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Advances in digital photography have given us the opportunity to capture the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild like never before. Here are the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” drawn from the thousands of photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust for consideration every week. Celebrate the freedom and splendor of birds in the wild with us and stimulate positive change by sharing how beautiful the birds of the world really are…
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The Bald Eagle is the national bird of the United States of America and appears on its Seal. They are important in various Native American cultures. Photographed here in Canada. (Nina Stavlund)
Southern ground hornbill are recognized as "Vulnerable" and are largely restricted to protected areas. They are found from N Namibia and Angola to N South Africa, Burundi, and Kenya. (Kevin Hutchinson)
"Snow white ghosts..." Ivory gulls breed in the high Arctic and have a circumpolar distribution through Greenland, N North America, and Eurasia. They follow polar bears to scavenge the meat left over... (Laura Dyer)
White-necked jacobins range from Mexico S to Peru, Bolivia and Brazil. Photographed here in Costa Rica. (Nina Stavlund)
Red fody photographed in Reunion (where they are introduced). They are a common bird found in forest clearings, grasslands and cultivated areas. In Madagascar they are regarded as a pest to rice cultivation. (Kevin Le Pape)
Snowy owls hunt using the "sit and wait" style... Prey may be captured on the ground, in the air or fish may be snatched off the surface using their sharp talons. Each owl must capture 7-12 mice per day and can eat more than 1,600 lemmings per year. (David Schultz)
Pied bush chats are found in tropical S Asia from the Greater Middle East through Pakistan, India and Bangladesh and E to Indonesia, where they prefer open scrub, grassland, and cultivation. (Pranesh Kodancha)
"One-eyed vulture"... Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses and decreasing the spread of some diseases. Support www.vultureconservation.co.za. (Nobby Clarke)
Malachite kingfishers are widely distributed in Africa S of the Sahara, where they are largely resident, but will move for local rainfall and food resources. (Kevin Hutchinson)
Arrow-marked babblers are found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, where they prefer subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, and subtropical or tropical moist shrubland. (Nobby Clarke)
Southern red bishops are common in the wetlands and grassland of Africa S of the Equator, where they breed near water among grass, reeds, sedges or crops (e.g. sugar cane). (Louis Groenewald)
Painted sandgrouse are known as "ganga indien" in E Pakistan and India, where they prefer dry, rocky grassland and scrub. (Vinayak Yardi)
Great tinamous are grounf-dwelling birds found in Central and S America. Photographed here in Costa Rica. They are hunted but are still considered "Least Concern". (Nina Stavlund)
Little stints breed in arctic Europe and Asia, after which they undertake long-distance migrations to winter in Africa and S Asia. (Geir Jensen)
Swee waxbills make a soft "swee, swee" call when busy feeding in the grass. They are a common and tame bird seen in small flocks. (Louis Groenewald)
Pied crows are Africa's most widespread member of the genus Corvus. Photographed here in Etosha National Park (Namibia). (Anja Denker)
"Osprey eating a fish..." A landmark on 75 Mile Beach in Fraser Island is the shipwreck of the S.S. Maheno, which was an Edwardian liner on the Tasman Sea crossing between New Zealand and Australia. (Peter Pischler)
Crested guan photographed in Costa Rica. They breed in the lowlands of S Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula all the way to W Ecuador and S Venezuela (up to 1850m). (Corey Lange)
"Greater flamingos at sunrise..." They are found in parts of Africa, S Asia (coastal regions of Pakistan and India), and S Europe (including Spain, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, Italy, France). (Bhavya Joshi)
Great blue herons are common near open water and wetlands over most of North and Central America, as well as the Caribbean and Galápagos Islands. They are, however, only rare vagrants to Europe. (David Schultz)
Whiskered terns eat small fish, amphibians, insects and crustaceans. In winter, the forehead becomes white and the body plumage a much paler grey. (Lennart Hessel)
Grey-headed kingfishers are found from the Cape Verde Islands off NW Africa to Mauritania, Senegal and Gambia, then E to Ethiopia, Somalia and S Arabia, and S to South Africa. They migrate at night and are often killed by flying into obstacles such as buildings, towers and power-lines. (Kevin le Pape)
Golden eagles once lived in almost all of temperate Europe, North Asia, North America, North Africa, and Japan. In most areas this bird is now a mountain-dweller, but in former centuries it also bred in the plains and the forests. In recent years it has started to breed in lowland areas in Sweden and Denmark. (Lennart Hessel)
Lappet-faced vulture are declining throughout their distributional range in Africa and Arabia, with most severe declines in north of their range. (Peter Pischler)
Oriental pied hornbills are found in the Indian Subcontinent and SE Asia from Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam, where they prefer subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. (Dhritiman Hore)
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The Wild Bird Trust was founded in South Africa in August 2009 with the primary objective of keeping birds safe in the wild. The trust aims to encourage the use of flagship endangered bird species as “ecosystem ambassadors” in their indigenous habitat. The trust focusses on linking ordinary people with conservation action in the field through innovative marketing campaigns and brand development. Saving Africa’s birds is going to take a determined effort from all of us.
The main aims and objectives of the Wild Bird Trust are to:
- To advance the research in, education about and conservation of all birds in the wild as well as the related habitat.
- Focus will be placed primarily on African species that act as ecosystem and biodiversity indicators although other species and geographical areas will be considered as well.
- To work with all interested and involved parties including government, private sector, NGOs, education and research institutions, aviculture and bird-watching sectors without losing objectivity and independence.
In the pursuit of these aims and objectives the Wild Bird trust works closely with relevant local and international entities and persons, including: government authorities; educational institutions; conservation organizations; and avicultural organizations. The trust is funded entirely by its founder members, charitable donations and conservation grants.
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