National Wildlife Refuge Association Announces 2015 Photo Contest Winners

Dennis Davenport of Portland, Ore. Wins Grand Prize for Photo of an American Kestrel at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington

Conducted by the National Wildlife Refuge Association, an independent nonprofit that promotes the Refuge System, the Wildlife Refuge Photography Contest highlights the stunning scenery and wildlife found on more than 560 national wildlife refuges. An American kestrel perched on a cattail at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington was this year’s grand prize winner in a photography contest seeking to highlight the diverse, natural beauty found in the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world’s largest network of conservation lands and waters. Taken by Dennis Davenport of Portland, Ore., the image depicts the kestrel, the smallest North American falcon, gazing directly at the viewer. For his grand prize winning photo, Davenport will receive a check for $1,000.

American Kestrel at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Wash. | Credit: Dennis Davenport, Grand Prize Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge ...)

American Kestrel at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Wash. | Credit: Dennis Davenport, Grand Prize Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge …)

America’s national wildlife refuges are outstanding places to capture the beauty of nature and the wonder of wildlife,” said David Houghton, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. “Nature photography is a growing passion on our wildlife refuges. We’re excited to showcase the skills and talents of the photographers who visit our refuges to visually tell the stories of the wildlife and people that make these places special.

Other top winners in this year’s contest are:

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Fla. | Credit: Craig Goettschof, Second Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge ...)

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Fla. | Credit: Craig Goettschof, Second Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge …)

Second place: Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida, photographed by Craig Goettsch of of Colorado Springs, Colo.

Harbor seal pup at Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Ore. | Credit: Steve Dimock, Third Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge ...)

Harbor seal pup at Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Ore. | Credit: Steve Dimock, Third Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge …)

Third place: Harbor seal pup at Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, photographed by Steve Dimock of Bandon, Ore.

Gulf fritillary at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas | Credit: Freddie Beckwith, Fourth Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge ...)

Gulf fritillary at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas | Credit: Freddie Beckwith, Fourth Place Winner (PRNewsFoto/National Wildlife Refuge …)

Fourth place: Gulf fritillary at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, photographed by Freddie Beckwith of Pottsboro, Texas.

A complete list this year’s winners and those receiving an honorable mention, along with their images, are featured on the 2015 Refuge Photography Contest homepage at: www.refugeassociation.org/people/photo-contest-2015.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world’s premier system of protected public lands, encompassing more than 150 million acres of land and water in every U.S. state and territory, plus more than 418 million acres of national marine monuments. The National Wildlife Refuge Association is the only independent nonprofit that promotes and protects the world’s largest wildlife conservation network: the National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more at: www.refugeassociation.org.

The contest would not have been possible without the tremendous generosity of the following sponsors: Eagle Optics, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Orvis and Wild Bird Centers.