The Top 10 Best Images from the “Wildlife & Nature” Reader Assignment

On the March
“The newest members of the Styx pride marching along in a dry riverbed at MalaMala Game Reserve in South Africa,” Douglas Croft says about this image. He shot it with a Nikon D7200 and a Nikkor 80-400mm lens at ISO 1600, 1/1250 second, f/6.3. © Douglas Croft

Wildlife and nature are favorite subjects of our readers so we had tons of amazing images posted for this assignment in our online gallery at We had asked that before you went ahead and submitted every photo you’d ever shot of a bird or flower, that you should take some time sorting through your wildlife and nature images to pick out something truly special.

Most folks listened to that advice because the wildlife and nature images this year were of very high quality. We were not only looking for the subjects to be in focus, we wanted to see wildlife and nature photos that offered a fresh and interesting perspective or that told some sort of a story.

This was a very competitive assignment and here are our 10 favorite wildlife and nature images that truly stood out.

What Are You Looking at Egret?
Kay Kotzian captured this image of a great egret with a fish in its bill (and a fabulous reflection!) at a pond off of Bear Lake in Muskegon, Michigan, with a Nikon D810 and a 600mm f/4 lens. © Kay Kotzian

Hello There!
“There are moments in every photographer’s life that ‘hit a nerve,’” Justin Cale writes. “If we’re lucky, we experience many of these throughout our lives, and use those experiences to propel us forward in our craft. This was one such moment, when photographing a Northern Saw-whet Owl. While briefly waking up to have a good scratch, it looked right at me and I was able to freeze it in this photo. It was one of many moments that I will look back upon to use as fuel to be a better artist and photographer, and to push my conservation work further and further.” © Justin Cale

We Are So Alike
Karen Blackwood photographed this chimpanzee in Kibale National Forest, Uganda, with a Canon EOS 6D and an EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens at f/5.6, 1/250 second. © Karen Blackwood

Snow Geese Migration
“It is such an amazing sight to see the snow geese lift off from a pond during their migration through our area,” Katherine Plessner says. “Plus the sound they make is deafening and something you will never forget!” The image was shot with a Sony A99 at 300mm, 1/200 second, f/8, ISO 800. © Katherine Plessner

Tight Squeeze
Clyde Roberts shot this colorful macro image with a Canon EOS 7D and a 100mm macro lens at f/22, 1/200 second, ISO 400, with a strobe fill flash. © Clyde Roberts

Vogue…Strike A Pose
“While in Juneau, Alaska, I accomplished two ‘bucket list’ items, fly in a floatplane and photograph Kodiak bears feeding on salmon in a river,” Larry Pannell notes. “After taking a floatplane to a remote island we hiked close to a mile, sat and waited. About an hour later, a female Kodiak showed up with her two yearlings. After taking as many photographs that I could within an hour, it was time to go.” This striking shot was captured with a Nikon D610 and an AF-S Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens with a 1.4x Nikon teleconverter at a 700mm focal length. The exposure was 1/1000 second, f/8, ISO 500. © Larry Pannell

This intense photo by Luke Dedic was shot with a Canon EOS 7D Mark II and a Canon EF 100-400mm lens at 1/320 second, f/5.6, ISO 800. © Luke Dedic

David Fischer captured this classic pose by a pair of swans with a Canon EOS Rebel T1i and a 500mm lens at 1/500 second, f /11, ISO 1600. © David Fischer

Doe & Fawn
This image of a whitetail doe and her fawn was shot by Tim Nicol in Republic, Washington, with a Nikon D7100 and a Tamron 150-600mm lens. Camera settings were ISO 160, 150mm at f/8, 1/400 second. © Tim Nicol

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