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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

  • Budgerigar (Image ID 29548)

    Budgerigar.   Photographer: Bill Harding

  • Great Pied Cormorant (Image ID 20114)

    Great Pied Cormorant.   Photographer: Jill Wilson

  • Pied Stilt (Image ID 24954)

    Pied Stilt.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

  • Black-eared Cuckoo (Image ID 28118)

    Black-eared Cuckoo.   Photographer: Emmy Silvius

  • Silver Gull (Image ID 18903)

    Silver Gull.   Photographer: Glenn Pure

This gallery showcases BirdLife Photography’s very best images of each species; we intend it to become the premier go-to resource for Australian bird images.

In 2014 the BirdLife Photography Committee initiated a review of the structure and function of its digital image library, the on-going repository of Australian bird images submitted by BirdLife Photography members to promote a visual appreciation of our unique birdlife and to provide a digital resource for related educational and conservation purposes.  As a consequence of this review, the Committee decided to initiate a restructure of the image library to meet the evolving needs of BirdLife Photography and its parent organisation, BirdLife Australia.  The restructure commenced in January 2015 and is a continuing process.

The first phase expands the structure of the image library with three additional galleries, one of which is the Premier Bird Images Gallery (PBIG).  The PBIG is a collection of the very best images selected from the Main Library (where most of the images submitted by our members are located) and other galleries (eg. Previous Competition galleries); these images are transferred to the PBIG, which will serve as a showcase for our members' best images, and will encourage their use by BirdLife Australia and third party organisations.

The Selection Process

There are two Working Groups appraising the existing images in our library, working through the thousands of images in family groups.  Each WG consists of three experienced photographers; several of these photographers have won national and international awards for their photography.  Whilst the judging of images will always have a subjective component, images are judged by reference to standards such as the Photographic Exhibitions Committee of the Professional Photographers of America.  Images are scored out of a total of 15 points and those images with a score of 14 or 15 are identified for transfer to the PBIG.  A score of 15/15 is judged as excelling in all the key criteria that an individual judge ascribes to an image of the highest quality.  A 14/15 image may have one deficiency in a critical element that removes it from the 15/15 category but still scores the image in the second highest tier.

Images assessed for the PBIG are assigned a star rating, based on the total of the highest two scores from the three judges.  These ratings are:
   5-star: the two highest scores total 29 or 30
   4-star: the two highest scores total 28
   3-star: the two highest scores total 27
   2-star: the two highest scores total 26, OR there is one score of 14 or 15
   1-start: there is one score of 13

Images with 5 or 4 star ratings are moved from their original gallery to the Premier Bird Images Gallery; except as described in the following two paragraphs.

The Committee has decided that an individual photographer may only have a total of 3 images of a species in the PBIG.  Where a photographer has more than 3 images for any one species, images selected for transfer to the PBIG will be referred back to the appropriate WG for final selection.  In special circumstances, the BirdLife Photography Committee may allow more than 3 but no more than 5 images for an individual species from any one photographer.  Where images with 5 or 4 stars have been excluded on the basis of the species limit, these images will remain in their original gallery; you can find these images by using the PBIG Star Rating in the Search facility in our galleries.

In addition to image quality, PBIG images must meet minimum size requirements.  For images submitted prior to the introduction of our New Images gallery (April 2015), this is set to at least 95% of the previous maximum size limits for image submission (1024 pixels wide, 768 pixels high); for newer images, this is 95% of the current maximum size limits (1400 pixels wide, 1050 pixels high).  Images that have been selected by a Working Group, but excluded for size reasons, will also remain in their original gallery, and can be found by their PBIG Star Rating in the Search facility.

Families Assessed

The table below is an update on the progress of the various Working Groups, showing the families that have been accessed to date.  For some of these families no images have been selected for the PBIG, for other families, only some species are represented in the PBIG.  The BLP Committee encourages its members to regularly review this page for updates to this information and to check which species are present in the PBIG (by using the Filter/Sort capability in that gallery), utilise the resources provided by BLP to enhance your photographic skills and apply those skills to capture high quality images worthy of display in the new gallery structure.  Please note that images cannot be submitted directly to the PBIG; images must be submitted to the New Images Gallery and they will be appraised for selection to the PBIG when transferred to the Main Library and the New Images Working Group is established. Images submitted to photo competition galleries will also be assessed by this WG.

This table uses the families listed in the BirdLife Australia Working List V2.1 taxonomy used on this site.  It includes the highest image ID for the images in each family have been assessed; images with higher ID numbers will not have been assessed, but will be in subsequent rounds of the assessment process.

Family Name Scientific Name Assessed Highest Image ID
Ostriches Struthionidae Yes 16392
Emus and Cassowaries Casuariidae Yes 16392
Megapodes Megapodiidae Yes 16392
Guineafowl Numididae Yes 16392
New World Quail Odontophoridae Yes 16392
Pheasants and Quail Phasianidae Yes 16392
Magpie Goose Anseranatidae Yes 16392
Ducks, Geese and Swans Anatidae Yes 16392
Tropicbirds Phaethontidae Yes 16392
Grebes Podicepidae Yes 16392
Flamingoes Phoenicopteridae Yes 16392
Pigeons and Doves Columbidae Yes 16392
Frogmouths Podargidae    
Eared Nightjars Eurostopodidae    
Nightjars Caprimulgidae    
Owlet-nightjars Aegothelidae    
Swifts and Swiftlets Apodidae    
Northern Storm-Petrels Hydrobatidae    
Southern Storm-Petrels Oceanitidae    
Albatrosses Diomedeidae    
Petrels and Shearwaters Procellariidae    
Penguins Spheniscidae    
Frigatebirds Fregatidae    
Gannets and Boobies Sulidae    
Darter Anhingidae    
Cormorants and Shags Phalacrocoracidae    
Pelican Pelicanidae    
Storks Ciconiidae    
Herons, Egrets and Bitterns Ardeidae    
Ibis and Spoonbills Threskiornithidae    
Osprey Pandionidae    
Eagles, Kites, Goshawks Accipitridae    
Falcons Falconidae    
Cranes Gruidae  Yes 28994
Crakes, Rails and Swamphens Rallidae  Yes 28474
Bustards Otididae    
Sheathbills Chionididae    
Stone-curlews Burhinidae  Yes 29217
Oystercatchers Haematopodidae  Yes 29712
Stilts and Avocets Recurvirostridae  Yes 29827
Plovers, Dotterel and Lapwings Charadriidae  Yes 30564
Plains-wanderer Pedionomidae  Yes 29394
Jacanas Jacanidae  Yes 29285
Painted Snipe Rostratulidae  Yes 29394
Snipe, Sandpipers, Godwits, Curlew, Stints and Phalaropes Scolopacidae  Yes 33494
Button-quail Turnicidae    
Pratincoles Glareolidae    
Skuas and Jaegers Stercorariidae    
Gulls, Terns and Noddies Laridae    
Kakas and Keas Nestoridae    
Cockatoos and Corellas Cacatuidae    
Parrots, Lorikeets and Rosellas Psittacidae    
Parrots, Lorikeets and Rosellas Psittacidaeus    
Cuckoos Cuculidae    
Hawk-Owls Strigidae    
Masked Owls Tytonidae    
Kingfishers Alcedinidae    
Bee-eaters Meropidae    
Dollarbird Coraciidae    
Rollers Coraciidae    
Hoopoes Upupidae    
Pittas Pittidae Yes 16392
Lyrebirds Menuridae Yes 16392
Scrub-birds Atrichornithidae Yes 16392
Treecreepers Climacteridae Yes 16392
Bowerbirds and Catbirds Ptilonorhynchidae Yes 16392
Fairy-wrens, Emu-wrens and Grasswrens Maluridae Yes 16392
Bristlebirds Dasyornithidae Yes 16392
Thornbills and Gerygones Acanthizidae Yes 16392
Pardalotes Pardalotidae Yes 16392
Honeyeaters and Chats Meliphagidae Yes 16392
Australian Babblers Pomatostomidae Yes 16392
Logrunners Orthonychidae Yes 16392
Whipbirds and Wedgebills Psophodidae Yes 16392
Sittellas Neosittidae Yes 16392
Cuckoo-shrikes and Trillers Campephagidae Yes 16392
Whistlers, Shrike-thrushes and allies Pachycephalidae Yes 16392
Shriketits Falcunculidae    
Australo-Papuan Bellbirds Oreoicidae    
Orioles and Figbirds Oriolidae    
Boatbills Machaerirhynchidae    
Woodswallows, Currawongs, Butcherbirds and Magpie Artamidae    
Drongos Dicruridae    
Fantails Rhipiduridae    
Shrikes Laniidae    
Crows and Ravens Corvidae    
Monarch and Flycatchers Monarchidae    
Chough and Apostlebird Corcoracidae    
Birds of Paradise Paradisaeidae    
Australian Robins Petroicidae    
Larks Alaudidae    
Cisticolas Cisticolidae    
Reed-Warblers Acrocephalidae    
Grassbirds Megaluridae    
Yes Babblers Timaliidae    
Leaf Warblers Phylloscopidae    
Swallows and Martins Hirundinidae    
Bulbuls Pycnonotidae    
Old world flycatchers Muscicapidae    
Thrushes Turdidae    
Starlings Sturnidae    
Flowerpeckers Nectariniidae    
Sunbirds Dicaeidae    
Weaver Finches Estrildidae    
Weaver Finches Passeridae    
Pipits and Wagtails Motacillidae    
Old World Finches Fringillidae    
Buntings Emberizidae    

Recent Picks

Nankeen Night-Heron (Image ID 47226)
Nankeen Night-Heron
Graham Gall
Viewed: 20
Southern Whiteface (Image ID 47151)
Southern Whiteface
Steve Mantle
Viewed: 65
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo (Image ID 47072)
Horsfield's Bronze-Cuckoo
Chris Young
Viewed: 135
Superb Fairy-wren (Image ID 47058)
Superb Fairy-wren
Graham Gall
Viewed: 56
Fan-tailed Cuckoo (Image ID 46833)
Fan-tailed Cuckoo
Chris Young
Viewed: 224
Willie Wagtail (Image ID 46774)
Willie Wagtail
Stephen Garth
Viewed: 251
Tawny Frogmouth (Image ID 46725)
Tawny Frogmouth
Steve Mantle
Viewed: 183
Striated Heron (Image ID 46693)
Striated Heron
Steve Mantle
Viewed: 287
Black-necked Stork (Image ID 46683)
Black-necked Stork
Angela Farnsworth
Viewed: 182
White-faced Heron (Image ID 46617)
White-faced Heron
Darren Hibberd
Viewed: 383


The easiest way to contact us is by emailing us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Our People page, in the About Us section, contains email links to each of the committee members.