Photo Contest

Belted Kingfisher

Have you taken photos at the refuge?

We want to see them!

You’re invited to participate!

 This FREE Refuge Photo Contest is to encourage you to enjoy nature and share the  
beauty, value, and uniqueness of Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge.
During September and October all entries will be displayed in the auditorium and on the 
 Loess Bluffs NWR SmugMug page. Winning photographs will be on display throughout the year.


Entries must arrive at the office by 4:00 pm on Friday, September 6, 2019


  1. Wildlife* - There are 2 sub-categories: Avian (birds) and Fauna (animals)
  2. Plants/Fungi*
  3. Landscape and Scenic (Must be taken at Loess Bluffs NWR)
  4. People in Nature (People engaged in outdoor activities at Loess Bluffs NWR)
  5. Youth (Youth photographers are age 17 years & under by due date)
  6. Cell Phone Photography.

*Photographs entered in the Wildlife and Plants/Fungi categories must contain flora or fauna that is indigenous to the refuge, regardless of where the photo was taken.


Winning photos will be displayed throughout the year at the refuge Visitor Contact Station and other public locations. Best of Show, Alternate Best of Show, and the First and Second Place winners in each category will receive a certificate of recognition or a ribbon.


Photo Entries
  • Photographers can submit up to five total photo entries of their own original work in any of the six categories listed above.
  • Regardless of size or shape, all photo entries must fit in an 8” x 10” dimension. 
  • Photographs entered in the Wildlife and Plants/Fungi categories must contain flora or fauna that is indigenous to Loess Bluffs NWR, regardless of where the photo was taken

Photo Submission
Contest entries can be sent by mail or hand-delivered. A high resolution electronic copy should be submitted to or included with mailed/hand delivered entries. If you are unable to submit an electronic copy of your photo, the photo will be scanned for you by refuge staff. Scanned photos are not always as high quality as photos submitted electronically.

Photographers are responsible for completing and submitting the following forms which are available on our website or at the Loess Bluffs Visitor Contact Station.

  • Completed and signed Entry Form taped to the back of the photograph.
  • FWS Form 3-2259 “Copyright Release Agreement” Please note your name for photo credit. One FWS Form 3-2259 can be submitted for all photographs but the photograph title(s) should be listed on the form in the box. 
  • Complete photo contest rules here.

The Following is Not Allowed
  • Photos may not display the name of the photographer on the front of the photograph. 
  • Photographs noticeably altered with computer graphics, digital enhancement, etc. 
  • Photographs that have been matted, framed, or have writing on the front 
  • Photographs of captive wildlife will not be accepted.

Winners will be announced when judging has concluded. All winning photographs will remain in the care of Friends of Loess Bluffs and Loess Bluffs NWR until August 2020. If you wish to have your photographs returned to you, place a self-addressed stamped envelope with the entries submitted. If participants do not pick up their photographs after August 2020, the photographs will be disposed of.

Upon entry of photo contest, participants acknowledge that neither Friends of Loess Bluffs, Loess Bluffs NWR, nor any sponsors of the contest are responsible for any lost or damaged photographs, or liable for copyright or other legal disputes that may arise from this competition. All entrants agree to allow Friends of Loess Bluffs and Loess Bluffs NWR rights to publish winning photos in future promotional publications without compensation.

Hand delivered entries will be accepted during normal hours:
Monday – Friday (8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.), except for Federal holidays.
Loess Bluffs NWR Visitor Center phone number is: (660) 442-3187

Mail or hand-deliver entries to:

Loess Bluffs NWR
C/O Photo Contest
25542 US-159
Forest City, MO 64451



Friends of Loess Bluffs; U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge