1. What is the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW)?

The Handbook of the Birds of the World is a 17-volume encyclopaedia that illustrates and deals in detail with all the living species of birds in the world. It is an innovative and unique work, the first ever to cover all the bird species in the world (and their most distinctive subspecies), as well as being richly complemented with photographs. Each volume is produced with the participation of the world's pre-eminent authorities, specialized in each of the families. This emphasis on technical expertise involves the coordination of an international team of authors and illustrators by Lynx Edicions, the publishing house. HBW is managed, edited and published in Barcelona, Spain, from where it is marketed and distributed all over the world. The first volume appeared in 1992 and the seventeenth and last volume in 2013.

2. Who is Lynx Edicions?

Founded in Barcelona, Spain, in 1989, Lynx Edicions is a publishing house committed to providing high quality ornithology and natural history books. Foremost among these is the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW). Following on from the enormous success of the HBW Series, Lynx Edicions, in partnership with Conservation International and IUCN, has embarked on a companion series, the Handbook of the Mammals of the World. Lynx has also collaborated in different publications with various conservation organizations and institutions of world renown such as BirdLife International, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the American Museum of Natural History in New York and the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) among others.

3. What is the Internet Bird Collection (IBC)?

The Internet Bird Collection (IBC) is a Lynx Edicions initiative that consists of a vast, free-access online audiovisual library of videos, photos and sound recordings with the aim of including material for all the bird species in the world. Thanks to the help of our more than 1,600 contributors, the IBC currently holds 194,000+ digital specimens, covering over 9,300 bird species (94% of the world's total). With well over 200,000 visits per month, the IBC has become an even more powerful and useful tool for birders and ornithologists worldwide.

4. What is HBW Alive?

A living, comprehensive online reference resource for all the birds of the world. Born from the acclaimed 17-Volume series Handbook of the Birds of the World, HBW Alive contains the same immense body of knowledge – texts, maps, graphics, plates – but regenerated for the digital age. Constantly updated by experts and enriched with sound and vision, HBW Alive's intuitive, interactive format provides fast, organized access to all the data as well as being uniquely customizable to each user's needs and preferences.

5. Why is Swarovski Optik sponsoring this contest?

The Handbook of the Birds of the World and the Internet Bird Collection have completely revolutionized our access to information and images of the world's birds, bringing us closer than ever before to a deeper understand of their diversity and importance. The HBW World Bird Photo Contest was a logical progression, wowing us with the beauty and splendor of nature. Swarovski Optik hopes that through the support of this competition, we can play a small role in supporting the organizers and participating photographers in sharing their love for nature.

6. Why is Avistar sponsoring this contest?

Avistar is one of the most important birdwatching events in South America and has a strong commitment to bird conservation. We believe that in supporting the achievement of the prestigious HBW World Bird Photo Contest, we are collaborating in the dissemination of knowledge about our avifauna, and helping to achieve its conservation.

7. What is the taxonomic source of the list used for the species entries?

The list follows the taxonomy of the Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) series (del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J. & Christie, D.A. eds. (1992–2013). Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vols. 1–17. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.), which is reflected in the 17 published volumes of the series and on the Internet Bird Collection (IBC) website sponsored by HBW.

8. How can I participate in the HBW Contest?

The HBW - World Bird Photo Contest is FREE and any person, except those involved in its organization or employees of Lynx Edicions, Avistar or Swarovski Optik, can participate. Registration and the sending of all files should be done through the online form available on the Contest's website at www.hbwcontest.com Entrants must be eighteen (18) years of age or over on the Contest's closing date.

9. What digital adjustments can I make to my images?

Only minor adjustments like burning, dodging and/or colour corrections are acceptable, as are Levels and Curves adjustments. Cropping is acceptable as long as the resulting cropped image is bigger than 5 Mpixels.
No image manipulation such as digitally adding or removing anything is acceptable. No photos with watermarks will be accepted.

10. What are the guidelines for digital images?

The Contest Rules allow digital adjustments to your images, but being sure to avoid excessive digital manipulation. Basic processes are allowed such as removing dust and background noise. You are also permitted to make adjustments like those to exposure, levels, curves, colour, saturation, contrast, sharpening, and shadow and highlights, but always in moderation.

11. I've been taking photos in JPEG. Can I participate?

Yes! The Contest Rules indicate a minimum resolution, not a specific file format. JPEG is accepted and also RAW or TIFF. To submit your photo, it must be resized to 1920 pixels and saved as a copy in JPEG format. Please keep intact your original file.

12. Why didn't I receive an email confirmation after filling in the registration form? Please check your email anti-spam settings and restrictions placed by your Internet provider.

13. Can I include metadata information in the submitted file?

Yes, you can, but it is not required. We recommend that IPTC metadata be completed as you do normally, but it will not be considered for the contest in accordance with the standard that you normally follow. More importantly, it is necessary to fill in the submission form completely and factually for each photo. Please remember to fill in the TITLE and CAPTION fields without any reference to the author's name.