visitors are the bumblebees that visit her sedums.