Category Archives: Wildlife

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013

Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013

Kingfisher

Kingfisher

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The Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2013 opens it’s doors for entries soon.

Start taking your wildlife entries for this competition.

Not much time to enter from opening to close dates.

The  competition opens for entries from 7 January to 25 February 2013.

From 7 January to 25 February 2013 amateur and professional photographers alike are able to submit images for 18 categories, with three categories specifically for those aged 17 and under. Last year, the competition received a record 48,000 entries from photographers across 98 countries.

all of whom were wanting to win one of two coveted grand titles, also a share of the £30,000 prize, critical acclaim in the international media and the opportunity for their image to be viewed by millions in an exhibition that debuts at London’s Natural History Museum before touring around the world.

 

About the competition

 

Wildlife Photographer of the Year harnesses the power of photography to promote the discovery, understanding, and responsible enjoyment of the natural world.

Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The competition is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth – the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide.

Being shortlisted in this competition is something to which photographers across the world aspire. Every year emerging talents compete with established names for a chance to be hailed Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Reasons to enter

  • Compete for one of 2 coveted grand winner titles, plus a share of the £30,000 prize fund.
  • Win a trip to London to attend the exclusive awards night at the Natural History Museum.
  • Be showcased in the world-renowned exhibition and delight millions in venues across 6 continents.
  • Revel in the critical acclaim of the global media spotlight.
  • Be published in a limited-edition hardcover portfolio book

This Years Jury

Ingo Arndt, wildlife photographer (Germany)
Sophie Boulet-Gercourt, executive, Biosphoto (France)
Luciano Candisani, wildlife photojournalist (Brazil)
Tui De Roy, naturalist, wildlife photographer (New Zealand)
Richard Eccleston, Art Editor, BBC Wildlife magazine (UK)
Ruth Eichhorn, Director of Photography, GEO magazine (Germany)
Lisa Lytton, Director, Paraculture Books, Director of Digital Editions, National Geographic Magazine (US)
Koji Nakamura, underwater photographer, President, Japan Underwater Films (Japan)
Elio Lello Piazza, natural history picture editor (Italy)
Anna Sever, director, picture editor, ASA Agency (Spain)
Igor Shpilenok, wildlife photographer (Russia)
Hans Strand, landscape photographer (Sweden)
Jan Vermeer, wildlife photographer (The Netherlands)
Steve Winter, wildlife photojournalist and Director of Media, Panthera (US)Find out more about the 2013 jury

 

Calling all photographers!
The 2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is now open for entries.Enter online at www.wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com and take part in one of the world’s most prestigious photography events.

Compete for the coveted titles of Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year and:

• receive a share of the £30,000 prize pot, including £10,000 for the adult overall winner.
• win a trip to London to attend the exclusive awards night at the Natural History Museum.
• revel in the critical acclaim of the global media spotlight.
• be showcased in the Museum’s world renowned exhibition, tour and portfolio book.

Don’t leave it until the last minute – find out how to take part

Closing date: 25 February 2013 

Superb Starling

Superb Starling

Suberb-Starling

Suberb-Starling

Continuing in the wildlife vein, todays image is of a Superb Starling

very common bird, the only way to avoid seeing it in Kenya is to keep your eyes permanently closed.

In suitable areas it’s quite often seen in company with the less common Hildebrandt’s Starling. It’s quite easy to miss the Hildebrandt’s because of the considerable similarity between the two birds.

The Superb Starling differs from Hildebrandt’s in having white, not red, eyes and a white breast-band.

The colour and markings can be, or seem to be, quite variable. In some lights the entire head, back and wings can seem to be a glossy blue with no markings at all.

Although it is a common bird in both Kenya and Tanzania, it is still a very fetching bird with a colourful plumage.

 Description

18cm. A small, short-tailed starling with a distinctive plumage.

Black head

Iridescent blue-to-green back, upper breast, wings and tail

Red-orange belly separated from the blue breast by a white band

White undertail-coverts and wing linings

Cream iris

Species Factsheet

 

Owl

Eagle-Owl

Eagle-Owl

Eagle Owl Portrait

Todays wildlife image post is an Eagle Owl Portrait I did quite a while ago. I really like these animals they are a fantastic subject for photographers

with their massive eyes, they make for a good image.

These birds are very distinct in their features and most Owls have feathers designed for silent flight.

Some facts about these creatures can be found here.

Their eyes and vision are very special and information on their eyes and workings can be found here.

The Owls have their eyes set in the front of the face. Their eyes are very large in comparison to their head, and instead of being round like ours, are pear-shaped. What we see is the small part of the eye.

The biggest part at the back of the eye has a lot of room for special light-receiving rods in the retina. This allows the owl to see well in low light conditions.

Because of the shape of the eye, their eyes are fixed in the skull and cannot move up or down or side to side.

This of course makes the owl at risk to attacks from behind, but a special neck mechanism allows the head to turn around very quickly.

Owls’ eye colour can give an indication as to its activity time. An owl with very dark eyes is normally active at night (nocturnal), an owl with yellow eyes is active during the day (diurnal), and an owl with orange eyes is active at dawn and dusk (crepuscular).

There are some exceptions to this rule though.

All in all this makes them a great predator and whatever they are hunting will most usually lose out.

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena Feeding

The spotted hyena is a common dog–like carnivore found on the dry open plains of the Masai Mara and much of sub–Saharan Africa.

Dark spots cover yellow–brown fur and their long muscular necks and powerful shoulders make them instantly recognisable.

Hyenas are built for endurance — their large hearts help them pursue prey over great distances.

These Hyena were photographed on the Serengeti in Tanzania.

This image was a photograph of the day on Earth Shots in 2007 although it is an old image

it still brings back memories of the noises these animals make. My driver risked a fine of $60.00 dollars to take me  of

the marked roads to see the Hyena close up and personal. We had seen the Vultures circling above them (indicating a kill) and drove towards them.

I managed to isolate the Hyena from all the Vultures and Storks to take this image, it is obvious from the Hyena’s snarling that they weren’t best pleased

by our presence.

The image I think shows a small part of the wildness of Africa.

Red Squirrel

Red Squirrel

Red-Squirrel

Red-Squirrel

Latin Name (Sciurus vulgaris)

Red squirrel numbers have declined dramatically since the introduction of the American grey squirrel

They have also declined in numbers owing to a pox which is carried by the grey squirrel

Red squirrel’s fur can range from a warm reddish-brown in summer, to a deep brown with grey in winter.

The colour may be very variable, ranging from almost black to buff, yet their underside is always cream. They have a bushy tail and ear tufts.

Red squirrels live in both conifer and broadleaved woodland. They can be found at altitudes up to 2000m in the Alps and PyreneeRed squirrels eat spruce and pine seeds, acorns, berries, fungi, bark and sap tissue.  In the autumn they store surplus food either just below the ground or in the gaps in tree trunks

Red squirrels live in a spherical nest (drey) of approximately 30cm in diameter, which has a frame of twigs and is lined with moss and grass.

The drey is usually at least 6m off the ground and may be in a hole in a tree or set against the trunk and branches.
Each squirrel may use several dreys and they have a typical home range of three to seven hectares.

They do not hibernate, but are less active when weather conditions are bad and can remain in their dreys for several days at a time.

More information from the Forestry Commission


Golden Eagle

Portrait of a Golden Eagle

Portrait of a Golden Eagle

 Golden Eagle

Todays image post is a portrait of  a Golden Eagle. This was taken in North Yorkshire and is an image  of a captive bird.

It had to be taken through glass as the Eagle was very restless on the day I went to photograph him.

The chances of getting close enough in the wild, to get an image like this is as rare as the bird itself.

More info on this raptor here.

Habitat

In The wild the golden eagle prefers open, treeless areas to lowland woods.

Because of the climate in western Scotland, these upland conditions are present down to sea level and golden eagles are found there at lower altitudes than in central Scotland.

Golden eagles are sensitive to human disturbance and build their nests in remote, inaccessible places. Their territories range in size from 5 – 150 km2. In some areas of Scotland, the breeding density is among the highest in the world and territories are very small.

Golden eagles in Scotland do not migrate and will remain in their breeding territories throughout the year.

Young and non-breeding birds avoid occupied territories in their search for suitable breeding areas.

Shy African Girl

Nominee Image Shy African Girl

Shy African Girl

Shy African Girl

This photograph was taken in Tanzania whilst out on an outreach program with a Local Orphanage

called Light In Africa. she was really a very  Shy African Girl

I entered the image into the black and white spider awards and gained a Nominee certificate for the image.

This was the  6Th Annual competition.

I have not entered any of these competitions since then as my opinion on competitions

of this nature have changed and I do not believe they offer any real exposure for the photographers

who gain any titles through such entries.

My thoughts about these Photography comps are that they make good money for the organisers but gain no real

credibility for the authors of the winning images, they are more for self esteem I suppose rather than the expected gains offered. I also gained Nominee certificates in

previous competitions such as the Masters Cup  (International Color Awards) this one is run by the same people as the Black and White Spider Awards.

Sika Stag

Sika Stag In Rutting Season

Sika Stag In Rutting Season

Sika deer are quite a small species of deer, with males (stags) up to about 80cm at the shoulder.

Females (hinds) are slightly smaller.

The summer coat is reddish with white spots, turning very dark grey-brown in winter.

There is a white rump patch surrounded by black, which is displayed as a warning signal. The antlers form a V-shape when looking head-on.

Research by University scientists shows that Japanese sika deer, brought to the country in the 19th century, have bred extensively with native deer.

“The majority of Sika deer in the Uk are found in Scotland and Ireland, however, there are also small numbers in the south of England, such as the New Forest, as well the Lake District and parts of Lancashire.

Sika were first introduced from the Far East into Britain in 1860. Several subspecies, including Chinese, Japanese, Formosan and Manchurian were introduced into parks but the only free living form in Britain is the Japanese Sika.

It is possible that almost if not all English and Scottish and some Irish living Sika are descendants from only one stag and three hinds introduced to

Viscount Powers court’s deer park at Enniskerry, Eire in 1860.”

I have seen many Sika in The Forest Of Bowland and surrounding areas.

More information about Sika can be found on the BBC website

European Wolf

European-Wolf

European-Wolf

I have had this image of a European wolf in my portfolio for sometime now, but still love it and thought it may be

a good addition to my wildlife posts here at wildshots. I travelled to Romania to see the wolf project there.

Here is a good resource page about living with Wolves

“Romania is the only place in Europe where carnivores and livestock
share the same environment in high densities.”

There is some information here about Romanian wildlife.

There are a good concentration of  European Wolves in Latvia also where wolf hunting seasons still continue apparently with a bag limit of 150  animals.

A good amount of information concerning the reintroduction of the European  wolf in Scotland can be found at the wolvesandhumans.org.

If your ever in Scotland a good place to see wolves for yourself is the Highlands wildlife park at Kingcraig

It seems these animals are a much maligned species with most people scared of them, probably because of the Horror films and

the reported attacks on humans, me I love to hear the howl of a wolf and have always thought reintroducing the Wolf back into the wild

is a great idea, even though the farming community would disagree I suspect.

Tree Climbing Lioness

Tree-Climbing-Lioness

Tree-Climbing-Lioness

Tree Climbing Lioness

A photograph taken in Tanzania at the Lake Manyara national park. I visited Lake Manyara on our way back from the Serengeti and after visiting the

Ngorongoro Conservation Area which was originally part of the Serengeti.

We were told that the tree climbing lionesses and the male lions were a feature of  Manyara but this is not true as we did see the same behavoiur elsewhere on our travels through the national parks.

Our guide and driver was an excellent guy who knew all the best places to see the photographic delights of  the Tanzanian national parks.

Strangely enough the hotel where we based ourselves was in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro the strange part is

the owner was actually from less than 10 miles away from where I live.

He now unfortunately does not own said hotel and I can’t find any reference to it when searching the internet but I digress.

The trip was cheap compared to the prices I had seen advertised elsewhere and turned out to be more than worth it.

The guide we had was in fact the driver for the hotel and somehow we had managed to get him as our

personal driver for the duration of our trip. Pretty cool!!.

Africa is a fantastic place to visit if you ever get chance, I had a great time and the locals were great fun to get to know.

The  road to the hotel was a twisting affair with massive potholes and very muddy at times, also it was a long way up from any made road

so the driver and the 4 wheel drive vehicle was really a must have, just to get from and back  to the hotel.

Whilst in Africa I made some contacts and revisited twice although not for another Safari.

Whilst staying in Moshi I met the hotel owner again in a bar we shared a meal and he asked me to do some promo shots

of the hotel and rooms in return for free lodgings and a bar tab, who could refuse such an offer. I also did some promo shots for a charity based around the same

area which turned out to be a real eye opener on how hard life can be in Africa. It seems as if the poorest people live in the most beautiful countries in the world.

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