11 of the Year’s Best Wildlife Photographs

1. Two Foxes

Photograph by Don Gutoski
Photograph by Don Gutoski

A red fox carries off the partially-eaten carcass of an Arctic fox it killed three hours earlier to store for later. The larger red fox is both a competitor—the two species eat small mammals like lemmings—and a predator.

2. Spoils

Photograph by Brent Stirton
Photograph by Brent Stirton

Former poacher Michael Oryem holds ivory from a hoard he helped authorities recover in Uganda. An armed group took Oryem and put him to work poaching elephants for their ivory when he was nine. He later defected and works to stop the killing.

3. Nudge

Photograph by Amir
Photograph by Amir

A young female red-footed falcon nudges an adult male (grey) with her talon to make room on their branch for a second female (right). Unrelated individuals in this species don’t normally associate with each other except for these three birds.

4. Nighttime

Photograph by Connor Stefanison
Photograph by Connor Stefanison

Photographer Connor Stefanison camped out for three days to accustom these mountain goats to his presence before being able to get this winning shot. They became so used to him, one even brushed past him while he worked.

5. Lookout

Photograph by Edwin
Photograph by Edwin

A great crested newt hangs suspended near the surface of a stream with leafless trees as a backdrop. This image was taken during mating season, and so this male was likely on the lookout for a female.

6. Big Gulp

Photograph by Michael
Photograph by Michael

Sardines swirl together as a Bryde’s whale takes a huge chunk out of a bait ball in one go. The whale was one of five taking advantage of a fish shoal that common dolphins had initially created by blowing a bubble net around their prey.

7. Mosaic

Photograph by Pere
Photograph by Pere

This mosaic of marshes, reeds, sand dunes, and beaches is an important migratory stop for birds flying over the the coast of Andalucia, Spain. Seaweed, algal blooms, salt deposits, and brown and orange sediment lend the landscape its color.

8. Pop of Color

Photograph by Jonathan
Photograph by Jonathan

A flock of scarlet ibis soar over sand dunes on the northeast coast of Brazil. Young photographer Jonathan Jagot (winner in the 15 to 17 year old category) couldn’t get too close to the nervous birds, so he waited for them to take flight.

9. On Display

Photograph by Britta
Photograph by Britta

With their claws and teeth removed, these big cats perform for a crowd in Guilin, China. The government has directed zoos and animal parks to stop using wild animals in performances, but the guidance isn’t law. So the practice continues.

10. Staged Art

Photograph by Juan Tapia
Photograph by Juan Tapia

To get this shot, photographer Juan Tapia cut a bird-sized hole through a painting and placed it over a broken window that barn swallows flew through. Then he had to wait eight hours before being able to capture this exact moment.

11. Shadow Walker

Photograph by Richard
Photograph by Richard

An urban fox casts a shadow against a garden wall in Surrey, England. Getting the shot required a lot of planning—ground-level flash for the shadow, correctly placed tripod, and the right exposure—as well as some luck.

LEAVE A REPLY