Princeton WildGuides is pleased to join Birdlife International and Lynx Edicions in announcing the winners of the 2012 THE WORLD’S RAREST BIRDS INTERNATIONAL PHOTO COMPETITION.

The competition aimed to secure images of some of the most threatened birds on Earth to complete a new book that highlights their plight. The World’s Rarest Birds, which is published today by Princeton WILDGuides, aims to support BirdLife International’s Preventing Extinctions Programme.

This is the second of two international photo competitions that have been run to obtain the images for the book, the first being in 2010. Thousands of images were entered into the competitions by photographers from across the world and over 800 photos are featured in The World’s Rarest Birds.

In 2012, THE WORLD’S RAREST BIRDS INTERNATIONAL PHOTO COMPETITION had two categories: Critically Endangered birds and Endangered birds. You can view all the winning entries in each category, as well as numerous commended photographs below:




All photos must be properly credited to the photographer indicated above.

CATEGORY 1: Critically Endangered Birds (there are 197 species that are so threatened that they are considered to be at imminent risk of becoming extinct)

Winner               Dubi Shapiro: a stunning image of a displaying White-bellied Cinclodes from the high Andes of Peru.

Runner-up         Murray Cooper: a beautiful photo of a male Black-breasted Puffleg hummingbird from north-west Ecuador.

Third place        Dubi Shapiro: a fantastic image of a Madagascar Pochard, a medium-sized diving duck found only on Madagascar.

Fourth place      Maxim Koshkin: a striking photo of a flock of Sociable Lapwing, a migratory wader that breeds in central Asia and winters mainly in Africa.


CATEGORY 2: Endangered Birds (there are 389 species that are considered to be at very high risk of becoming extinct in the foreseeable future)

Winner               Tim Laman: a beautiful study of a Marquesan Imperial-pigeon from the island of Nuku Hiva in French Polynesia.

Runner-up         David Stowe: a lovely image of a Swift Parrot from Australia.

Third place        Myron Tay: a wonderful photo of a Masked Finfoot from South-East Asia.

Fourth place      Greg & Yvonne Dean: a fantastic image of a flock of El Oro Parakeets from Ecuador.


  1. deep, staring glance of the Long-whiskered Owlet. Love it!