Wild Bird Trust presents this week’s Top 25, Wild Birds on the Edge. With 1 in 8 wild birds listed as at-risk on the IUCN Redlist, we dedicate this week’s Top 25 to these birds, on the edge of extinction. The IUCN Redlist is the leading authority for categorising at-risk species, they use a number of criteria including extent of range, population trend and rate of decline to decide which category to place a species in. Their at-risk categories range from Near Threatened, Vulnerable, Endangered, Critically Endangered and finally to Extinct in the Wild and Extinct. Here we present 25 of the best wild bird photographs. As society becomes more aware of the plight of threatened birds, more attention and funds are directed towards conserving these species. Thank you to everyone who submitted photographs this week, your photographs are so important for telling the story of these beautiful birds!
We will announce the theme for next week’s Top 25 this Sunday so keep at eye on our Facebook page! For more wild bird updates, check out our Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as our Youtube channel.
A critically endangered White-backed Vulture in the Serengeti, Tanzania. Vultures worldwide are under threat because of toxins in the carcasses they eat, these toxins include veterinary drugs, lead and poison laced within carcasses to kill predators or sometimes vultures themselves (Owen Deutsch)
These critically endangered Waved Albatross breed mainly on the Galapagos island, Española. The main threat facing this species is being caught as by-catch on long-line fisheries (Melissa Penta)
The Critically Endangered Hooded vulture is native to sub-saharan Africa. The hooded Vultures are Smaller than many other African vulture species, such as the Lappet-faced and White-backed Vultures, and as a result they are usually dominated by other species at carcasses (Goutam Mitra)
The Kashmir Flycatcher is considered vulnerable on the IUCN Redlist. This is due to habitat loss in their breeding range- the forests of the Kashmir region in northern india (Dr. S. Alagu Ganesh)
The Near-threatened Grey-headed Bulbul is a restricted range species, found only in the western ghats. the protected areas in this region, like the thattekad bird sanctuary, are very important in keeping this species from declining further (Sekar PS Photography)
An endangered saker falcon photographed in Bikaner, India. These birds are mainly affected by the loss of grassland habitat, electrocution and trapping for falconry (Pinakin Patel)
This endangered South Island Takahē of New Zealand was rediscovered in 1948 after being thought to be extinct. They are protected within the Fiordland National Park and have also been translocated to a number of New Zealand’s islands which are considered safe habitat (Michal Richter)
The Sociable Lapwing is considered Critically Endangered because of loss of steppe habitat in central Asia where they breed. They are also hunted on their flyways as they migrate to north Africa and India (Pinakin Patel)
A vulnerable Schneider’s Pitta photographed in Kerinci Seblat National Park, Indonesia (Mohit Kumar Ghatak). This park should be a safety net for this restricted range species but hunting and snaring is common within the park itself
An endangered Steppe Eagle takes flight in Little Rann of Kutch, India (Soumitra Ghosh). These eagles have declined because of conversion of their steppe habitats to agriculture, as well as persecution and electrocution on powerlines
A Near-threatened Great Thick-knee calling. Breeding success is low in these birds because of human disturbance at their nests and people collecting the eggs (Pallabi Mitra)
The Redwing is generally common but recent declines in Europe of between 25 and 30% have led to them being listed as Near-Threatened. They are affected by climate change and illegal trapping in the Mediterranean (John Parkinson)
in the early 1990s The Macqueen’s Bustard was nearly hunted to extinction in the Middle East. Here the meat is considered an aphrodisiac. Now hunting is more regulated and there is a bustard captive breeding program, however the wild population continues to decline, they are listed as vulnerable (Jobin J Valiyaparambil)
While the Greater Flamingo is very common, the Lesser Flamingo is declining. This is because they only have a few breeding sites across Africa and many of these are threatened by human activities like mining (Pallabi Mitra)
The Lesser Adjutant used to be widespread but due to unregulated harvesting of eggs and chicks in some parts of Asia it is now vulnerable (Debtapas Das)
The endangered Lappet-faced Vulture is the largest vulture in Africa, they will often be dominant at carcasses (Ganesh Rao B)
These beautiful African Grey Parrots are endangered because they are harvested in the wild for the pet trade (Elaine Henley)
There are only between 300 and 500 critically endangered Great Indian Bustards left in the wild. Hunting and loss of grassland habitats are the main cause of decline. These birds were photographed in the Desert National Park, India, this park is a stronghold for the species (Suranjan Mukherjee)
The Great Hornbill of south-east Asia and the Western Ghats of India is near-threatened due to the loss of its forest habitat (Prashanna Photography)
The near-threatened Ferruginous Duck has declined as their river habitat is disturbed and altered by humans. In addition an estimated 1500-2500 birds are shot every year as they migrate through the Volga Delta to Africa (Anirban Roychowdhury)
The Nilgiri Pipit is endemic to the western ghats of India. Due to a declining population, related to their restricted range and disturbance in their grassland habitats, they are considered vulnerable on the IUCN redlist (Pallavi Sarkar)
The endangered Elfin Wood Warbler can only be found in the forests of Puerto Rico (Raymond De Jesús Asencio)
One of the most striking of the vultures, the Egyptian Vulture. They are endangered and declining over most of their range, although in Spain the population appears to be increasing (Pinakin Patel)
The vulnerable Blue-capped Kingfisher is found only in the montane forest of the Philippines, a habitat which is increasingly disturbed and fragmented (Mohit Kumar Ghatak)
This beautiful bird is a Bali Myna and it is critically endangered, with only 50 birds in the wild. This species only occurs in two small areas of Bali, thanks to captive release programs the status of this species has improved in the last 10 years (Arun Samak)
Our mission is to build a global community around the freedom and beauty of birds in the wild as ambassadors for the natural ecosystems that they depend upon. They are the music, decoration, and character of every terrestrial habitat on the planet and have been around since the dinosaurs. They are the witnesses and ambassadors of the awesome power of nature. The wide availability of good, cheap optics has opened their world to us for the last few decades. Amazing, affordable DSLR cameras with long lenses are delivering brilliant digital bird imagery to online communities.
We are in a day-and-age during which more bird species are threatened with extinction than ever before. The Wild Birds! Revolution aims to publish the “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week” to 1 million people every week by the end of the year. That is a revolution that will change the world! Join thousands of other weekend naturalists, photographers, birders, experts, hikers, nature-lovers, guides, scientists, conservationists and artists that share the thousands of wild bird photographs submitted to the Wild Bird Trust website and Facebook page. Thousands of wild bird enthusiasts are going out every day to photograph our planet’s beautiful birdlife. Pick up your camera, fill your bird feeder, open your heart, and join the Wild Birds! Revolution!!
Edited by Christie Craig, Campaign Manager