Wildlife

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds Feeding

In many ecosystems birds have various roles including pollination of flowers, maintaining sustainable levels of their prey populations, and removal of waste by scavenging dead organisms. Having a variety of roles mean that birds as a group also have a wide variety of prey and food items to feed on; from plant material, to invertebrates and other vertebrates. Many features of a bird such as its wing and tail shape, the shape and length of its beak, and position of its eyes will determine which type of food it will eat. Such diversity in feeding allows many species of birds to co-exist in the same habitat, and to make use of different food resources.

We would like to thank all the photographers that submitted photos of birds feeding, your pictures can bring awareness to the variety of feeding methods, and food items birds employ. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds feeding.

Green bee-eaters feed on bees, wasps, and other insects, they will thrash their prey on a perch in order to remove stings and exoskeletons using their beak (Ashok Appu)
Pond heron flying off with catch in Punjab, India (Gur Simrat Singh)
Black-rumped flameback searching for beetle larvae under tree bark, they also visit termite mounds for food (Kishore Bakshi)
A russet sparrow with insect catch which will be given to nestlings, adults feed mainly on seeds (Vishesh Kamboj)
White-browed bulbuls are endemic to southern India, and Sri Lanka, they feed on fruit, nectar, and insects (Ramesh Aithal)
African pygmy falcons are the smallest African raptors, they feed on large insects, small birds, and small mammals, photographed here in Kenya (Lorenzo Barelli)
Oriental dwarf kingfishers are endemic to much of the Indian subcontinent, they feed geckos, crabs, frogs, crickets, and dragonflies to their young (Sandipan Ghosh)
Indian paradise flycatcher feeding on a dragonfly in Katwa, India (Sayan Biswas Maitra)
Cedar waxwing feeding hungry chicks; insects are an important part of this bird’s diet during breeding season, at other times of the year it feeds on berries and fruits (Jola Charlton)
White-breasted waterhen foraging in shallow water for insects, fish, and aquatic invertebrates in Singapore (Ananth Ramasamy)
Common mynas are omnivorous birds with a wide range, they are considered one of the world’s most invasive species (Tarika Sandhu)
Cinereous vulture feeding on its catch in Pakistan, this Eurasian species feeds on carrion of large mammals, fish, and reptiles (Tauseef Zafar)
Gray catbird feeding on insects in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, USA (Sharon Templin)
Anhingas have to dive for their fish and amphibian prey, their feathers are not waterproof which allows them to stay underwater for long periods (J Bernardo Sanchez)
Indian paradise flycatcher feeding chicks, these birds are insectivorous (Prashanta Bhattacharjee)
Streaked spiderhunters feed on nectar as shown here, as well as insects and spiders (Senthil Kumar Damodaran)
Northern mockingbirds are omnivorous, feeding on arthropods, earthworms, berries, fruits and seeds (Dot Rambin)
Sanderlings are wading birds that feed in the upper intertidal zone of the ocean, they stick their bills into the sand to search for invertebrates (Anne Harlan)
Red-vented bulbul feeding chick in Sri Mukstar Sahib, India (Vishesh Kamboj)
Striated laughingthrush feeding on berries, they also feed on insects and seeds (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
Osprey feeding on a fish which makes up most of its diet, their vision is adapted to detect underwater movement while they are flying (Anirban Mitra)
Red knots at the front, and laughing gulls at the back feeding on horseshoe eggs in New Jersey, USA (Kelly Hunt)
Pied shrike-babbler feeding young in Java, Indonesia (Arun Sumak)
Spot-billed pelicans, like most pelicans, make use of their large bill pouch to catch fish (Pallavi Sarkar)
Atlantic puffin with fish catch. These birds spend most of their time at sea, and as a result of increasing ocean temperatures and shifting prey distributions causing a decrease in their population they are considered vulnerable by the IUCN (Antony Tsaknakis)

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 Laurie Johnson, Campaign Manager

 

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Birds in Flight

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.

About the Blog

Researchers, conservationists, and others share stories, insights and ideas about Our Changing Planet, Wildlife & Wild Spaces, and The Human Journey. More than 50,000 comments have been added to 10,000 posts. Explore the list alongside to dive deeper into some of the most popular categories of the National Geographic Society’s conversation platform Voices.

Opinions are those of the blogger and/or the blogger’s organization, and not necessarily those of the National Geographic Society. Posters of blogs and comments are required to observe National Geographic’s community rules and other terms of service.

Voices director: David Braun (dbraun@ngs.org)

Social Media