Wildlife

Top 25 Urban Birds

This week we focus on birds that live amongst us in cities. Urban areas are often thought of as ‘concrete jungles’, devoid of nature, however a number of birds tolerate urban areas and others even thrive in these areas. In a world where urbanisation is rife and wildlife is being lost at a faster rate than ever, we need to start asking how we can make cities more bird friendly. This can be achieved through greening cities, with trees and other naturally occurring plants or putting out bird feeders. Here we present 25 of birds that our photographers have found living among them. We encourage you to take note of the birds in your urban areas, you may be surprised at how many there are!

The range of the White-throated Kingfisher is expanding, due to its ability to live in gardens and plantations. here is one perched on a park railing in Sri Muktsar Sahib, India (Vishesh Kamboj)
The Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher tolerates some human disturbance and can be found on the edges of villages and cultivated areas (Soumyajit Basu)
An American Robin in New York’s Central Park (Antony Tsaknakis)
Being monogamous, naturally Barn Swallows spend the summer together but a recent tracking study suggests that pairs may over-winter together too! (Bhargavi Upadhya)
Rosy Starlings breed in open steppe habitats but during the non breeding season their habitat usage is more generalist (Dr Malay Mandal)
Rose-ringed Parakeets are chiefly forest dwelling birds but they will also use gardens and other human modified woody areas like orchards (Aman Sharma)
The Rock Dove is the ancestor of the feral pigeon which has been introduced worldwide, they are native to India and parts of Eurasia and Africa (Vishesh Kamboj)
Spot-billed Pelicans nest in trees, up to 15 nests are built in a single tree in some cases. Felling of trees in their breeding areas has resulted in declines in their population (Soumyajit Basu)
Rock Doves thrive in urban areas, here evident in New Delhi, India (Satyajit Ganguly)
House Swallows are closely associated with human habitations, building their mud nests in houses and buildings like this one in Malaysia (Ananth Ramasamy)
A scrap over food between Little Terns in a marina in Singapore (Lil’tography Lilian Sng)
The House Sparrow is native to Eurasia and north Africa but has been introduced to South Africa, America and Australia. It is a successful urban coloniser, commonly seen around human habitation (Raymond De Jesus Asencio)
Oriental Pied Hornbills are a common sight in urban areas on Pangkor Island, off the coast of Malaysia (Ananth Ramasamy)
A flock of Lesser Flamingoes flies through Mumbai, India (Sahasrangshu Choudhury)
House Crows are native to the Indian subcontinent but they have been introduced to many countries, most likely as accidental stowaways on ships. In some cities they become pests and attempts have been made to eradicate them (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
A Crimson Sunbird inspects its reflection in a car mirror in Singapore (Ananth Ramasamy)
Birds often use man-made posts and wires to perch, as demonstrated by these Chestnut-tailed Starlings in Kerala, India (Pallavi Sarkar)
A beautiful capture of a House Sparrow in Dubai (Mukund Kumar)
An artistic shot of Brown-headed Gulls surrounding fisherman in New Delhi, India (Satyajit Ganguly)
Many raptors will scavenge in urban areas where waste is plentiful, like this Brahminy Kite at a dump in Bangalore, India (Kishore Reddy)
Black-legged Kittiwakes roosting on an abandoned building in Norway (Anthony Roberts)
Black Kites have successfully colonised multiple large cities in Asia and Africa (Jay Patel)
The Yellow-collared Lovebird only occurs in Tanzania (Edwin Godinho)
It’s not just humans who use this water fountain! As demonstrated by this Greater Antillean Grackle in Puerto Rico (Sonia Longoria)
A Black Kite soars amongst the skyscrapers in Hong Kong (John Parkinson)

Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.

We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!

Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Arid Birds

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.
  • Basu

    Thank you Steve and Natgeo

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