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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #13

  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...


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…


A moment in time captured forever! Malachite kingfisher diving into the water. Simply amazing! (Neal Cooper)
Lennart Hessel
Common goldeneyes are found in the lakes and rivers of boreal forests across Canada and the northern United States, Scandinavia and northern Russia. (Lennart Hessel)
Anthony Roberts
Southern ground hornbill is the largest hornbill on earth. They are threatened throughout their range outside of protected areas. See: (Anthony Roberts)
Nina Stavlund
Prothonotary warblers breed in the hardwood swamps of extreme southeastern Ontario and the eastern United States. They are the only eastern warbler that nests in natural or artificial cavities. (Nina Stavlund)
Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock
A close-up of the wing feathers of a Scarlet Macaw show the beautiful array of colors these birds display. (Art Wolfe / Art Wolfe Stock)
Kevin MacDonald
The illusive and enigmatic Pel's fishing owl of sub-Saharan Africa. A rare sighting along Africa's waterways... (Kevin MacDonald)
Adam Riley /
An amazing flock of African skimmers zooming past the photographer in Loango National Park (Gabon) (Adam Riley /
Anthony Roberts
Lappet-faced vulture perched proudly in the Kruger National Park (South Africa). Like most vultures they are threatened throughout their range by livestock farming, poison and food shortages. (Anthony Roberts)
Geir Jensen
White-throated dippers are a unique aquatic passerine found in Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. When disturbed the young, when hardly feathered, will at once drop into the water and dive... (Geir Jensen)
Neal Cooper
Orange-breasted sunbird and a honeybee square off over a protea flower. A stunning scene from a sunny day in the Western Cape (South Africa). (Neal Cooper)
Anthony Roberts
African fish eagle flying high above the clouds... The freedom of unassisted flight is an advancement equal to all the human achievements to date... (Anthony Roberts)
Adam Riley /
Imperial shag on Saunder's Island in the Falklands. They are native to many subantarctic islands, the Antarctic Peninsula and southern South America, primarily in rocky coastal regions, but locally also at large inland lakes. (Adam Riley /
Mark Drysdale
Southern masked weavers are very widespread in southern Africa and are found in a wide range of habitats. (Mark Drysdale)
Adam Riley /
The striolated puffbird is a little-known species in the Bucconidae family that is found in the southwestern Amazon Basin in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Photographed here in Rio Cristalino (Brazil) (Adam Riley /
Adam Riley /
Snowy sheathbill in St Andrews Bay on South Georgia Island (Antarctic). They are omnivores that specialize in kleptoparasitism, stealing krill and fish from penguins - sometimes even eating their eggs and down-covered chicks. Sheathbills also eat carrion, feces, invertebrates and, where available, human waste. (Adam Riley /
Rodnick Biljon
Cape parrots are among the most radiant parrots on earth, seeming to shine in the sunlight. There are in the region of 1,000 remaining in the wild and the species requires urgent conservation investment. (Rodnick Biljon)
John Paterson
The Atlantic yellow-nosed albatross is considered to be an endangered species due to dramatic declines in the last seventy years. (John Paterson)
Neal Cooper
Lanner falcon swooping down at the water's edge. They breed in Africa, as well as southeast Europe and neighboring parts of Asia. (Neal Cooper)
Mark Drysdale
The African pygmy-kingfisher is distributed widely in Africa south of the Sahara... (Mark Drysdale)
Geir Jensen
European robins are found across Europe, east to Western Siberia, and south to North Africa. They are sedentary in most of their range, except the far north where it becomes too cold. (Geir Jensen)
Michele Nel
Marico sunbirds are found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Michele Nel)
Ronald Krieger
Kori bustards are native to Africa and are considered to be the heaviest bird capable of flight. (Ronald Krieger)
Anja Denker
Blue waxbill holding up a piece of grass covered in flowers in the wind. Just beautiful! (Anja Denker)
Antero Topp
The Willow Ptarmigan's scientific name, Lagopus lagopus is derived from Ancient Greek lagos "hare" and pous "foot" in reference to the bird's feathered feet which allow it to negotiate frozen ground. Here photographed in Kuusamo (Finland). (Antero Topp)
Suranjan Mukherjee
The Chaffinch was so named for its tendency to peck the grain left out in farmyards... (Suranjan Mukherjee)


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.