Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Conceal

Cryptic coloration is a defense mechanism or tactic that organisms use to disguise their appearance, usually to blend in with their surroundings. One of the benefits of camouflage is that it helps birds to hide from their enemies. Like chameleons matching their surroundings, many birds moult with the seasons to grow feathers that will help them evade predators. Many organisms make of use camouflage to mask their location, identity, and movement.

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme Conceal, your pictures can create awareness about the variety and beauty of birds in our environment. Here we present the Top 25 photographs of birds of the week.

Whiskered yuhina in India (Samir Sachdeva)
Ashy-Crowned Sparrow-Larks are often seen on the ground, with nests which are compact depression under tufts of grass in the ground lined with grass and pebbles. These larks are found in pairs or small groups and they form large flocks in winter (Dakshesh Ashra)
The Asian Koel has several geographic forms that have well marked plumage differences or have been geographically isolated with little gene flow (Samir Sachdeva)
Bar-tailed Treecreeper is primarily found in the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, particularly in the Himalayas, as well as in the adjoining regions. Photographed in Sattal, Uttrakhand (Harleen Kaur)
The Barred owl relies on its excellent camouflage to avoid harassment by crows, jays and other birds while resting during the day (Kelly Hunt)
Black-crowned Night Heron (juvenile) is a medium sized heron found throughout a large part of the world, except the coldest regions and Australasia. Photographed at Harike Wetlands (Manish Ahuja)
Blue-throated Barbet at West Bengal, India (Samir Sachdeva)
The Chestnuts-bellied Sandgrouse is found in sparse, bushy, arid land which is common in central and northern Africa, and southern Asia (Vishwas Thakker)
The Collared Scops Owl is a nocturnal but it can often be located by the small birds that mob it while it is roosting in a tree. Photographed at the Pench Tiger Reserve, India (Niladri Kundu)
The Common Nighthawk is a medium-sized crepuscular or nocturnal bird of the Americas within the nightjar family. It is a typically dark bird, displaying cryptic colouration and intricate patterns. This bird is difficult to spot during the day (Michiel Oversteegen)
Common Pauraque, also called the Pauraque, is a nightjar species. This bird breeds in the subtropical and tropical of the New World, and except for northernmost birds it is largely resident all year round (Ellie Kidd)
Crested Larks are distinguished from the other 81 species of lark by the crest of feathers that rise up in territorial or courtship displays and when singing (Vijay Singh)
Crested Lark photographed in Bhutan, India (Rashmi Deshpande)
Four-banded Sandgrouse Photographed in Madhya Pradesh (Anupam Kamal)
The Indian Thick-knee is sometimes called the Indian Stone-curlew, is found in the plains of South and South eastern Asia. They have large eyes and are brown in colour with streaks and pale marks making it hard to spot against the background of soils and rocks (Tina Shangloo)
Oriental Scops Owl photographed in Assam, India (Vijay Adhursh)
The Pine Siskin is a migratory bird with an extremely sporadic winter range. Photo taken in California, USA (Sue Liberto)
Rock Ptarmigas are found in barren rocky tundra. Photo taken in Alaska, USA (Anne Harlan)
The Rufous-naped Lark is a widespread and conspicuous species of the lark in the lightky wooded grassland, open savannas and farmlands of the Afrotropics. Photographed at Masaimara (Ramesh Aithal)
Short-toed Treecreeper, this is a small passerine bird found in woodlands through much of the warmer regions of Europe and into north Africa. Photographed in Frankfurt, Germany (Praveen K Bhat)
The Siberian Thrush breeds in Taiga in Siberia. It is strongly migratory, with most birds moving to southeastern Asia during the winter times. Photo taken in Malaysia (Richard Chong)
The Snow Partridge is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae found widely distributed across the high-altitude Himalayan regions on India, Pakistan, Nepal and China. It is the only species within its genus (Kalyani Kapdi)
The Spotted owlet is a small owl which breeds in tropical Asia from mainland India to Southeast Asia. Photographed at Bangalore (Bhuvana Praveen)
The Purple Heron is a secretive bird that usually hides among plants. It is most active at dawn and dusk. Photographed in Botswana (Owen Deutsch Photography)
Wilson’s Snipe Photographed at Gallinago Delicata Bubali, Aruba (Michiel Oversteegen)

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 Abigail Ramudzuli, Campaign Manager

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: Communication

Wildlife

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Meet the Author
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.