National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: January

A big thank you to everyone that participated in our photographic themes in 2018, we hope to see more of your photos, and new photographers throughout the coming year. All the best for birding in 2019. Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos for the January theme, your pictures can create awareness about...

A big thank you to everyone that participated in our photographic themes in 2018, we hope to see more of your photos, and new photographers throughout the coming year. All the best for birding in 2019.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos for the January theme, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds from the week 13 to 18 January 2019.

The great cormorant is widespread and feeds on fish in a variety of habitats, from the sea to estuaries, and freshwater lakes. Photographed here at Eymir Lake, Ankara, Turkey (Halit Uzun)
The Eastern osprey is found at the coastal regions of Australia, the Indonesian Islands, New Guinea, and the Philippines, they feed on fish and their feet are adapted with backward facing scales that allow them to hold onto their catch (Jamie Dolphin)
Green bee-eater photographed in Mithapur, Gujarat, India (Chirag Parmar)
Pied-billed grebes are found throughout the Americas, they do not fly often and when threatened will dive below the surface to swim away from the danger (Barbara Wallace)
The oriental magpie robin is the national bird of Bangladesh, it can be found in open woodland and cultivated areas across the Indian Subcontinent, and parts of Southeast Asia (Indranil Bhattacharjee)
River tern skimming the water, likely in pursuit of prey, in Pune, Maharashtra, India (Anvita Paranjpe)
The downy woodpecker is the smallest woodpecker species in North America, they feed on insects, seeds, and berries. Photographed in Republic, Washington, USA (Jola Charlton)
Chestnut-tailed starling sucking nectar from a bottle brush flower in Barrackpore, West Bengal, India (Soumya Chakraborty)
The American kestrel is the smallest falcon in North America, it forms strong and often permanent pair bonds, and pairs will make use of previous nesting sites. Photographed in Nuevo, Southern California, USA (Leslie Reagan)
Blue-tailed bee-eaters breed in southeastern Asia and their diet consists mainly of insects (Dr SS Suresh)
Intermediate egret reflected in the water in Ambazari Lake, Nagpur, India (Kapish Rai)
Palm cockatoo photographed in Bali, Indonesia, the males have a territorial display that involves drumming with a large stick against a dead bough or tree to create a loud noise (Radhakrishnan Sadasivam)
Purple sunbird photographed in Khandela, Rajasthan, India (Vivek Sharma)
Rosy pelicans breed in southeastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, in shallow, warm fresh water where they feed on fish (Vishwas Thakker)
Olive-backed sunbirds are common across southern China and Southeast Asia, they feed mainly on nectar but will also take insects (Lil’tography Lilian Sng)
Northern pintail takes off from the water in Mangalajodi, Orissa, India (Binit Chatterjee)
Beautiful Mandarin ducks are found in East Asia, however specimens escape collections and form feral populations in other areas, photographed here in Los Angeles, California, USA (Henser Villela)
Crowned woodnymph photographed in El Dorado Bird Reserve, Santa Marta Mountains, Colombia (Adriana Dinu)
Red-vented bulbuls breed across the Indian Subcontinent, they feed on fruits, petals, and flowers (Asheem Kumar)
Sarus crane in the golden light of the setting sun in Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary (Anirban Roychowdhury)
Doubleday’s hummingbird, flying in Ixtapa, Mexico (Owen Deutsch)
Egyptian vultures are widely distributed; from the Iberian Peninsula and North Africa, to India. They are endangered due to various threats; disturbance, lead poisoning, reduced food availability, and changing habitats (Yogesh Chauhan)
White -throated kingfishers are widely distributed across Asia and they feed on large crustaceans, insects, earthworms, fish, frogs, rodents, and snakes (Vishesh Kamboj)
Close up of a steppe eagle, these birds will dive to catch prey, but will also steal prey from other raptors in flight, its main prey is small mammals (Adhirup Ghosh)
The great Indian bustard is found on the Indian Subcontinent, they are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN due to historically being hunted for food and sport, current habitat loss and degradation adds to their decline (Aravind Venkatraman)

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: Favourite species

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.