Picture Parade Two Hundred and Forty-Four

These beautiful photos speak loud and clear for wildlife

Today and next Sunday I am republishing the most beautiful wildlife photographs you have ever seen.

To ensure that copyright ownership is presented correctly, I shall be including the text that comes with the photographs. Part One today; Part Two in a week’s time.


These beautiful photos speak loud and clear for wildlife

ANGELA NELSON, October 19, 2017

‘Swim gym’ by Laurent Ballesta of France is a finalist in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. (Photo: Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, organized by the Natural History Museum, London, has been stunning audiences with beautiful, dramatic photos of the natural world for 53 years. This year’s competition attracted nearly 50,000 entries across 92 countries.

Judges chose the winning images based on creativity, originality and technical excellence. And as they expressed when choosing previous winners, images get bonus points if they tell a broader story about the current challenges facing wildlife and the environment.

“As we contemplate our critical role in Earth’s future, the images show the astonishing diversity of life on our planet and the crucial need to shape a more sustainable future,” the Natural History Museum said in a press release.

The photo above of Weddell seals in east Antarctica, titled “Swim gym,” is by Laurent Ballesta of France and is one of this year’s 13 Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists. Keep reading below for more, with some of the top winners listed at the end.

‘Arctic treasure’ by Sergey Gorshkov of Russia is a finalist in the Animal Portraits category. (Photo: Sergey Gorshkov/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

This image by Sergey Gorshkov of Russia, which shows an Arctic fox carrying its trophy from a raid on a snow goose nest, was taken on Wrangel Island in the Russian Far East. Each June, vast flocks of snow geese descend on the tundra to lay their eggs, traveling from 3,000 miles away in British Columbia and California, according to the museum.
Arctic foxes will dine on weak or sick birds, and as the snow geese lay their eggs, the foxes steal up to 40 of them a day.
“Most of the eggs are then cached, buried in shallow holes in the tundra, where the soil stays as cold as a refrigerator. These eggs will remain edible long after the brief Arctic summer is over and the geese have migrated south again. And when the new generation of young foxes begins to explore, they too will benefit from the hidden treasures,” the museum says.

Ashleigh Scully of the United States is a finalist in the the 11- to 14-year-old group for ‘Bear hug,’ taken in Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park. (Photo: Ashleigh Scully/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Can you believe this is an entry in the 11- to 14-year-old age group? Titled “Bear hug” and showing a mother brown bear and her cub, it was taken in Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park by Ashleigh Scully of the United States.

“After fishing for clams at low tide, this mother brown bear was leading her young spring cubs back across the beach to the nearby meadow. But one young cub just wanted to stay and play,” according to the museum. Scully came to the park to photograph the family life of brown bears because the area provides a lot of bear food: grasses in the meadows, salmon in the river and clams on the shore.

“I fell in love with brown bears and their personalities,” says Scully. “This young cub seemed to think that it was big enough to wrestle mum to the sand. As always, she played along, firm, but patient.”

‘Bold eagle,’ taken by Klaus Nigge of Germany on Amaknak Island in Alaska, is a finalist in the Animal Portraits category. (Photo: Klaus Nigge/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Alaska proved to be a good breeding ground for this year’s competition. This portrait of a soaked bald eagle was taken at Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island, where bald eagles gather to take advantage of the fishing industry’s leftovers, the museum says.

“I lay on my belly on the beach surrounded by eagles,” says photographer Klaus Nigge of Germany. “I got to know individuals, and they got to trust me.”

One day, this particular eagle, drenched after days of rain, came close to him. “I lowered my head, looking through the camera to avoid direct eye contact,” he says. It came so close that it towered over him, and he was able to focus in on the eagle’s expression.

‘Resplendent delivery’ by Tyohar Kastiel of Israel is a finalist in the Behaviour: Birds category. (Photo: Tyohar Kastiel/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Tyohar Kastiel of Israel watched this pair of resplendent quetzals all day long for more than a week in order to get this shot, taken in the Costa Rican cloud forest of San Gerardo de Dota. The parents would deliver fruits, insects or lizards to the chicks every hour or so.

“On the eighth day, the parents fed the chicks at dawn as usual but then didn’t return for several hours. By 10 a.m., the chicks were calling ravenously, and Kastiel began to worry. Then something wonderful happened. The male arrived with a wild avocado in his beak. He landed on a nearby branch, scanned around, and then flew to the nest. But instead of feeding the chicks, he flew back to his branch, the avocado still in his beak. Within seconds, one chick hopped out to the nearest perch and was rewarded. Moments later the female appeared and did exactly the same thing, and the second chick jumped out,” the museum says.

Sorry to do this to you but the rest of these photographs and the background stories will be in a week’s time. Can’t wait! Then go here to see them all.

11 thoughts on “Picture Parade Two Hundred and Forty-Four

  1. Just a wonderful Post Paul.. A wet and bedraggled Eagle, the Love of a bear, and the tender jaw of the fox.. Amazing photos and so enjoyed reading the text from Angela.. Many thanks for sharing these lovely images Paul


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