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Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #16

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. 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…




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…


Karel Mauer
Collared pratincole photographed in Spain. Most often seen near water in the evening, while hawking for insects. They are found in the warmer parts of Europe, SW Asia and Africa. (Karel Mauer)
Edward Peach
White-backed night-heron are uncommon, often over-looked residents of southern Africa. They are considered vulnerable to extinction. (Edward Peach)
Adam Riley /
Purplish-mantled tanagers are found in Colombia and Ecuador, and are threatened by habitat loss. Photographed in Montezuma (Colombia). (Adam Riley /
Adam Riley /
Ground woodpeckers are often seen in small groups foraging together. Their coloration camouflages perfectly with the Afro-alpine grassland habitat they prefer. Here photographed on Sani Pass (South Africa). (Adam Riley /
Martin Heigan
Two young Cape robins are screaming hungry for some food from their parents... (Martin Heigan)
Naa Luck Supatsrn
The siamese fireback is the national bird of Thailand. They are threatened by habitat loss and over-hunting... (Naa Luck Supatsrn)
Adam Riley /
White-bellied woodstars are found in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. This beauty photographed in the "Enchanted Garden" in Colombia. (Adam Riley /
Robert van Brug
Malachite kingfishers are the little jewels that we look for when canoeing or kayaking in the African bush. Heart skips a beat every time you see one... (Robert van Brug)
Rudi and Lindie van den Heever
White-throated swallows are known to almost always nest over water in a mud cup nests. (Rudi and Lindie van den Heever)
Rudi and Lindie van den Heever
Peregrine falcon and Gabar goshawk have a scuffle over a kill... Amazing photography! (Rudi and Lindie van den Heever)
Adam Riley /
Short-tailed pygmy tyrants are the smallest passerine on earth. They are widespread throughout most of the Amazon in N and central S America. Photographed here near Alta Floresta (Brazil). (Adam Riley /
Robert van Brug
African fish eagle swooping down to capture a fish close to the surface. These sentinels of Africa's waterways are a sign of a healthy fishery. (Robert van Brug)
Nina Stavlund
Magnolia warbler photographed in Ottawa (Canada). They were first discovered in magnolia trees in the 19th century by famed ornithologist Alexander Wilson while in Mississippi. (Nina Stavlund)
John Smith
Cape griffons are considered "Vulnerable" due to deliberate poisoning and disturbances at breeding colonies, as well as powerline electrocutions. (John Smith)
Edward Peach
Tawny-flanked prinias are often seen moving methodically through the lower canopy. They are predominantly found along subtropical SE Africa. (Edward Peach)
Liz Hart
Helmeted guineafowl standing tall with the flock in the background. They are an integral contributor to the morning chorus of the African bush. (Liz Hart)
June Gathercole
Northern gannets are protected. Up to 2,000 gannets are harvested every year for a traditional delicacy. (June Gathercole)
Naa Luck Supatsrn
Banded kingfisher photographed in Thailand. They nest in secondary cavities in tree trunks and occasionally in the spherical nest of tree termites. (Naa Luck Supatsrn)
Naa Luck Supatsrn
White-rumped shama nests are built only by the female with the male on guard. These nests are constructed from roots, leaves, ferns, and stems. Photographed in Thailand. (Naa Luck Supatsrn)
Martin Heigan
Spotted eagle-owls have done very well in the African subtropics and can be seen flying silently between houses in most settlements. (Martin Heigan)
Nina Stavlund
Killdeers frequently use the "broken wing act" to distract predators from their nests... (Nina Stavlund)
Liz Hart
Flocks of grey-headed gulls numbering hundreds or even thousands can form when the feeding conditions are appropriate. (Liz Hart)
Southern ground hornbills are the largest hornbill on earth and continue to struggle outside of protected areas. (John Smith)
Lennart Hessel
The european robin is the original "robin" and was even described by Linnaeus in his 18th century work. (Lennart Hessel)
Liz Hart
Grey go-awaybirds are the look-outs of the bush, announcing anything they feel is interesting or threatening. (Liz Hart)


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!

Africa Birds & Birding

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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.