National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #23

Join the Wild Bird Revolution! Be the first to introduce your friends, family and colleagues to the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild! The vibrant colors, fine feathers, and sparkling eyes are all crystal clear. Advances in digital photography have given us the opportunity to capture the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild...

Join the Wild Bird Revolution! Be the first to introduce your friends, family and colleagues to the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild! The vibrant colors, fine feathers, and sparkling eyes are all crystal clear. Advances in digital photography have given us the opportunity to capture the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild like never before. Here are the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” drawn from the thousands, upon thousands of photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust for consideration. 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 news from our research and conservation projects in the field. 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…

Wild, free-living birds are ambassadors of the natural habitat they depend upon. Some eat only meat, while other eat only nectar. Some migrate from Cape Town to Siberia between seasons, while others stay at home to protect their patch. Some live 99% of the time in the sky, others live almost entirely underwater. The birds of the world have an astounding diversity of color, design, function, grace, power and creativity that can only come from millions of years of mastering life on earth, or, should I say, in the air. These feathered aviators come from the age of the dinosaurs and their ancestors can be found as ancient fossils from prehistory. From pole to pole they had just about found a home and a place everywhere, in the air, under the waves, in the branches, in your garden, above cities, and in our forests. We need to do everything we can as a society to ensure that future generations have the amazing diversity of birds in their gardens, towns, parks, reserves and wilderness areas that we still have…


Nobby Clarke
African paradise flycatchers are common resident breeder in Africa S of the Sahara Desert, preferring open forests and savannah woodland. (Nobby Clarke)
Morgan Hauptfleisch
Yellow-billed hornbills feed mainly on the ground, where they forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions. Termites and ants are preferred during the dry season. (Morgan Hauptfleisch)
Martin Heigan
Nicobar pigeons are hunted in considerable numbers for food, and also for their gizzard stone which is used in jewelry. They are also trapped for the local pet market, but as it is on CITES Appendix I, all trade is illegal. (Martin Heigan)
Nobby Clarke
Red-billed oxpeckers are found in the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa, from the Central African Republic E to Sudan and S to NE South Africa. (Nobby Clarke)
Pranesh Kodancha
Oriental white-eyes are resident breeder in open woodlands in tropical Asia, E from the Indian Subcontinent to SE Asia, extending to Indonesia and Malaysia. (Pranesh Kodancha)
Peter Pischler
The Shoebill was only classified in the 19th century when skins were first brought back to Europe. The global population is estimated at between 5,000 and 8,000 individuals, and declining. The majority are restricted to swamps in Sudan, Uganda, eastern DRC, and Zambia. They are classified as Vulnerable due to habitat destruction, disturbance, egg poaching, and hunting. Photographed here in Lake Victoria. (Peter Pischler)
Nobby Clarke
Woolly-necked storks are a widespread tropical species which breeds in Asia, from India to Indonesia, and Africa. They are resident breeders in wetlands with islands covered in large trees. (Nobby Clarke)
Munib Chaudry
Fan-tailed widowbirds are found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Munib Chaudry)
Desiree Schirlinger
The Ostrich is the largest living species of bird and lays the largest egg of any living bird. They are farmed around the world for its feathers, which are either decorative or used as feather dusters. Tje lean meat is now sought after. (Desiree Schirlinger)
Desiree Schirlinger
Black-collared barbet are found in sub-Saharan Africa through Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Desiree Schirlinger)
Bulan Chakraborty
Lesser adjutants are most often found in large rivers and lakes inside well wooded regions. They occur in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Laos, Singapore, Indonesia and Cambodia. (Bulan Chakraborty)
Rodnick Clifton Biljon
Red-faced mousebirds are common in southern Africa from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, and Tanzania all the way S to the Western Cape (South Africa). They prefer savanna with thickets, fynbos scrub, other open woodland, gardens and orchards. (Rodnick Clifton Biljon)
Amit Kumar
Indian peacocks are resident breeders across the Indian subcontinent and are also found in the drier lowlands of Sri Lanka. Peacock are reported to have been introduced into Europe by Alexander the Great. (Amit Kumar)
Billy Crow
Nectar is a poor source of nutrients and hummingbirds satisfy their protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals requirements by preying on insects and spiders. (Billy Crow)
Pranesh Kodancha
White-breasted waterhens are from the rail and crake family (Rallidae) and are widespread across SE Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. They are crepuscular and just after the first rains make loud and repetitive croaking calls. (Pranesh Kodancha)
Munib Chaudry
Yellow-necked Spurfowl found in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. They are found in pairs or small groups, males are often seen calling from the top of termite mounds or broken trees. (Munib Chaudry)
Amit Kumar
Kestrels can hover in stationary air, even indoors in barns, but they do face towards any slight headwind, hence their local name of "Windhover". (Amit Kumar)
Dhritiman Hore
Indian cuckoos are found in Asia from Pakistan and India, Sri Lanka E to Indonesia and N to China and Russia. They are solitary, shy bird that prefer forests and open woodlands. (Dhritiman Hore)
Pranesh Kodancha
Crimson-backed sunbirds are endemic to the Western Ghats of India. They are found in forests but are particularly attracted to nearby gardens that have suitable flowering plants. They usually perch while taking nectar. Photographed in Ooty (India). (Pranesh Kodancha)
Amit Kumar
Changeable Hawk-Eagles breed in the Indian Subcontinent, mainly in India and Sri Lanka, and from the SE Himalayas across SE Asia to Indonesia and the Philippines. (Amit Kumar)
Robert Wienand
Collared sunbirds are common breeders across most of sub-Saharan Africa. Two or three eggs are laid in a suspended nest. (Robert Wienand)
Nina Stavlund
Collared aracaris breed from S Mexico to Panama, as well as Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Costa Rica. Photographed here in Costa Rica. (Nina Stavlund)
Pranesh Kodancha
Blue-tailed bee-eaters breed in SE Asia and are strongly migratory with seasonal movements in much of peninsular India. (Pranesh Kodancha)
Robert Wienand
African barred owlets are found in Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Photographed here in the Kruger National Park (South Africa). (Robert Wienand)
Tapas Chattopadhyay
Jungle mynas are common resident breeders in tropical S Asia from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Burma, all the way E to Indonesia. (Tapas Chattopadhyay)


LOOK OUT FOR THE NEW “SWAROVSKI TOP 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” NEXT WEEK!!!

See all these wild birds in real life with these amazing Swarovski binoculars.
Join the "Wild Bird Revolution" and WIN a pair of EL32 Swarovski binoculars. See all these wild birds in real life with these amazing Swarovski binoculars.


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.

MUST SEE video on the Cape Parrot Project:

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 14,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

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.