Photo Competition 2019

Fascinating Bird Photography

We at the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach hope to inspire public interest in birds and raise awareness for their protection. Widespread understanding and appreciation of our native birdlife are key factors to the success of our efforts. The more people care about birds and enjoy watching them, the better our chances of implementing effective conservation measures for threatened species.

Stunning photographs perfectly convey the fascination that birds evoke in us: images that display the striking colours of a bird’s plumage, introduce us to a wide range of behaviours, showcase the many shapes and sizes of birds from the Swan to the tiny Firecrest, and allow us to witness their aerobatic feats.

In Canon Switzerland, we have found a renowned partner who shares our aspirations. A leading provider of high-quality optical equipment, Canon Switzerland supports the competition with technical know-how and the donation of the attractive main prizes. We are also deeply indebted to all our other partners who have supported the competition by donating prizes.

At a Glance

Competition 2012-2018

More than 1500 participants per year

Approximately 36,000 photos entered so far


The photo competition is held by the Swiss Ornithological Institute in Sempach with the support of Canon Switzerland and other


The goal of the competition is to showcase the beauty and fascination of our native birdlife and encourage involvement in nature and bird conservation by means of unique images.


Participants can submit in each category a maximum of 10 photos online in a preview format during the month of May 2019. In June, the expert panel will make a preselection and request the selected images in RAW format or as the original JPG files. Based on this shortlist, the panel will choose the overall winner as well as three winning images per category in September 2019.


1 to 31 May 2019:

Online submission of preview images at: photo.vogelwarte.ch

1 July 2019:

Request for RAW files or original JPG files (only preselected images)

15 August 2019:

Submission deadline for RAW files or original JPG files (only preselected images)

September 2019:

Notification of the winners

Image File Requirements

Preview images:

At least 1400 pixels on the longest side

High-resolution images:

The chosen section of the original file must be at least 4000 pixels on the longest side, or 3000 pixels for square images. This is without recalculating the data.

Image processing:

Image processing is allowed in accordance with the conditions of entry.

Intellectual Property Rights

The author must hold the copyright of the submitted images. By entering the competition, participants confirm that they are the sole author of the images and that no rights of third parties are involved.

Photo Competition: the book

A stunning collection of images celebrates the beauty of our native birds and the fascination they inspire in us. Order ›