‘I fell in the water, but it was worth it!’: Guardian readers on their most extraordinary bird photographs | Birds

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‘I had all however given up hope, once I noticed brilliant orange feathers’

I took this {photograph} on the end of January in Balloch, Scotland. I’ve on a regular basis wanted to take a picture of a male mandarin duck. It’s the hen that made me want to start taking footage. They’re beautiful, with so many beautiful colours. On the end of January, I had heard by means of Fb that there was a pair of them up the road from me. I acquired up early and drove to Balloch. I had all nonetheless given up hope, when swiftly I seen the extreme orange tail feathers of the duck in between some bushes on the river’s edge. I wanted to lean on a tree that was inside the water to take the images. I then fell into the water and tore my trousers, however it was worth it. Paul Fraser, 36, freshwater biologist, Callander, Scotland

‘Bald eagles are an environmental success story’

A bald eagle stands on a frozen lake in Luck, Wisconsin, in March 2021.
A bald eagle stands on a frozen lake in Luck, Wisconsin, in March 2021. {Photograph}: Gillian Henry

After I retired and moved from Boston to the village of Luck in rural Wisconsin, I found a whole new setting and way of life to find. I was captivated by the abundance and variety of the wildlife that I seen on my daily walks. This developed proper right into a endeavor to {{photograph}} as many native birds as attainable inside strolling distance of my residence. This {photograph} is of a bald eagle on the native lake, nonetheless frozen in March. It was there for the fish that grew to turn into trapped inside the ice when the lake froze once more in November. Bald eagles are an environmental success story – after the banning of the insecticide DDT, their numbers have rebounded spectacularly they usually’re now frequent spherical proper right here. Gillian Henry, 63, retired medical researcher, Luck, Wisconsin, USA

‘This species was solely found as not too long ago as 1996’

An araripe manakin seen in Arajara Park in Ceará, Brazil in November 2018.
An araripe manakin seen in Arajara Park in Ceará, Brazil in November 2018. {Photograph}: Phillip Edwards

This {photograph} of an araripe manakin was taken in November 2018 in Arajara Park – a water park in Ceará, Brazil. The species was solely discovered as not too way back as 1996 and is simply acknowledged to reside in a tiny area of forested valleys below the Araripe Plateau in Ceará. There are thought-about spherical 800 of these birds and the species is severely threatened by deforestation. This male was preening in a forest protected as a park for water recreation. Phillip Edwards, 64, retired advertising and marketing advisor ornithologist and creator, Somerset

‘I often hear tawny owls, however hardly ever see one’

A tawny owl photographed in Galloway Forest Park, Scotland, in May 2021.
A tawny owl photographed in Galloway Forest Park, Scotland, in Could 2021. {Photograph}: Joshua Copping

This image of a tawny owl was taken near Galloway Forest Park in Scotland, in Could 2021. They’re a species I typically hear, nonetheless rarely see. I’d solely seen them flying over the auto at night time time and perched in a tree inside the daylight as quickly as beforehand. However, all through a present journey to Scotland, this beautiful tawny owl appeared. It’s commonplace to see them inside the day proper now of 12 months as soon as they’re busy feeding their chicks, however it’s certainly not a normal sighting. Seeing it perched, flying by way of the bushes, and taking meals once more to its youthful was a selected experience. Joshua Copping, 30, conservation scientist, Oxfordshire

‘A weird riot of orange that appear to be lacking a invoice’

An Andean cock-of-the-rock pictured in Peru in August 2019.
An Andean cock-of-the-rock pictured in Peru in August 2019. {Photograph}: Adam Winstanley

This {photograph} was taken in August 2019 whereas I was on trip in Aguas Calientes, the town on the bottom of Machu Picchu in Peru. The one hen I really wanted to see was the nationwide hen of Peru, the “Tunki”, or Andean cock-of-the-rock. They’re a bizarre riot of orange that look like missing a bill. The problem was that the birds had been greatest to see inside the grounds of an upmarket lodge that charged spherical £400 a night. Fortunately, I met the resident hen data who knowledgeable me I is likely to be part of a hen stroll for lower than $20. At six o’clock the next morning, the knowledge outlined that we should climb a steep, muddy cliff which few lodge buddies had been eager to do. After half-hour, we had been rewarded with distant views of two males 100 meters away. The data and I agreed that seeing just a few of the best birds on a regular basis requires effort and persistence. As we walked once more to the lodge, a third male then decided to land correct above our heads, making a mockery of our dialog. Adam Winstanley, 37, instructional, London

‘I spied a flash of brilliant pink within the bush’

A southern ground hornbill pictured at the Kruger National Park in South Africa in February 2015.
A southern ground hornbill pictured on the Kruger Nationwide Park in South Africa in February 2015. {Photograph}: Debra Maxwell

This picture of a southern ground hornbill was taken on the Kruger Nationwide Park in South Africa in February 2015. My companion and I had been driving on a quiet mud road. It was early spring, so the bush was verdant and recognizing one thing was troublesome. I spied a flash of sensible pink inside the bush and we pulled over. Out strolled an enormous family of southern ground hornbill. They’re one of many essential merely identifiable and most cherished hen species associated to journeys to the game reserve. They’re an important members of the hornbill family and are a rarely-seen endangered species. I managed to shoot this picture of an grownup male with an unbelievable array of bugs in his bill. We sat for about 20 minutes watching the birds sooner than they melted once more into the bush. Debra Maxwell, 53, agency director, Cheltenham

‘It’s as if a rainbow reworked proper right into a hen’

A rare hummingbird pictured on the Monserrate hill in Bogotá, Colombia in December 2020.
A unusual hummingbird pictured on the Monserrate hill in Bogotá, Colombia in December 2020. {Photograph}: Diego Morales

This {photograph} was taken on the Monserrate hill in Bogotá in December 2020, as soon as I used to be visiting my family in Colombia. This hummingbird has attracted various consideration amongst hen watchers inside the Sabana de Bogotá space. After I seen it, I was overwhelmed with pleasure. The dazzling iridescent colours are very good; it’s as if a rainbow reworked proper right into a hen. Birdwatchers and biologists are working collectively to ascertain this gem: a attainable – and actually unusual – hybrid between a golden-bellied starfrontlet (Coeligena bonapartei) and a blue-throated starfrontlet (Coeligena helianthea). Diego Morales, 43, pathologist, Ardmore, Pennsylvania, USA

‘There was solely going to be one winner’

A grey heron battles a rat at Forest Farm Country Park, Cardiff, in April 2021.
A grey heron battles a rat at Forest Farm Nation Park, Cardiff, in April 2021. {Photograph}: Paul Travers

This picture was taken in April 2021 at Forest Farm Nation Park, Cardiff. I was watching the grey heron staring intently into the prolonged grass and managed to grab a sequence of pictures of it catching and swallowing a rat. The rat put up a robust fight that lasted numerous minutes, nonetheless there was solely going to be one winner. Paul Travers, 56, civil servant, Cardiff

‘It’s a really shy-natured hen’

A swamp francolin pictured in November 2020 in eastern Nepal.
A swamp francolin pictured in November 2020 in jap Nepal. {Photograph}: SUGAM_TAMRAKAR_PHOTOGRAPHY/Sugam Tamrakar

I took this {photograph} of a swamp francolin (Francolinus gularis) in November 2020 inside the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve in jap Nepal. After three days of prepared, this hen lastly received right here out into the open. This partridge species, which is native to the foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal, is elusive and laborious to {{photograph}} because of it’s a really shy-natured. It’s thought-about extinct inside the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta in Bangladesh and is listed as inclined on the IUCN (Worldwide Union for Conservation of Nature) pink itemizing. It was higher than positively definitely worth the wait. Sugam Tamrakar, lodge administration lecturer, Kathmandu, Nepal

‘It tried to take a chunk out of my shoe’

A kea, pictured in New Zealand in January 2019.
A kea, pictured in New Zealand in January 2019. {Photograph}: Daniel Ward

This {photograph} of a kea was taken in January 2019 in Milford Sound, New Zealand. The kea is native to New Zealand and is the world’s solely alpine parrot. This hen, like all of the keas I’ve met, was extraordinarily inquisitive and walked correct as a lot as me and tried to take a large chunk out of my shoe. Fortunately it didn’t make it by way of and I’m completely satisfied to have the power to say that I nonetheless have all 10 toes. Daniel Ward, 26, PhD scholar, Leeds

‘They got here very shut once we sat nonetheless’

A pair of Adelie penguins, Antarctica, 2015.
A pair of Adelie penguins, Antarctica, 2015. {Photograph}: Mathieu Casado

I’m a paleoclimatologist engaged on the Alfred Wegener Institute. In my free time, I’m going and drill ice cores in Antarctica and the Himalayas. This {photograph} was taken in 2015 on my first journey to Antarctica, the place every animal sighting felt extraordinary. Pictured is just a few Adelie penguins, who hatch in the middle of the summer season on the island the place my station was. Whereas they’d been petrified of us as soon as we stood on the rocks of the island, they’d been amused by us on the ocean ice, and would come very shut as soon as we sat nonetheless. Mathieu Casado, 32, paleoclimatologist, Berlin

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