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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #12

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…


Atlantic puffin looking directly at the photographer. It is a wonderful experience to interact with such beautiful creatures... (Nina Stavlund)
Karel Mauer
Collared Pratincoles are unusual waders that are often seen near water in the evening, hawking for insects. Here photographed with chicks in Spain. (Karel Mauer)
Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines
The indigo-banded kingfisher is endemic to the Philippines. They are generally uncommon, but locally common resident of the northern and central islands. (Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines)
Ronald Krieger
Levaillant's cuckoo was named in honour of the French explorer, collector and ornithologist, François Levaillant. They are brood parasites that focus on bulbuls and babblers. (Ronald Krieger)
Nobby Clarke
A stunning photograph of a Red-billed oxpecker with a long shadow on the striped back of a zebra... Mesmerizing! (Nobby Clarke)
Adam Kotze
Long-tailed shrike with feathers blowing in the wind. Does the awesome effect outweigh the inconvenience of a foot long tail? (Adam Kotze)
Vanessa Stephens
Jacamars are predominantly found in lower altitude woodlands and forests, particularly forest edges and high canopy. They are voracious aerial insectivores. (Vanessa Stephens)
Kevin MacDonald
Spotted eagle-owls are one of the smallest of the eagle-owls. They are threatened by road traffic, power and telephone lines, and shortage of suitable prey in populated areas. (Kevin MacDonald)
Trevor Hardaker /
Yellow bishop photographed in De Hoop (South Africa). They are resident breeders in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. (Trevor Hardaker /
Adam Kotze
The lesser flamingo lives in Africa and are principally found in the East African Rift Valley and in southern Asia. (Adam Kotze)
Adam Riley /
Tropical Parula photographed in Laguna de Sonso (Colombia). They breed from Texas and northwestern Mexico, south through Central America to northern Argentina, and finally Trinidad and Tobago. (Adam Riley /
Chantelle Stork
Green-backed herons are an exciting sighting every time! Simply stunning common resident that you will get to know if you live near one... (Chantelle Stork)
Andrew Keys
Amur falcons breed in south-eastern Siberia and Northern China, and winter in Southern Africa where this female was photographed near Johannesburg (South Africa) (Andrew Keys)
Anja Denker
Speckled Pigeons are resident breeding birds in much of Africa south of the Sahara. This amazing portrait was taken in Namibia. (Anja Denker)
Ronald Krieger
Bateleurs are the national emblem of Zimbabwe. "Bateleur" is French for "tight-rope walker", aptly describing their characteristic habit of tipping their wing tips when flying, as if to catch their balance... (Ronald Krieger)
Adam Riley /
Chinstrap penguins on Orne Island (Antarctic). There are currently 12-13 million. (Adam Riley /
Adam Riley /
Chestnut-headed oropendolas are colonial breeders that build hanging woven nest of fibres and vines, 60–100 cm long, and located high up in tall trees. (Adam Riley /
Lennart Hessel
Peregrine falcons can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains, and most tropical rainforests... Why? (Lennart Hessel)
Dylan Vasapoli
Crab plovers are soo distinctive that they merit their own family Dromadidae. They are resident on the coastlines and islands of the Indian Ocean, where they feeds on crabs and other small animals. (Dylan Vasapoli)
Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines
Philippine eagle-owls are endemic to the Philippines. Little is known about the behavior of this secretive species... (Rey Sta. Ana / Wild Bird Photography Philippines)
Anja Denker
Black-chested prinias are a common endemic that is found in pairs or small family groups in southern Africa. (Anja Denker)


Trevor Hardaker /
The illusive and enigmatic Narina trogon photographed in Wilderness (South Africa) (Trevor Hardaker /
Trevor Hardaker /
Cape longclaws are endemic and are usually found in pairs at higher altitudes throughout the year. (Trevor Hardaker /
Ronald Krieger
The majestic, the enigmatic, African fish eagle stand like beacons on Africa's living waterways. Always a good sign... (Ronald Krieger)
Burkhard Schlosser
Buff-streaked Chats are found in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland, preferring subtropical or tropical dry lowland grasslands. (Burkhard Schlosser)


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.