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2017, Birds

First Place Birds: Michael Shepard - In the first hour of sunlight in Namibia’s Hoanib River Valley, 3 ostriches race for cover across the deep sand. The early morning rays shined through the sand as these shy birds made for cover.Second Place Birds: Elissa Warantz - Carmine bee-eaters nesting along the river bank in Mana Pools National Park. During a day of canoeing on the Zambezi River I captured this photo thanks to my intrepid guide, Nick Murray.Third Place Birds: Scott Coston - This dark chanting goshawk went through several twigs before settling on the one with thorns. Seems a bit sharp for bedding material. Namiri Plains Camp, Southern Serengeti, Tanzania.
Chris Donovan – An immature bateleur eagle, not yet featuring their startling adult color, scans the area for prey in Chobe National Park, Botswana.Stacie Brink - ‘Abort Landing!’ This hamerkop flew in to land on an ‘island’ at the waterhole just as the ‘island’- hippo emerged from the water. His wing action immediately reversed just as I snapped this photo. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Doreen Lawrence - I watched this beautiful Eurasian roller as it flew along the grassy plains, looking for dinner. It finally found its tasty morsel and flew to a tree branch to enjoy its dinner. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Helen Reinhardt – We saw these beautiful gray crowned cranes in Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater. We had not seen them before and it was a real treat.Helen Reinhardt – We watched this little bee-eater zoom around catching bees in flight. Then he would return, always to the same branch, to rub off the stinger and eat the bee. It was incredible to see!Chris Donovan – Ostrich are plentiful and venture close at the Cape of Good Hope, in Table Mountain  National Park, South Africa.
Randy Potts - One of the most interesting and unexpected experiences of our safari was watching the vultures fighting over a carcass. Not ‘beautiful’ in the traditional sense, but fascinating and a critical element of the ecosystem. Serengeti, Tanzania.Randy Potts – Leaving the Ngorongoro Crater after a remarkable first day on safari, we thought the wildlife viewing was over for the day, then we turned a corner and spotted this long crested eagle calmly sitting on a branch close to the road.Darlene Knott – Our guide at Chitabe Camp, Ebs, took us past several ostrich, an African eagle on the ground, a saddle-billed stork in a tree, but nothing rivaled the beauty of this lilac breasted roller in flight! Okavango Delta, Botswana.
Andrea Kiernan - Tanzania’s Lake Manyara offers diverse and abundant bird life - from storks, pelicans, eagles, flamingos, rollers, and more. This beautiful malachite kingfisher perched on a blade of grass just waiting to have his picture taken.Helen Reinhardt – We watched these two little bee-eaters sitting on a bush. I was able to capture the moment when they both looked up at exactly the same time. An insect or the raindrops may have caught their attention.Herb Wollner - We enjoyed observing the African spoonbills and their mating rituals at Lake Manyara, Tanzania.
Jim Dell – I wanted to get a picture of this lilac breasted roller, since my wife could never remember the name. This led to much laughter in our vehicle, including from our driver. Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana.Kay Jacobson - While out on a game drive, our guide, Doc, from Mombo Trails Camp, spotted these birds I've always thought of as strange looking. Sitting atop a huge branch out on Chief’s Island, on the Okavango Delta, they actually looked rather regal.Karen Knierim - I'm not really a bird watcher and did not anticipate Tanzania’s Lake Manyara being one of my favorite safari experiences. Wow! The thousands of flamingos, storks, spoonbills and more just blew me away!
Helen Reinhardt – Poised to swoop down for a meal, this tawny eagle in the sunlight was fun to photograph. Captured during our safari to Kenya and Tanzania.Ariella Midolo - The ostrich was searching for food, and it kept looking at us and wondering what we were doing. We were awed by this funny specie of bird. It looked so beautiful as its colors contrasted the background. Serengeti, Tanzania.Randy Potts – We were taken with the relationship between many species of birds and various mammals. Not only are these relationships symbiotic, but they are often down right adorable....like these yellow-billed oxpeckers. Serengeti, Tanzania.
Elissa Warantz – This southern ground hornbill was captured in Hwange National Park, near where I was staying, at Somalisa Camp. They typically live in groups of 5-10 individuals and forage on reptiles, frogs and insects.Mark Janes – This long crested eagle was hunting and decided to pose for us on a tall tree stump. Okavango Delta, Botswana.Mark Janes – Carmine bee eaters in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania. They had taken over an area of the road. Beautiful in flight. They nest up to 2 meters underground.
Henry Thomsen – I was able to capture this incredible tawny eagle during my safari with my grandparents and parents. Tawny eagles are found throughout Southern Africa and prefer the open savannah for capturing prey.Larry and Molly Dutton – A colorful bee-eater taken at Tanda Tula Safari Camp (Timbavati, South Africa). They feed on a diet of flying insects, like bees and wasps, which they catch in mid-air and remove the stinger by hitting it on a tree branch.Rich Goldman – A pelican coming in for a landing on a pond in the Okavango Delta. One of the wonderful surprises of our trip was how much we enjoyed seeing the variety and quantity of beautiful birds that make the delta their home.
Bill Harker – Two bateleur eagles spotted during a game drive from Shumba Camp in Kafue, Zambia. The average adult has a wing span of over 6 feet.Christina Mendelson – A heron takes a ride on a hippo in Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa.David Simons – During our safari to Chobe National Park, we were in awe of the incredibly beautiful birds, including this lilac breasted roller. It is the national bird of Botswana.
Walter Diehl – A squadron of white pelicans show the contrast between the deep blue sky and the lush green mangroves in the background and the bright white feathers and yellow bills of the pelicans. Lake Manyara National Park, Tanzania.Kiran Abraham-Aggarwal - Taken on our family safari adventure in Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park. Such a colorful and beautiful bird. (Kiran is 14 years old and an aspiring photographer).Wanda Jong – Hundreds of brightly colored flamingos gathered in Momella Lake, Tanzania. We were fascinated by the grace of the birds flying, eating, and preening. It’s a good thing the lake is reflective so they can admire themselves all the time.
Brian Kloske – This is a photo of a martial eagle—the biggest eagle in Africa with an impressive 6 foot wingspan. He humored us for around 5 minutes before moving along. A stunning animal. Tanda Tula Safari Camp, South Africa.Karen Knierim – These white fronted bee-eaters were some of my favorite birds in Tanzania! This picture was taken on a late afternoon boat safari on the Rufiji River down in the Selous. The riverbank was just riddled with their nests.Nancy Bailey - We saw the malachite kingfisher at Kanana Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. We have the guides to thank for spotting this fellow and getting us close enough to take photos.
Rich Goldman – A beautiful African fish eagle spreading his wings while perched on a dead tree in the Okavango Delta. Females are larger (approx. 7 lb) compared to the males (4.4-5.5 lb).Rich Goldman – Driving back to our camp in the Okavango Delta, we spotted this bird holding on to a live frog. Each time we got close enough to take a picture he would fly to another bush but I finally captured this one.Lisa Miller – Tanzania offered exceptional birding and boasts over 1388 different bird species, like these little bee-eaters.
Andrea Kiernan – On our first full day of safari we came across this beautiful flock of African sacred ibis taking flight high above the grazing Cape buffalo in Tarangire National Park, Tanzania.Nancy Bailey – We saw an abundance of colorful birds such as this lilac breasted roller while we were on safari drives at Kanana Camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.Michael Ehrlich – The penguins and babies were quite a sight! I watched this penguin as it fed its young and then headed back to the water but on the way stopped in this crop of bushes. Boulders Beach, Cape Town.
Karen Knierim – In Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve, on a late afternoon boat safari on the Rufiji River, we were treated to a bank full of these beautiful white fronted bee-eaters!