fifteen short years ago you could be the only person or small group on a river, coastline, or habitat frequented by bears. next month i will have hosted over 100 bear workshops, so i guess i am partly to blame, taking groups and posting pics on social media has made bears very popular subjects for both aspiring amateur and pro wildlife photographers. i do try to the best of my ability to dissuade photographers from posting exact locations on the web. many places are almost over run with groups, and quite a few now have permitting process in place as a result. my point is this...please remember these are wild animals, and treat them with respect! do not bait, or try to alter their natural behavior in an attempt to garner unique images. allow the animals the freedom to move unimpedded in the natural environment, especially, when in groups. keep your wits about you at all times, and never get lulled into a false sense of security. do not get between animals, especially, a sow and cubs. learn to understand bear behavior, and signs of escalating anxiety, it could save your life! competitions are pushing photographers seeking notoriety further off the path. please, for heaven sake, if you plan to photograph bears go with knowledgeable leaders and guides! i hear too many horror stories! be safe my friends! and, please respect the wildlife, as well as those around you!
rant over, chas.
Hyena dominating a sub-ordinate – this was certainly an interesting morning in zambia‘s south luangwa national park and it’s fair to say that in africa one simply never knows what is around the corner. such is the bewildering array of species that the difficulty is always trying to discern which opportunity, or which animal will likely produce the most interesting photographic opportunity. on this morning it was unusually overcast and having seen very few hyenas during our time there we decided to stick with a small clan that appeared to be on the move. when they reached the meadow in which we were waiting they fortuitously stopped and spent about the next thirty minutes playing, chasing, squabbling an on occasion dominating the sub-ordinates, as is happening here. apparently it’s virtually impossible to tell the hyena sexes apart but as they are a matriarchal society let’s assume for now that the dominant animal, the one that has only one eye in this image, is a female. it’s not like hyenas don’t look sinister enough just as they are, their formidable jaws among the most powerful in the animal kingdom but this one has had the misfortune of losing an eye, adding more to her ferocious look. again like so many mammals hyenas are much maligned, misunderstood and needlessly vilified. portrayed as little more blood thirsty rapacious scavengers they are in fact prolific predators in their own right, not only that but they are among the most tender and loving of all parents that i have ever witnessed. i can understand of course that an image such as this might not be to everyone’s cup of tea but there is no malicious intent here, simply the telling off of a bratty teenager, but when a hyena mother tells you off you stay told! please #followme at @andyparkinsonphoto to keep up-to-date with my images @andyparkinsonphoto@thephotosociety
The patriarch of a celebes crested macaque troup in sulawesi, posing. while most of the larger animals in sulawesi are of the australian type, some species managed to cross the deep waters that divide the asian and australuan fauna areas, and these macaques are one such species, probably floating from borneo in on trees. *
Theres a murmur going around in case you haven’t heard, its a about a whole lot of bird. flying through the sky in a shape shifting cloud, it’s called a murmuration made out of a bird crowd. when they gather for their evening slumber, they can do a big fly by because there’s safety in number. a coordinated dance in the sky moving and twisting in an unpredictable formation, until the finally resting destination.
mini metallic starling murmuration , this is a small one they can be so big, but we don’t usually see them on the river so this was pretty cool.