Five talented photographers recently triumphed over 1,700 competitors to be declared winners of a prestigious North American competition.

Now in its seventh year the winners were chosen for the 2016 Audubon Photography Awards from almost 7,000 photos. Entries were submitted from 50 US states, the District of Columbia and six Canadian provinces.

Judges included birding legend Kenn Kaufman and last year's Grand Prize winner and professional photographer Melissa Groo.

Winning photographs will be published in Audubon magazine, Nature ís Best Photography magazine and will also be displayed within the 2016 Nature ís Best Photography Exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History later this year.

Half of the species in the winning and honoured photos are birds identified as threatened or endangered by climate change in Audubonís Birds and Climate Change Report.

The report shows that 314 bird species in North America face an uncertain future due to shifting climatic suitability.

Common Ravens. Photo: Colleen Gara/Audubon Photography Awards 

Bald Eagle and Great Blue Herons. Photo: Bonnie Block/Audubon Photography Awards

It looks like a tree has eyes but in fact this is an Eastern Screech Owl which is peering out behind cover looking for its next meal

These two Great Horned Owls get up close and personal on this branch for this photograph sent in to the judges

At first it seems it's just a wing and feathers but if you look closely enough you can see this majestic Osprey's head and beak

Photo: Colleen Gara

Photo: Colleen Gara

 Photo: Bonnie Block

 Photo: Bonnie Block

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