2021 Winners: Animal Behaviour

Category Winner

‘The World is Going Upside Down’ by Thomas Vijayan

After spending few days in Borneo, I got this frame stuck in my mind. To get this shot, I selected a tree that was in the water so that I could get a good reflection of the sky and its leaves on the tree. The water formed a mirror, making the image look upside-down.

Then I climbed up on the tree and waited for hours. This is a regular path for the orangutans to use, so patience would surely pay off.

Nikon D850 with 8-15mm lens. 1/400th, f/4.5, ISO 5,000.


‘Fish Caught by Surprise’ by Johan Wandrag

Taken in South Africa, a fish is caught in the moment it is snapped up by a crocodile. The look of surprise really made this shot stand out to me.

Canon 7D Mark II with Sigma 150-600mm lens. 1/3,200th, f/8, ISO 400.

Highly Commended

‘Dust Bath’ by Bence Máté

Wild dog pups play in the dust seen rising from the bone dry soil. I tracked them for 5 weeks, and photographed them in some fascinating situations in South Africa.

Nikon D5 with 200mm lens. 1/1,000th, f/2, ISO 4,000.

Highly Commended

‘Fun for All Ages’ by Thomas Vijayan

One afternoon a group of black-footed grey langurs were sitting on a tree. But this playful infant was enjoying the family time and was playing with his parents by swinging on their tails and falling down, and then immediately climbing back and starting all over again. His mother was taking little notice of the activity and other adolescents were tolerating the attention-seeking acrobatics.

Langurs are very social and youngsters play as often as they can. Acrobatic play is probably a way of practising tree-living and eventually helps them to develop strong bones and muscles. Playing also helps them to develop social bond and communication skills.

Nikon D4 with Nikon 300mm lens. 1/1250th, f/5.6, ISO 1,000.

Highly Commended

‘Taking its Toll’ by David Gibbon

I captured this blue morph Arctic Fox during a brutal day. Gale force winds, sub-zero temperatures and heavy snow made hunting very tough for this individual, so the hungry fox lay down in the hope the storm would soon pass so it could continue its search for food.

Canon 1DX with Sigma 150-600mm lens. 1/2,000th, f/6.3, ISO 800.

Highly Commended

‘Floral Bath Tub’ by Mousam Ray

In India, the autumn days are hot and humid but the nights are pleasant. In the morning, dew drops are found on the edge of grass, flowers, and sometimes water is stored in the flower petals. A Crimson Sunbird female is seen refreshing herself with the water which is stored in the petal of an ornamental banana flower. This is showing a very rare behaviour, and is as if nature creates a floral bath tub for her.

Nikon D500 with 300mm lens & 1.4x teleconverter. 1/4000th, f/7.1, ISO 1,600.