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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #14

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 20,000 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…


Neal Cooper
Black-crowned night-herons are found almost everywhere, except in the coldest regions and Australasia. (Neal Cooper)
Anja Denker
Grey-headed gull photographed up-close in Namibia. They breed sporadically in South America and Africa (S of the Sahara). (Anja Denker)
Nina Stavlund
European starling has been adversely affected in northern Europe by intensive agriculture. (Nina Stavlund)
Robyn Gianni
Crowned cranes remain common over much of their range, but face threats to their habitat caused by drainage, overgrazing, pesticides and pollution. (Robyn Gianni)
Mr.Supat P.
The banded pitta is a little-known forest bird found on the Thai-Malay Peninsula and the Greater Sundas (except Sulawesi) (Mr.Supat P.)
Adam Riley /
Red-billed queleas swarming in the Selous Game Reserve (Tanzania). They are considered to be among the most abundant birds on earth. (Adam Riley /
Adam Riley /
Austral rail on the Valdez Peninsula of Argentina. They are also found in Chile, preferring swamps, freshwater lakes, and marshes. The species is threatened by habitat loss... (Adam Riley /
Robyn Gianni
Vulturine guineafowls are the largest extant guineafowl, and are only distantly related to other guineafowl species. They are resident breeders in northeast Africa, from southern Ethiopia through Kenya and just into northern Tanzania. (Robyn Gianni)
Neal Cooper
Tawny eagles breed in most of Africa (both N and S of the Sahara) and across tropical south-western Asia all the way to India. (Neal Cooper)
Nobby Clarke
Red-billed oxpeckers irritating a buffalo! Free and wild in the African bush. (Nobby Clarke)
Anja Denker
Cape glossy starling with a grasshopper. I think this starling means to eat this grashopper... (Anja Denker)
Adam Riley /
Common potoo photographed at Laguna de Sonso (Colombia). They are nocturnal birds that breed in tropical Central and South America from Nicaragua to northern Argentina and Uruguay. (Adam Riley /
Lennart Hessel
Pied wagtails breed in much of Europe and Asia, as well as parts of North Africa. They are resident in the mildest parts of their range, but most populations migrate to Africa. (Lennart Hessel)
Ronald Krieger /
This Linnet or "Kneu" (in Dutch) was photographed in Flevopolder (Netherlands). They breed in Europe, western Asia and North Africa. They are partially resident, but many migrate further south or move to the coast. (Ronald Krieger /
Clive Prior
Pink flamingos dazzle the eyes in Kenya at places like Lake Nakuru...(Clive Prior)
Karel Mauer
Goosanders are fish-feeding ducks that have serrated edges to their bills, which help them grip their prey, earning them the nickname "sawbills". Here photographed in the Netherlands. (Karel Mauer)
Chris Martin /
Southern ground hornbills are the largest hornbills on earth and their booming contact calls are a part of the African bush experience... (Chris Martin /
John Tinkler /
Golden-breasted buntings occur in dry open woodlands in Africa, south of the Sahara, but are absent from the equatorial forest belt. They are not gregarious, and are normally seen alone, in pairs or small groups. (John Tinkler /
Geir Jensen
Eurasian coots occur and breed in Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. The species has recently expanded its range to New Zealand. (Geir Jensen)
Andre Marais
Yellow-billed kites flying together in beautiful light. These versatile raptors can catch flying insects with ease and them move onto small mammals. (Andre Marais)
Andre Marais
Spotted eagle-owl flying straight past the photographer. These adaptable owls have figured out how to live with human beings and have become common in South African cities. (Andre Marais)
Neal Cooper
Black-shouldered kites and the conspecific black-winged kites are the most widely-distributed kite on earth. (Neal Cooper)
Nobby Clarke
White-fronted bee-eater strikes a typical pose. Ever alert for insect prey flying past... They are found in the savannah regions of sub-equatorial Africa. (Nobby Clarke)
Karel Mauer
White storks on a nest in the Netherlands. They will fly south as far as South Africa after the breeding season. (Karel Mauer)
Nina Stavlund
Snow geese photographed in Ottawa (Canada). They breed north of the "timberline" in Greenland, Canada, Alaska, and the northeastern tip of Siberia, and winter in warm parts of North America from southwestern British Columbia through parts of the United States all the way to Mexico. (Nina Stavlund)


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.