Turacos, Trogons, woodpeckers, peafowl, nightjars, rollers and kingfishers… The birds of the world have had millions of years of natural selection with the ability to fly. They have conquered all terrestrial environments on earth and in the tropics and subtropics sexual selection has created a myriad of colors with extravagant tails, crests, wattles and bills. From the size of a hovering insect to larger than a human being, birds come in all shapes and sizes, most of which are able to fly….
Just look at the Rüppell’s Vulture (featured here) that is recognised as the world’s highest flying bird with confirmed evidence of them flying at 11,000 metres (36,100 ft). “Confirmed evidence” in that the vulture crashed into a commercial airliner in the jet stream. These vultures have specialised haemoglobin that allows them to store huge amounts of oxygen as they ascend to compensate for the lack of oxygen at high altitudes. They also have high quality down feathers to insulate them from the cold, an advanced circulatory system that slows flow to non-essential body parts (similar to free-divers) and a 3rd set of clear eyelids that function as flight goggles. The whole purpose of being up that high is to cover vast distances while on the look out for spiralling vultures down below, so sight is imporant… Amazing! They are on the edge of our atmosphere.
In this the 50th edition of the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” I would like to congratulate all the photographers that have been part of this campaign to bring the beauty an wonder of wild birds to as many people around the world as possible. Thanks to the National Geographic Society for supporting this campaign and helping us build a community of people around wild birds. Get out there and take wild bird photographs for National Geographic’s “The Great Nature Project”! Simply include #greatnature#wildbird when posting new photos… Join the world in celebrating our natural heritage!
Join the Wild Bird Revolution today!! Be the first to introduce your friends, family and colleagues to the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild! 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 hundreds of photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust for consideration every week. 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…
Go to the new Wild Bird Trust website and make sure you have a chance to WIN an amazing pair of EL32 Swarovski binoculars! See these wild birds in real life with these amazing Swarovski binoculars…
Purple-crested turacos are common sightings in moist woodland and evergreen forests in Burundi, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. (Chris Krog)
White-backed vulture landing in Kenya. In 2012 they were further uplisted to Endangered. (Andre Marais)
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… 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.
See last week “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #49″:
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.
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