KingBirder is extremely proud of our selection jury. Our panel is made up of judges who are leading experts in the worlds of birding and photography.  The jury will work together to determine our prize winners.

Melissa Groo

Melissa Groo is a wildlife photographer, writer, and conservationist with a passion for educating people about the marvels of the natural world. She believes that photography can be both fine art and a powerful vehicle for storytelling, and considers herself a “wildlife biographer” as much as a wildlife photographer. It is her mission to raise awareness and change minds about not only the extrinsic beauty of animals, but also their intrinsic worth.

Learn more about Melissa

Noah Strycker

Called a “Travel Pioneer” by the BBC and “Birdman of Razzmatazz” by Newsweek, Noah Strycker is a writer, photographer, and bird man based near Eugene, Oregon. In 2015, during a quest spanning 41 countries and all seven continents, he set a world record by finding 6,042 species of birds (more than half the birds on Earth) in one calendar year.  Noah has written several books, is Associate Editor of Birding magazine, and guides in the polar regions for Quark Expeditions. His books include: Birds of the Photo Ark (2018), featuring up-close portraits of birds photographed by Joel Sartore; Birding Without Borders (2017), a personal account of his epic quest in 2015 to see more than half of the planet’s bird species in a single year; The Thing with Feathers (2014), about the relationships between bird and human behavior; and Among Penguins (2011), describing a summer in an Antarctic field camp.

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Tim Boyer

Tim Boyer is an award winning nature photographer. His images have been published in many bird and nature magazines. He is a full-time photographer and a graduate of Seattle Audubon’s Master Birder Program. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of photography and birds through workshops and presentations. Shorebirds are his favorite family group of birds, and he spends a lot of weekends on the Washington Coast.

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Shane Gutierrez

Shane Gutierrez works and lives in Warwick. He has been working, studying and playing with photography for close to 40 years. His business, Shane Photography, opened shop in 1988, specializing in corporate, product and architectural photography. For the past 20 years, he has been teaching photography, notably at the Rhode Island School of Design and independently on his own or at various local art associations and museums. He has experience as a curator and juror and has participated in both solo and group exhibits over the years.

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Tom Younkin

Tom is the founder and creator of KingBirder as well as a lifelong birder and avid bird photographer. After a successful 30 year career in high tech sales, he decided it was time to follow his true passions, birds and bird photography. KingBirder is a platform that enables birders and photographers to learn, compete, share, and follow their own passions.