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Global biodiversity has never faced so many threats as it does today. The WWF's 2016 Living Planet Report estimates that the abundance of terrestrial vertebrates is declining by 1.1% every year, with a total decline of 38% since 1970. Birds are no exception to this trend with 1 in 8 birds being threatened with extinction, according to a 2015 assessment by the IUCN. In order for conservation to become a priority for all, people need to have a real appreciation and passion for the biodiversity that our planet holds.

Our goal for the Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week is to share the amazing life of birds to as many people as possible. In so doing we hope that more and more people come to appreciate birds. A big thank you to all who submitted pictures this week, your photographs are so important in showcasing the beauty of birds to the world! To submit one of your photographs for next week’s Top 25 you can email the image to us with species, location, and photographer in the text. Also follow us on Twitter and Instagram for even more amazing bird photographs!

Here we have this week's top photographs!
Please share this email with your friends and family and become part of a campaign to bring the beauty and freedom of birds in the wild to as many people around the world as possible!
A magnificent African Fish Eagle soaring above Lake Navaisha in Kenya. The lake has been highly impacted by the horticultural industry, human settlement, and invasive carp. Despite this, the African Fish Eagle has proved highly resilient, since the banning of DDT, their population has risen to the level they were in the 1960s when the lake was much less transformed (Suranjan Mukherjee)
A female Anna’s Hummingbirds photographed amongst the foliage. These beautiful nectar eating birds can be found in the woodlands and shrublands of western North America (Anirban Roychowdhury)
A Black-tailed Godwit photographed in Bhigwan, India by Soumyajit Mistry
An Asian Fairy Bluebird photographed in Kerala (India) by Shankar Narayan. These striking birds occur in the forests of south-east Asia and the western Ghats of India
A Coppersmith Barbet carrying food for its chicks in Nagpur, India. These barbets eat a variety of fruits including mangoes, guavas and figs. They will also supplement their diet with insects from time to time (Indranil Bhattacharjee)
Egyptian Vultures are known to feed on the eggs of Ostriches and Griffon Vultures, using stones to break them open. Photograph by Goutam Mitra
In the early 20th century the European population of the Eurasian Jay was highly persecuted as its feathers were popular in hat-making. However, since demand for the feathers reduced in the 1920s, the population has increased and is still steadily increasing. This Eurasian Jay was photographed in Uttarakhand by Asim Haldar
A Purple-rumped Sunbird beautifully photographed by Sathya Vagale
During the winter, the bill of the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is shorter than in summer. This is because in the winter they feed on seeds which wear down the bill, whereas during summer they feed mainly on soft insects (Kanchan Kumar Basu)
The preferred habitat of Brown-winged Kingfishers, mangrove forest, is being cleared and degraded in parts of its range. As a result, this species is now listed at Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List (Momita Bhattacharya)
A Northern Pintail photographed in flight by Pranesh Kodancha
Black-tailed Godwits migrate en masse from northern Eurasia to Africa, southern Asia and Australasia. Groups of an estimated 12 000 birds have been recorded stopping over in the Netherlands on their northern migration! Photograph by Suranjan Mukherjee
The beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller can often be seen perched on trees along the roadsides of protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. Roadsides are ideal places for them to hunt as they are open and prey are easy to spot. This Roller was photographed in Kruger National Park (South Africa) by Zoe Verhagen
A Lineated Barbet bringing food to its young in Howrah, India (Arunava Sinha)
The Northern Parula breeds in the woodlands of eastern North America. They then migrate south to central America and adjacent islands for the winter. This Parula was photographed in Puerto Rico by Raymond D'Jesús Asencio
Northern Shovelers use an interesting technique to feed, they swim in tight circles, creating a whirlpool effect which brings invertebrates and plant remains to the surface (Narahari Kanike)
A lively meeting of Pied Kingfishers in Mysore, India (Shyam Sundar Nijgal)
The eggs of the Common Hoopoe change from blue to brown in the first few days and scientists have now discovered why. The female produces a secretion from her cloaca that she collects and spreads over the eggs, this secretion contains symbiotic bacteria that is known to improve hatching success (Mann Bajaj)
Long-tailed Shrikes occur in India, eastern and south-east Asia. Their plumage is quite varied across the range, as such they have been split into nine different sub-species. This Long-tailed Shrike from northern India belongs to the sub-species caniceps (Hitesh Chawla)
This Red Junglefowl is the primary ancestor of the domestic chicken, it is estimated that they were domesticated some 5000 years ago in Asia (Shantharam Holla)
Rufous Sibias are tree-dwelling birds, they hunt mainly in the canopy, very seldom descending to the undergrowth (Ganesh Rao)
An endangered Saker Falcon taking flight in Bikaner, India. The main threats contributing to the decline of this species are electrocution on energy infrastructure and reduced prey availability from habitat transformation. It is also a popular species for falconers and many wild birds are caught for this purpose (Shantanu Ambulgekar)
A Western Bluebird drying off in the sun after a bath. Photographed in Republic, USA (Tim Nicol)
The White-breasted Kingfisher was one of the many species described by renowned naturalist, Carl Linnaeus. He described this species in 1758 from a specimen collected in Turkey (Vipul Patel)
Adult White-bellied Sea-eagles do not move great distances but the juveniles are known to disperse up to 3000 kilometres from their natal territory (Vishal Monakar)
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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!!

See the last “Top 25 Wild Bird Photographs of the Week #118" https://blog.nationalgeographic.org/2017/12/15/top-25-wild-bird-photographs-of-the-week-118/#

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