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Friday, April 30, 2010

Wild Wonders of Europe

Wild Wonders of Europe

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A bee-eater (Merops apiaster) tossing a bumble bee in Hungary. The bee-eater is a specialist in bumble bees, wasps, bees and other larger flying insects. One of Europe's most colourful and exotic-looking birds, the bee-eater lives in colonies in sand banks. That is why this species has benefited from human construction and roadbuilding, where gravel pits and excavation sites provide many more artificial sandbanks than untouched nature. On the other hand, widespread pesticide use in farming reduces the numbers of large insects that the bee-eater needs to survive. Sometimes they are persecuted by bee-keepers, who are not so enthusiastic about their choice of diet
Picture: Markus Varesvuo/Wild Wonders of Europe

The 4,478 m Matterhorn mirrored in the Riffel Lake at Zermatt. Climate change is enabling lower-altitude species conquer higher and higher ground, out-competing the high altitude species, many of which have their last refuges high up in the mountains of Central and Eastern Europe
Picture: Verena Popp Hackner/Wild Wonders of Europe

A white-tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) catching a mackerel in Flatanger, Norway. The Sea Eagle is another real comeback species in Europe. Persecuted for centuries and finally almost lost to chemical pollutants in the 1970s, it is quickly reclaiming most of its former territories across Europe. Germany hosted 530 pairs in 2009, Sweden 600, Finland 300 and Norway an estimated 4,000 pairs. It was re-introduced to Scotland in 1975 and by 2009 the UK had about 50 pairs
Picture: Staffan Widstrand/Wild Wonders of Europe

I apologise to the Daily Telegraph for having got around their blocker preventing the lifting of these photos from their site.

See the other fascinating photos here.

1 comment:

CherryPie said...

That top picture is just amazing!