Some winners: 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

October 20, 2021 • 1:30 pm

NPR has a selection of fantastic winning photos from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest run by the London Museum of Natural History.  I just have time to show you a few of my favorites before I go to feed our few remaining ducks. Honey, Dorothy, and their swain, Prince Charming, need fattening up before they head south.  There are thirteen photos, and I’ll show six with the NPR captions and credits (indented).

Click on the photos to enlarge them.

Head to head, by Stefano Unterthiner, Italy, winner, behaviour: mammals category. Unterthiner watched two Svalbard reindeer battle for control of a harem. Unterthiner followed these reindeer during the rutting season. Watching the fight, he felt immersed in “the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain.” The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male (left) chased its rival away.

Stefano Unterthiner/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Nursery meltdown, by Jennifer Hayes, U.S., winner, Oceans – The Bigger Picture category. Hayes recorded harp seals, seal pups and the blood of birth against melting sea ice. Following a storm, it took hours of searching by helicopter to find this fractured sea ice used as a birthing platform by harp seals. “It was a pulse of life that took your breath away,” says Hayes.

Jennifer Hayes/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The intimate touch, by Shane Kalyn, Canada, winner, behaviour: birds category. Kalyn watched a raven courtship display. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens’ breeding season. Kalyn lay on the frozen ground and used the muted light to capture the ravens’ iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together.

Shane Kalyn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Creation, by Laurent Ballesta, France, winner, category: underwater. Ballesta peered into the depths as a trio of camouflage groupers exited its milky cloud of eggs and sperm. For five years Ballesta and his team returned to this lagoon, diving day and night to see the annual spawning of camouflage groupers. They were joined after dark by reef sharks that were hunting the fish.

Laurent Ballesta/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Where the giant newts breed, by João Rodrigues, Portugal, winner, behaviour: amphibians and reptiles category. Rodrigues was surprised by a pair of courting sharp-ribbed salamanders in this flooded forest. It was Rodrigues’ first chance in five years to dive into this lake, as it emerges only in winters of exceptionally heavy rainfall, when underground rivers overflow.

João Rodrigues/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Elephant in the room, by Adam Oswell, Australia, winner, category: photojournalism. Oswell draws attention to zoo visitors watching a young elephant perform underwater.

Adam Oswell/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

h/t: Laurie

6 thoughts on “Some winners: 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

  1. Excellent photos, although I’m a little dubious about the performing elephant (but not the quality of the photograph).

  2. Some Democrats have been warning of the danger of the cultural left to the Party’s electoral prospects. One such person is Democratic strategist Ruy Teixeira, who writes at the substack site called “The Liberal Patriot.” He writes that “the cultural left has managed to associate the Democratic party with a series of views on crime, immigration, policing, free speech and of course race and gender that are quite far from those of the median voter. That’s a success for the cultural left but the hard reality is that it’s an electoral liability for the Democratic party.” His conclusion is that “the Democrats’ dilemma is this: they cannot have both cultural leftism and political dominance. Eventually they will have to choose.”

    I believe this analysis is correct, but it tells only half the story. The Democrats are also being severely wounded by its right wing (relatively speaking) – namely Joe Manchin and Krystin Sinema. These two have prevented Biden’s social programs from being passed in the Senate. Most of these programs are very popular with the general public. Consequently, the Democrats may go into the 2022 election divided and with little popular legislation to show for its time in power. All this means is that the Republicans, whose only purpose seems to be is to gain power, maintain the cultural and social dominance of their dwindling white, religious base and deny people the right to vote, may take control of Congress after the 2022 election and the presidency after the 2024 election.

    In my view, most Americans do not care about democracy and rarely even think about it .They will only support this system of governance if it delivers the goods for them. If it doesn’t, they won’t lose any sleep if it disappears. This has been the story in many countries. For those of us who do care about democracy, an extraordinary tragedy is in the making.

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