National Geographic Society Newsroom

Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week: December

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme “December”, 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. Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty...

Thank you to all the photographers that submitted photos of birds with the theme “December”, 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.

Immature Yellow-headed Caracara photographed at Arashi, Aruba, the Caribbean. This bird is found in tropical and subtropical South America and the southern parts of Central America (Michiel Oversteegen)
Eastern Meadowlarks are often more easily heard than seen. They are chuncky, medium-sized songbirds with short tails and long, spear-shaped bills. Photographed in Vancouver, British Columbia (Dr Parthasarathy Kandasamy)
The Wood Stork was formerly known as the Wood Ibis. It found in subtropical and tropical habitats in the Americas, including the Caribbean. It is resident in South America but North American breeding populations may disperse to as far as South America. Photographed in Florida (J Bernardo Sánchez)
The Black-rumped Flameback, also called the Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker or Lesser Goldenback, is a widely distributed woodpecker in the Indian Subcontinent. It is also one of the few that are seen in and around urban areas. Photographed at Bongaigaon, Assam, India (Biswajit Ray)
Tickell’s Blue Flycatcher photographed in Bangalore, India (Mohan Bala)
Indian Robins is widely distributed in the Indian Subcontinent, and it ranges across Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This robin is commonly found in open scrub areas and is often be seen running along the ground or perching on low thorny shrubs and rocks. Photographed at Haryana, India (Kartik)
The Common Myna, also known as the Indian Myna, is native to Asia. The species has been introduced in many other parts of the world. It is typically found in open woodland, cultivation and around habitation. Photographed at Mithapur, Gujarat, India (Raghav Chauhan)
The Brown Pelican mainly feeds on fish, but occasionally eat eggs and nestlings of other birds. When foraging, it dives bill-first like a king fisher often submerging completely below the surface momentarily as it snaps up prey. Photographed in Jamaica (Dr.Jayaraj Padmanabhan)
The California Thrasher is primarily found in chaparral habitat in California and Beja California. Just like many other thrushes, it rarely flies in the open, preferring to keep hidden in denser bushes. Photo taken in Carpinteria, California (Henser Villela)
Cream-coloured Courser photographed at the Desert National Park, Rajasthan, India (Mrinal Sen)
Grey-rumped Treeswifts preferred habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical mangrove forests and montane forests. Photographed at Selangor, Malaysia (Richard Chong)
The Grey-headed Canary-flycatcher is mainly found in forested habitats where they often join other birds in mixed-species foraging flocks. Gurgaon, Haryana (Krishna Kumari)
Indian Robin photographed at Gurdaspur, India (Vishesh Kamboj)
The Indian Silverbill is mostly found in dry open scrub, fallow land and cultivation, sometimes near water. This is a gregarious species, found in flocks of as many as sixty birds. Photo taken in Bhatinda, Punjab (PS Bhandari)
Jerdon’s Leafbird photographed at Karnataka, India (Pradnya Paralkar)
The Oriental Magpie-robin is a member of the thrush family, Turdidae, but is now considered an Old World flycatcher. It is found across most of the Inidan Subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Photographed at Bhatinda, Punjab (PS Bhandari)
The Painted Stork is a large wader bird in the stork family. It is typically found in the wetlands of the plains of tropical Asia south of the Himalayas in the Indian Subcontinent and extending into Southeast Asia. Photographed at Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India (Amandeep Singh)
Puff-throated Babbler, also known as the Spotted Babbler, is a passerine bird found in Asia inhabiting scrub and moist forest, mainly in hilly regions. Like many babblers, this species is not migratory. Photographed at Ganeshgudi, Karnataka, India (Vidya Vijay Kulkarni)
Purple-rumped Sunbird is an endemic species to the Indian Subcontinent. Males of this species are brightly coloured but females are olive above and yellow to buff below. Photographed at Bhubaneswar, Odisha (Mamta Parma)
The Red-vented Bulbul is a resident breeder across the Indian Subcontinent, including Sri Lanka extending east to Burma and parts of Tibet. This species has also been introduced in many other parts of the world and it has established itself in the wild of several Pacific Islands. Photographed at Karnataka, India (Pradnya Paralkar)
Slaty-backed Forktail in Cameron Highland, Malaysia. This species is found near streams and rivers in tropical and subtropical regions, sometimes staying further down from flowing water to the edge of roads and trails (Harn Sheng Khor)
A male Fire-tailed Sunbird in its breeding plumage. Photo taken at Sikkim, India (Subrato Sanyal)
The Crested Caracara is a common bird on the Caribbean island of Curaçao. It is a magnificent flyer and often hunts for crabs, insects and lizards. However, they much prefer to eat carrion, something which is in abundant supply as a result of heavy traffic. Photographed at da Costa Gomez (Michelle Pors)
The Coppersmith Barbet is mostly found in solitary, or in small pairs. It is also called the Crimson-breasted Barbet or Coppersmith (Parth Kansara)
The common Woodshrike is found in Asia. It is a small ashy brown bird with a dark cheek patch and a broad white brow. Birds of this species are usually found in pairs, making loud whistling song made of several notes. Photographed at Nagpur, Maharashtra, India (Vikram Bahal)

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: Birds in Pairs

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.