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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #7

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 15,000 photographs from 87 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…


Cantay Gok
Malachite kingfisher perched quietly in wait for a small fish, tadpole or insect... (Cantay Gok)
Michele Nel
Extreme close-up of a Cape Robin-Chat perched on a reed... (Michele Nel)
Pablo Castro
Magnificent frigatebird shimmering in the sunlit ocean... Previously known as "Man O'War", reflecting their rakish lines, speed, and aerial piracy of other birds. (Pablo Castro)
© Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock
Kazakh hunters train a golden eagle to respond to commands. For centuries, they have taken eagle chicks from the nest and hand-trained them to hunt mainly foxes and cats for fur used in warm clothing in the harsh Mongolian winter. (© Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock)
Lennart Hessel
Bennett's woodpecker hard at work... A real treat to be this close.
Burkhard Schlosser
Cape Griffon landing in the wind... Vultures around the world are endangered by poisoning and reduced availability of suitable food... (Burkhard Schlosser)
Yellow-billed stork in a wetland in Kenya. These amazing storks have done very well in Africa, but are still threatened by changes on the continent...
Lennart Hessel
Pied kingfisher calling for better management and protection of waterways across their massive distributional range! (Lennart Hessel)
Adam Riley /
Lesser flamingos congregating in Lake Nakuru National Park (Adam Riley /
Lennart Hessel
Male red-headed weaver busy putting the finishing touches to the interior of his latest nest... (Lennart Hessel)
Louis Groenewald
Southern double-collared sunbirds are endemic to South Africa. A stunning little sunbird... (Louis Groenewald)
Lennart Hessel
Straight as an arrow! Pied kingfisher diving at a small fish near the surface after hovering above to for a few moments... (Lennart Hessel)
Swallow-tailed bee-eaters sitting together in the morning sun. Warming up can be essential in winter... (Michele Nel)
Lennart Hessel
Little egret into white stillness descending... Brilliant! (Lennart Hessel)

Anja Denker
Orange-breasted sunbird looking at the photographer through a gap in the vegetation. Just beautiful! (Anja Denker)
Brian Culver
A pair of Cape shovelers swimming together. Notice the male's yellow eye. (Brian Culver)
Cantay Gok
Cattle egrets working hard to clean a pod of hippos while catching a free ride... (Cantay Gok)
Adam Riley /
Black-cheeked gnateater found in Serra dos Tucanos prefers subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, where it is a bird of the understory and forest floor (Brazil) (Adam Riley /
Louis Groenewald
Malachite sunbirds prefer hilly fynbos (including protea stands as well as areas with aloes) and cool montane and coastal scrub, up to 2,800m altitude in South Africa. (Louis Groenewald)
Chantelle Stork
African fish eagle fighting with two osprey for a large catfish on the riverbank... (Chantelle Stork)
Lennart Hessel
African jacana in full flight above the lilies. Simply stunning! (Lennart Hessel)
Tri-colored heron resting on the water's edge in the Everglades National Park (Florida, USA). Beautiful!
Michele Nel
Brown snake-eagle strikes a pose. These powerful raptors can kill large poisonous snakes with ease...(Michele Nel)
Lennart Hessel
Squacco heron hiding in the grass. These amazing herons congregate in the thousands in the Okavango Delta to breed each year. (Lennart Hessel)


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.



See the Africa Birds & Birding Facebook page for amazing wild bird photos from Africa!


Dr Steve Boyes

Percy FitzPatrick Institute/Wild Bird Trust

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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.