National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #4

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...

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 14,000 photographs from 82 photographers from around the world have been emailed to us or posted on our Facebook wall so far. Celebrate the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild with us and stimulate positive change by sharing how beautiful the birds of the world really are with the world…


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…

Adit Somani
Rose-ringed parakeet in Bhavnagar (Gujarat, India). These are one of the most prolific parrots on earth able to establish feral populations very quickly. (Adit Somani)
Chris Martin
“Juvenile African jacana stalking around in search of food at Sunset Dam near Lower Sabie in the Kruger National Park (South Africa). (Chris Martin)
Ron Linton
Beautifully ugly:) Baby egrets defending their nest in Florida. (Ron Linton)
Ara Project
Scarlet macaws flying high above the high canopy - free and wild! (Ara Project)
John Tinkler
Orange-breasted Sunbirds are endemic to South Africa and a wonderful sighting in your garden on the Cape Peninsula (South Africa). (John Tinkler)
Antero Topp
Chinstrap penguins on an iceberg with Antarctic petrels and Antarctic terns (South Shetland, Antarctica). Stunning scene!! (Antero Topp)
Art Wolfe
White-tailed sea eagle and Japanese cranes in Hokkaido (Japan). Amazing action scene... (Art Wolfe)
Gloria Archilla
The endemic Puerto Rican Tody photographed near San Pedrito de Puerto Rico. (Gloria Archilla)
Cantay Gok
The enigmatic and little-known African Shoebill is being poached to extinction by trappers that collect chicks and eggs for sale to international traders... (Cantay Gok)


Vanessa Stephens
Cape gannet with wings outstretched at a colony. This is my space!! (Vanessa Stephens)
Rodnick Biljon
An apparently cross-eyed Jackal buzzard in South Africa. These stunning raptors are often found sitting atop powerlines watching out for prey... (Rodnick Biljon)
Rodnick Biljon
The African firefinch is a common species found in almost all parts of Africa, and has an estimated global distributional range of 5,400,000 km². (Rodnick Biljon)


Ralitza Tchiorniy
Lilac-breasted roller shows off its amazing colors in the bright sunlight. They are a natural wonder... (Ralitza Tchiorniy)


Ralitza Tchiorniy
Brown-headed parrot hanging below a nest cavity. These little African parrots prefer low-lying rivers and coastal forest. They are disappearing throughout their range due to nest poaching and illegal capture for the wild-caught bird trade... (Ralitza Tchiorniy)
Ralitza Tchiorniy
African grey hornbill in the dry mopane woodlands of southern Africa. This is one tough character... (Ralitza Tchiorniy)
Nobby Clarke
Southern masked weaver eyeing the photographer while building a nest... (Nobby Clarke)


Kevin Shakespeare
Australian coots are a subspecies of the Eurasian coot that breeds across much of the Old World on freshwater lakes and ponds, occurring in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. (Kevin Shakespeare)
Robert Wintle
Giant Kingfisher flying away with a small fish (South Africa). (Robert Wintle)
Hendri Venter
Cape Vulture calling for more investment in vulture conservation around the world. These amazing birds are now endangered by persecution, poisoning and lack of suitable food resources... (Hendri Venter)
Hendri Venter
Black-shouldered kite swooping to the side... These aerial acrobats and their cousins can be found hovering over fields from Africa all the way to China. (Hendri Venter)
Great white pelican a nile crocodile on Chammo Lake (Ethiopia). Both are amazing survivors... (Vláďa Trailin)
Sean Baine
Cattle Egrets taking off after being disturbed in Mamili National Park in the Caprivi Strip (Namibia) (Sean Baine)
Annelize Vorster de Beer
Cattle egret sitting on the back of a zebra in Rietvlei near Pretoria (South Africa). (Annelize Vorster de Beer)
Vláďa Trailin
African Fish Eagle taking off from a perch in Ethiopia. Stunning photograph! (Vláďa Trailin)


See the last “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” blog post on National Geographic News Watch:



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:

About National Geographic Society

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Meet the Author

Steve Boyes
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.