Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week

Advances in digital photography have given us the opportunity to capture the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild like never before. In January 2011, the Wild Bird Trust set up a Facebook page with the intention of celebrating free flight and birds in the wild from around the world. Here are the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” drawn from thousands of photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust. Almost 4,000 photographs from over 60 photographers from around the world were emailed or posted on our wall last year. Celebrate the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild and stimulate positive change by sharing with the world how beautiful the birds of the world really are…

 

Please join the Wild Bird Trust page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to receive all wild bird photo updates and join the Wild Bird Revolution. Submit your own photos and become part of this important effort to bring the magic of wild birds to the world. Prepare to be blown away every week…

 

Anja Denker
Cape gull with wings outstretched in the archangel position. There is beauty and purity in the most ordinary things... (Anja Denker)
Sean Braine
Extreme close-up of a Steppe Eagle. A common Palearctic migrant that has a habit of hunting from the top of telephone poles. (Sean Braine)
Rodnick Biljon
An amazing photograph of a Mallard duck sleeping on the grass. This introduced duck is establishing growing populations in and around Johannesburg and Cape Town. (Rodnick Biljon)
Marie Claude Orosquette
Lilac-breasted roller flying past the photographer. This must be one of the most photographed birds in Africa. (Marie Claude Orosquette)
Rodnick Biljon
Yellow-billed stork with a fish in the Kruger National Park (South Africa). These amazing storks are Near-threatened in South Africa and generally uncommon. (Rodnick Biljon)
Jarbas Mattos
Burrowing owl are found throughout the Americas, restricted mainly to grasslands, pastures, agricultural lands, deserts and other open dry area with low vegetation. They do, of course, nest in burrows... (Jarbas Mattos)
Anja Denker
Blue waxbills are very sensitive to water shortages and can become nomadic in winter. They are a favorite with finch breeders. (Anja Denker)
Marius Coetzee
Grey Heron flying past the setting sun in Chobe National Park (Botswana). The Chobe River is one of the best places in the world for stunning sunsets like this one... (http://www.mariuscoetzee.com/) (Marius Coetzee)
Rodnick Biljon
African Black Oystercatcher flying over a rocky shore near East London (South Africa). These stunning birds are regarded as Near-threatened breeding endemics. (See: http://www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za/africa_birds/ABB02(5)28-34.pdf) (Rodnick Biljon)
Hendri Venter
Tawny eagle takes off in front of the rising moon. This must have been the perfect ending to a day in the bush... (Hendri Venter)
James Wakelin
This yellow-bellied sunbird-asity is only found in high-lying mistbelt montane forest patches on the island of Madagascar. (http://www.rockjumperbirding.com/) (James Wakelin)
David Kaplan
The beautiful Jackson's widowbird is restricted to Kenya and Tanzania, and is threatened by the decline of their subtropical or tropical high-altitude grasslands and arable land... (http://www.rockjumperbirding.com/) (David Kaplan)
Robbie Aspeling
Greater striped swallow stretching a pose before launching off to hunt down insects high in the wind... (Robbie Aspeling)
Marie Claude Orosquette
Lesser-masked weaver bathing next to a beautiful lily. The private lives of wild birds... (Marie Claude Orosquette)
Rodnick Biljon
African spoonbill zooming past the photographer. These locally common birds are gregarious and are nomadic in response to water levels. (Rodnick Biljon)
Marius Coetzee
Rouget's Rail is found in Eritrea and Ethiopia, restricted to subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, rivers, swamps, freshwater marshes, rural gardens, and urban areas. They are, however, threatened by continued habitat loss and degradation. (http://www.mariuscoetzee.com/) (Marius Coetzee)
Hendri Venter
Greater kestrel closing its wings a little to pick up some speed before swooping down on some prey. (Hendri Venter)
Robbie Aspeling
White-fronted bee-eater feeding on a dragonfly. Stunning detail in the sunlight. (Robbie Aspeling)
Kevin Shakespeare
Stunning portrait of a red-billed gull. Being this close to a bird you see how perfect the wild keeps them. No room for imperfection like in captivity. (Kevin Shakespeare)
Adam Riley
Green-headed tanager is found in the Atlantic forests of south-eastern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and north-eastern Argentina. They remain hidden in the high canopy most of the time... (http://www.rockjumperbirding.com/) (Adam Riley)
Rodnick Biljon
Perfect action shot of a southern red bishop busy at work in the reed bed. This common polygynous bird is gregarious and sedentary. (Rodnick Biljon)
Kevin Shakespeare
Cape White-eye strikes a pose in perfect sunlight. These beautiful birds are endemic to the South Africa and do well in residential gardens. (Kevin Shakespeare)
Markus Lilje
Great white pelicans flying in formation. (http://www.rockjumperbirding.com/) (Markus Lilje)
Adam Riley
Bare-legged owls or Cuban screech owls are endemic to Cuba. They live predominantly in the high canopy where do most of their foraging and roosting. (http://www.rockjumperbirding.com/) (Adam Riley)
Anja Denker
Rock kestrel feeding on a poisonous centipede that shows just how small these beautiful little birds really are... (Anja Denker)

 

The Wild Bird Trust was founded in South Africa in August 2009 with the primary objective of keeping birds safe in the wild. The trust aims to encourage the use of flagship endangered bird species as “ecosystem ambassadors” in their indigenous habitat. The trust focusses on linking ordinary people with conservation action in the field through innovative marketing campaigns and brand development. Saving Africa’s birds is going to take a determined effort from all of us.

The main aims and objectives of the WBT are to:

  • To advance the research in, education about and conservation of all birds in the wild as well as the related habitat.
  • Focus will be placed primarily on African species that act as ecosystem and biodiversity indicators although other species and geographical areas will be considered as well.
  • To work with all interested and involved parties including government, private sector, NGOs, education and research institutions, aviculture and bird-watching sectors without losing objectivity and independence.

In the pursuit of these aims and objectives the Wild Bird trust works closely with relevant local and international entities and persons, including: government authorities; educational institutions; conservation organizations; and avicultural organizations. The trust is funded entirely by its founder members, charitable donations and conservation grants.   The National Geographic Society Conservation Trust was the first to award a large grant to the Wild Bird Trust for our work on the Cape Parrot Project. See: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/16/upholi-want-a-forest-rescuing-africas-most-endangered-parrot-from-extinction/

Human Journey

Steve Boyes has dedicated his life to conserving Africa's wilderness areas and the species that depend upon them. After having worked as a camp manager and wilderness guide in the Okavango Delta and doing his PhD field work on the little-known Meyer's Parrot, Steve took up a position as a Centre of Excellence Postdoctoral Fellow at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology. He has since been appointed the Scientific Director of the Wild Bird Trust and is a 2014 TED Fellow. His work takes him all over Africa, but his day-to-day activities are committed to South Africa's endemic and Critically Endangered Cape Parrot (Poicephalus robustus). Based in Hogsback Village in the Eastern Cape (South Africa), Steve runs the Cape Parrot Project, which aims to stimulate positive change for the species through high-quality research and community-based conservation action. When not in Hogsback, Steve can be found in the Okavango Delta where he explores remote areas of this wetland wilderness on "mokoros" or dug-out canoes to study endangered bird species in areas that are otherwise inaccessible. Steve is a 2013 National Geographic Emerging Explorer for his work in the Okavango Delta and on the Cape Parrot Project.