A few months ago we found out that the best “WildLife Photographer” of the year 2019 was and promptly congratulated Yongqing Bao with a well-deserved win.
His winning photograph titled “The Moment” showcases a young fox and a marmot in a moment of life and death, the hungry fox mother baring its teeth, the shock on the marmot’s face who just woke up from hibernation proved to be the perfect snap that won the recognition of the jury.
Below, you can take a look at the stunning photographs showcasing different aspects of wildlife, from predators hunting prey to animals in captivity, the images are a good reflection of the many aspects of our nature.
1. “Training Session”, Stefan Christmann, Germany
When Stefan came across this penguin couple in Atka Bay, Antarctica, seemingly with an egg, he was surprised as it was too early in the season for egg-laying. Upon closer inspection, he discovered the egg was a snowball!
2. “A Suitable Gift”, Marco Valentini, Italy
Marco was in Hortobágyi National Park, Hungary when he spotted these kestrels displaying typical courtship behavior. Here the female has just received an offering of a young green lizard from her suitor and in this touching moment, she tenderly took hold of his claw.
3. “Family Get-Together”, Michael Schober, Austria
Marmots have become accustomed to the presence of humans in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria and allow people to observe and photograph them at close range. This behavior is beneficial for the marmots, as human company deters predators such as golden eagles.
4. “Beak To Beak”, Claudio Contreras Koob, Mexico
This chick is less than five days old, it will stay in its nest less than a week before it joins a crèche of other youngsters who wander around the colony searching for food.
5. “Dressed For Dawn”, Csaba Tökölyi, Hungary
Csaba had been in a hide all night photographing nocturnal species and their activities, but as the golden light of dawn reflected on the surface of the water, an egret in wonderful breeding plumage stopped close by. The elongated scapular feathers covered the bird as if it was wearing a gown.
6. “Big Ears”, Valeriy Maleev, Russia
Valeriy was on a summer expedition to the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert when he happened upon a long-eared jerboa. As blood moves through the ears of these usually nocturnal animals, excess heat dissipates across the skin and so the jerboa is able to stay cool.
7. “The Humpback Calf”, Wayne Osborn, Australia
Jake was on a boat off the coast of Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada where he watched humpback whales bubble-net feeding. Here the lead whale dives to locate the fish, once the fish are located, the rest of the pod swim in decreasing circles while blowing bubbles which create a net, trapping the fish.
8. “Captive”, Marcus Westberg, Sweden
A giant panda sits in its cage in a breeding center in Shaanxi, China.
9. “A Pulsing Sea”, David Doubilet, USA
A school of red tooth triggerfish form a cloud of silhouettes above a river of convict blennies flowing over the coral in Verde Island Passage, Philippines.
10. “Meeting Place”, Yaz Loukhal, France
After a rough journey by sea to the remote Snow Hill Island off the east coast of the Antarctic Peninsula, Yaz flew by helicopter and then trekked through thick snow to reach the emperor penguin colony. His efforts were rewarded with this incredible view of the whole colony.
11. “What A Poser”, Clement Mwangi, Kenya
In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Clement spent time observing this beautiful leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. Clement is mindful to remember to take pleasure in life’s simple moments, being all too aware that sometimes, as a wildlife photographer, you can miss the exceptional while looking for the unusual.
12. “Station Squabble”, Sam Rowley, UK
Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times.
13. “The Unwelcome Visitor”, Salvador Colvée Nebot, Spain
For several months, Salvador watched different species of birds use the dead flower spike of this agave in Valencia, Spain as a perch before descending to a small pond to drink.
14. “Losing The Fight”, Aaron Gekoski, UK
Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok, and many other locations for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue twice a day, every day, with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more.
15. “Trustful”, Ingo Arndt, Germany
Over two years Ingo has followed the Pumas of Torres del Paine National Park, in Patagonia, Chile. This female was so used to his presence that one day she fell asleep nearby. On wakening, she glanced at him in a familiar way, and he was able to capture this portrait of a completely relaxed puma.
16. “Inquisitive”, Audun Rikardsen, Norway
It took Audun three years of planning to capture this majestic bird of prey in its coastal environment. After some time, the golden eagle became curious about the camera and seemed to like being in the spotlight.
17. “Ocean´s Signature”, Angel Fitor, Spain
Angel took this image in the waters off of Alicante, Spain. Immersed in a strong current, an otherwise slightly undulating salp chain twists and turns forming whimsical shapes, salps move by contracting, which pumps water through their gelatinous bodies.
18. “The Surrogate Mother”, Martin Buzora, Canada
At Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya, a ranger Elias Mugambi often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild.
19. “Mother Knows Best”, Marion Vollborn, Germany
Marion spotted a grizzly bear and her young cub approach a tree, at Nakina River in British Columbia, Canada. The mother bear started to rub against the tree trunk and was followed shortly by the cub, imitating its mother.
20. “Winter’s Tale”, Valeriy Maleev, Russia
Valeriy met this Pallas’s cat while it was out hunting in the Mongolian grasslands, it was -42°C (-44°F) on that frosty day, but the fairy tale scene canceled out the cold.
21. “Tender Play”, Steve Levi, USA
Steve spotted this mother polar bear and her two cubs after 10 days of looking. They had recently left their birthing den in Wapusk National Park, Canada, to begin the long journey to the sea ice so their mother could feed. After a nap, the cubs were in a playful mood.