Wildlife Photographer Winners of the Year
Wildlife photography was the main reason why I have such an interest in photography. I would go out in my garden to photography the plants I could see, or wait for birds to come by so I could zoom in on them. Nature is something we should nurture dearly as we are running out of it very quickly. The two images above were the reason why Canadian Surgeon, Don Gutoski, and wildlife obsessed, fourteen-year-old Ondrej Pelánek from the Czech Republic got the title of being Wildlife Photographer of the Year of 2015.
Don Gutoski beat 42,000 entries from 96 countries for the honor, awarded by London
‘s Natural History Museum. Red foxes don’t usually prey on Arctic foxes, but this can happens occasionally due to their overlapping hunting territories, as captured in this year’s winning photograph by Don Gutoski. In this instance, the red fox chased the small Arctic fox, killed it in the snow and fed on the carcass for three hours. It then dragged away the remains to store for later. The photograph was taken in Wapusk National Park, near Cape Churchill in Canada. Both species usually hunt small rodents, such as lemmings, but where their territories overlap the red fox has been observed preying on Arctic foxes and competing with them for food. As rising temperatures in the Arctic allow the red fox to move north and cross paths with the Arctic fox, conflicts between the two are likely to become more common.
In mating season, male ruffs stake out small display arenas in open grassy areas, where they present themselves to females and defend against other males. Males puff up their ruffs and boost their head tufts to court females and maintain dominant status in the group. Up to 20 males may cluster in the same area, called lek, each arena measuring about one metre across. In this shot, taken on the Varanger Peninsula in Norway, a male lunges forward with its wings fluttering, keeping another male from entering its arena. With the females nestled on the ground around them, the two males scuffle in silence for their attention. The scene took place just after midnight during the Arctic summer, and the ruffs’ display continued all night long.
The images below are the pictures from other contestants, which also have credit in their work, as each photo is spectacular.