Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #24

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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…

 

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Peter Pischler
Rainbow lorikeets are an Australasian parrot found in Australia, E Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. (Peter Pischler)
Allan Holland
Purple herons breed in Africa, central and S Europe, and S and E Asia. Only the European populations are migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. (Allan Holland)
Peter Pischler
Lesser Birds-of-paradise are distributed throughout the forests of N New Guinea, and the nearby islands of Misool and Yapen. They are widespread and common throughout their vast distributional range, (Peter Pischler)
Anja Denker
African openbills form massive spiraling flocks that cover great distances in the thermals in search of suitable floodplains in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Anja Denker)
Atanu Mondal
Blue-tailed bee-eaters breed in SE Asia and are strongly migratory, moving to peninsular India. (Atanu Mondal)
Ajay Tharavath
Barn owls are the most widely distributed species of owl on earth, and one of the most widespread of all birds. (Ajay Tharavath)
Celesta von Chamier
Carmine bee-eaters breed in massive colonies along river banks and gullies. They occur across sub-equatorial Africa from KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) and Namibia to Gabon, E Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. (Celesta von Chamier)
Peter Pischler
Tawny eagles will kill small mammals up to the size of a rabbit, reptiles and birds up to the size of a chicken. They will also steal food from other raptors. (Peter Pischler)
Nina Stavlund
Keel-billed toucans can be found from S Mexico to Venezuela and Colombia, preferring roost sites in the high canopies of tropical, subtropical, and lowland rainforests (up to altitudes of 1,900m). (Nina Stavlund)
Lennart Hessell
European blue tits The blue tit prefer insects and spiders, but switch to seeds and other vegetable-based foods outside the breeding season. They can cling to the outermost branches and hang upside down when looking for food. (Lennart Hessell)
Kevin Sutton
Meyer's parrots are distributed throughout most of subtropical Africa with a preference for seasonally dry savanna bushveld associated with riverine forest galleries. (Kevin Sutton)
Peter Pischler
Brown-hooded kingfishers are found in the forests of Angola, Botswana, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Photographed here with a locust. (Peter Pischler)
Rodnick Clifton Biljon
African stonechats have a scattered distribution across much of sub-Saharan Africa, occurring locally as far north as Senegal and Ethiopia. Outlying populations are found in the mountains of SW Arabia, as well as Madagascar and Grande Comore. They are non-migratory with limited local movements. (Rodnick Clifton Biljon)
Srikanth K Iyengar
Siberian stonechats breed in Russia and occasionally as far west as Finland, wintering in S Japan, Thailand and India with some as far west as NE Africa. (Srikanth K Iyengar)
Atanu Mondal
Purple-rumped sunbirds are common resident breeder in S India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where they habitat types with trees, including scrub and cultivated land. They are usually absent from dense forest. (Atanu Mondal)
Lennart Hessell
Common moorhens fledge after 40–50 days in the nest and become independent within a few weeks and may raise their first brood the next spring. (Lennart Hessell)
Claire Hamilton
Golden pheasants are native to forests in mountainous areas of W China, but feral populations have been established in the United Kingdom and elsewhere. They are commonly found in zoos and aviaries. (Claire Hamilton)
Celesta von Chamier
Yellow morph of crimson-breasted shrike can be a common sight when you start seeing them, and was at first thought to be a separate species... (Celesta von Chamier)
Atanu Mondal
The Hoopoe is widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Most European and N Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter, but the African populations are all sedentary. The species has even been a vagrant in Alaska. (Atanu Mondal)
Rodnick Clifton Biljon
Southern yellow-billed hornbills feed predominantly on the ground, where they forage for seeds, small insects, spiders and scorpions. Termites and ants are a preferred food source in the dry season. (Rodnick Clifton Biljon)
Nobby Clarke
White-faced whistling ducks are so named for their whistling call as they fly off together. They breed in sub-Saharan Africa and much of South America. (Nobby Clarke)
Kevin Sutton
Vultures around the world are dying out due to poisoning and lack of suitable food resources. Poachers in Africa have started to target them, as they give away the location of their illegal poaching camps. (Kevin Sutton)
Harvey Grohman
Bateleurs are medium-sized raptors that are common residents of open savanna throughout Sub-Saharan Africa with a small population in SW Arabia. (Harvey Grohman)
Celesta von Chamier
Red-eyed bulbuls are near endemic to southern Africa with marginal extensions to S Angola and Zambia. In southern Africa it is common across Namibia, Botswana, and central South Africa, where they prefer arid and semi-arid habitats, such Acacia savanna, semi-arid shrublands, riverine bush and gardens in arid areas. (Celesta von Chamier)
Nina Stavlund
The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States of America and appears on its Seal. (Nina Stavlund)
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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: 

http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/specials/in-the-field-specials/boyes-cape-parrot/

Changing Planet

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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.