National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #5

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…


Karel Mauer
Eurasian bittern photographed in the Netherlands while fishing in an ice hole (Karel Mauer)
Lennart Hessel
Black-headed gull swoops down to look at a perfect reflection in the still water. Or is he looking into the water? (Lennart Hessel)
Chris Krog
African Wattled Lapwing breed in most of sub-Saharan Africa (outside the rainforests) (Chris Krog)
Adam Riley/
Red-and-yellow barbet perched close to the photographer. Just look at the colors... (Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania) (Adam Riley/
© Art Wolfe/
Ornate hawk-eagles are most notable for their vivid colors that differ significantly from immature birds (Mexico) (© Art Wolfe/
Francois Venter
Bearded vulture landing on a cliff in the Drakensberg Mountains (Francois Venter)
Ron Linton
The American Kestrel is the only kestrel found in the Americas (Black Hills of South Dakota (USA)) (Ron Linton)
David Shackelford/
Flamingoes dazzle the eyes and baffle the brain on Kenya’s Lake Nakuru (David Shackelford/
Francois Venter
African darter tossing and catching a fish to make sure the spines are pointing the right way... (Francois Venter)
Joel Delgado
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird showing off the wonderful, rich colors and delicate feathers (mainly Central America) (Joel Delgado)
Chris Martin
Extreme close-up of an African Jacana (Chris Martin)
© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock
Yanomamo girl holds aracari in Parima Tapirapeco National Park (Venezuela) (© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock)
Adam Riley/
Bohm's bee-eater stunning as always in the Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania) (Adam Riley/
Taushik Mandal
Like angels descending from heaven. Egrets flying into a heronry at Nal Sarovar in Gujarat, India (Taushik Mandal)
Hendri Venter
Pied kingfisher exiting the water after a high-speed dive at fish near the surface... (Hendri Venter)
© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock
White-faced and black-bellied Whistling Ducks take flight in Llanos (Venezuela) (composite) (© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock)
Louis Groenewald
Lesser double-collared sunbird feeding on a yellow flower. Amazing capture! (Louis Groenewald)
Chris Krog
Red-billed oxpecker halting work to stare at the photographer. (Chris Krog)
© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock
The large gill of hornbills are quite frightening to many smaller birds. The Sulawesi red-knobbed hornbill is native to Indonesian rainforests. (© Art Wolfe/Art Wolfe Stock)
Geoff Spanner/GS wildshots
Wild budgerigar flock descends on waterhole at Bush Heritage in Australia's Eurardy Reserve (West Australia) (Geoff Spanner/GS wildshots)
Edward Peach
Lesser striped swallow strikes a pose right up close to the lens. Amazing! (Edward Peach)
Tony Wilson
White-crested helmet-shrike strikes a pose and considers the photographer for a moment. (Tony Wilson)
Burkhard Schlosser
African fish eagle drying off on a low branch. (Burkhard Schlosser)
Adam Riley/
Ferrugineous antbird is endemic to Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil (Adam Riley/
Adam Riley/
Little bittern perched in the morning sunlight. A rare photograph. (Shakawe, Okavango River, Botswana) (Adam Riley/


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.