Badlands Horse, Photograph by Jake Werth, third place winner in the Animals category. 

We are pleased to present the winners of the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photography Contest in the Animals category. The winning images reflect the wonder and beauty in the land, people, and experiences all around us.

Sandhill Reflections, Photograph by Pam Dorner, New Mexico Magazine

1st Place:

Sandhill Reflections, Pam Dorner 

First-place winner Pam Dorner captured her photograph, Sandhill Reflections, just as the sun was setting at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge​. The photo was, "taken a few days before the yearly Festival of the Cranes as the sandhills were coming in to roost for the night at the entrance pond," says Dorner, of Rio Rancho. 

Smooth Stepper, Photograph by Gerald Guss, New Mexico Magazine

2nd Place:

Smooth Stepper, Gerald Guss 

Las Cruces photographer Gerald Guss also finds inspiration at Bosque Del Apache. "I am a sucker for Bosque Del Apache," says Guss, "especially during the winter! So when I had the opportunity, I grabbed my camera and drove the two hours from Las Cruces. I was surprised to have the boardwalk to myself for what seemed like hours. That’s when I spotted this great blue heron slowly gliding through the water. I was completely engaged with its gracefulness. Free handing my 2000mm camera, I was able to capture this stunning photo of this Smooth Stepper."

Badlands Horse, Photograph by Jake Werth, New Mexico Magazine

3rd Place:

Badlands Horse, Jake Werth 

Albuquerque photographer Jake Werth finds some peace and solitude in his winning image Badlands Horse. The winning shot was captured as a wild horse was roaming through the badlands in northern New Mexico. 

Two Peas in a Pod, Photograph by Pam Dorner, New Mexico Magazine

Honorable Mention:

Two Peas in a Pod, Pam Dorner 

Animals can often be found in unexpected places. Pam Dorner came upon two barn owls nesting at the Abó ruins of Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in her winning photo Two Peas in a Pod. "Having never seen barn owls," says Dorner, "I drove to the ruins outside of Mountainair this summer to observe three nesting in a niche. During this visit, two of the owlets snuggled together while watching the restoration work going on around me."

Weidemeyer’s Admiral, Photograph by Marc Bailey, New Mexico Magazine

Honorable Mention:

Weidemeyer’s Admiral, Marc Bailey 

Patience was key in Los Alamos photographer Marc Bailey's winning image Weidemeyer’s Admiral. "The past two summers I have developed a fascination with photographing butterflies," says Bailey. "In July, I found a large patch of aspen fleabane near Camp May west of Los Alamos. I visited the flowers nearly daily hoping to add to my species list of butterfly images. On this particular day, the sun was in and out of the clouds constantly and since butterflies prefer bright sunlight, I was struggling to come up with any photos at all. I finally spotted a butterfly flitting from flower to flower slightly below me so I hurried towards it hoping to get the first photo of the day. I saw it was one of my favorites, a Weidemeyer’s Admiral with colorful ventral sides of it's wings. I was able to capture several dozen images before it took off not to be seen again. Fortunately, this shot was among the mostly so-so images."


Read More: Winners fo the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year

Read More: Winners to the 20th Annual New Mexico Magazine Photos of the Year | Experiences

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