National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #11

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. Each week we select from all the photographs submitted and from our archives. Almost 18,000 photographs from over 100 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 public awareness campaign to bring the magic of wild birds to the world. Prepare to be blown away every week…


Adam Riley /
Fischer's lovebird are a common sighting in the Serengeti National Park (Ndutu, Tanzania) (Adam Riley /
Rodnick Biljon
Tawny eagle standing sentinel over the African bush. Stunning sighting in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) (Rodnick Biljon)
Erik van der Ven
The abundance of life! Great white pelican and lesser flamingoes bring life to a remote, salt lake... (Erik van der Ven)
The mind-blowing golden-hooded tanager is resident from southern Mexico all the way south to western Ecuador. Here photographed in Costa Rica. (Nina Stavlund)
Geir Jensen
Blue tits are widespread and a common resident breeder throughout temperate and subarctic Europe and western Asia in deciduous or mixed woodlands with a high proportion of oak. (Geir Jensen)
Adam Riley /
The eastern black-capped lory inhabits the primary forest and forest edges in most lowland areas up to 1000m in Papua New Guinea. (Adam Riley /
Chris Martin /
Southern red-billed hornbill checking out the photographer in the Kruger National Park (South Africa) (Chris Martin /
Burkhard Schlosser
Resident populations of bearded vulture are found in the high mountains of southern Europe, North Africa, Southern Africa, the Indian subcontinent, and Tibet. (Burkhard Schlosser)
Mauro Catalano
Baby blue on barbed wire! Blue waxbill in Marloth Park on the Southern end of Kruger National Park (South Africa). (Mauro Catalano)
Mauro Catalano
Giant kingfishers are the largest kingfisher on earth and are always a wonderful sighting. (Mauro Catalano)
Focus on Trevor /
Western Gull at a colony near San Francisco. Their restricted range (for a gull...) is a conservation concern... (Focus on Trevor / Focus on Trevor /
Rodnick Biljon
Red-billed oxpeckers gathering on the back of a buffalo. These specialists are hanging on in the protected savannas of sub-Saharan Africa. (Rodnick Biljon)
Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock
King penguin chicks are born without the oily outer layer and cannot fish until maturity. (Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock)
Rohit Singh
Majestic steppe eagle photographed in India. They are the national animal of Egypt. (Rohit Singh)
Erik van der Ven
Squadron of pelicans flying through the harbour... (Erik van der Ven)
Adam Riley /
Yellow-billed kingfisher is widespread throughout lowland Papua New Guinea and the adjacent islands. (Adam Riley /
Sven Polenat
Black-capped chickadees are well-known for their bravery around humans. (Sven Polenat)
Burkhard Schlosser
Pied kingfisher in front of the waves... These amazing black-and-white kingfishers are distributed from South Africa to the other side of Asia. (Burkhard Schlosser)
Anja Denker
Cape Canary is a common and gregarious seedeater. Here enjoying some seeds developing in summer flowers. (Anja Denker)
Herman van der Hart
Grey-headed kingfishers have a wide distribution from the Cape Verde Islands off the north-west coast of Africa to Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia, east to Ethiopia, Somalia and southern Arabia and south to South Africa. (Herman van der Hart)
Adam Kotze
Extreme close-up of a Cape glossy starling that shows off their amazing iridescent plumage. Stunning! (Adam Kotze)
Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock
Ctiron-throated toucan photographed on the Caribbean coast of Colombia... (Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock)
Geir Jensen
Common ringed plovers breed on open ground on beaches and flats across northern Eurasia and the Arctic NE, wintering in coastal areas in Africa. (Geir Jensen)
Chris Krog
Malachite kingfisher with a great catch! They are a river kingfisher that is widely-distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. (Chris Krog)
Sven Polenat
Eurasian nuthatch striking a pose while looking at the photographer. Their old name “nut-hack” came from their habit of wedging a nut in a tree crevice, and then hacking away at it with their strong bills. (Sven Polenat)


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 Wild Bird Trust 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 bird photography from Africa!


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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.