Sadly, that is not the name of new reality show. (The fraction of the TV-watching public that would want to gaze at birders birding is probably pretty small. Though perhaps if the contestants wore clingy, revealing outfits and character shoes, ratings would be decent.)

Rather, it’s that time again for Swarovski Optik North America’s annual digiscoping contest. If you’ve got mad bird-scoping skillz, now’s your chance to prove it. Entries are accepted until September 30, 2014 in four categories: Behavior and Action, Portraits, Mammals, and Videos.

More good-to-know stuff:

  • Birds, mammals, insects, amphibians, and reptiles—all in their natural habitats—are fair game. (Except for the Mammals category. Duh.)
  • You can submit still photos or videos.
  • For the first time, a prize will be awarded for shots taken with a smartphone. (Digital cameras are cool, too.) All images must be shot through scopes or binoculars.
  • The “Digiscoper of the Year 2014” will be awarded a whole mess of Swarovski gear, and three other winners will get Swarovkski EL 32 bins.

Not a scoper or shutterbug? No problem—you can play along at home. “Like” the ones you like most at the contest’s Facebook page—new images and videos will go up every month through October. Fan favorites will get Swarovski swag.

So if you want to boast taking the shot seen ‘round the world—or just to help pick it—get scoping. (Or scoping the scopers’ scoping!)

Image of Corey scoping, above, from; Digiscoping Corey below by Redgannet.


Written by Meredith Mann
The lowly Red-winged Blackbirds in suburban New York triggered Meredith Mann's interest in birds. Five years later, she's explored some of the the USA's coolest hotspots, from Plum Island in Massachusetts to the Magic Hedge in Chicago to the deserts of Fallon, Nevada. She recently migrated from the Windy City (where she proudly served as a Chicago Bird Collision Monitor, rescuing migrants from skyscrapers and sidewalks) to Philadelphia, where she plans to find new editing and writing gigs; keep up her cool-finds chronicle, Blog5B; and discover which cheesesteak really is the best. And she will accept any and all invitations to bird Cape May, NJ.