Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2014 awards announced

The winners of the 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been announced by London’s Natural History Museum. The competition is open to all professional, amateur and young photographers.

Event organizers say they received more than 42,000 entries from photographers in 96 countries this year. Here’s a selection of winning images and finalists from 2014.

For the full list, visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website.

Title: Touche

Award: Finalist in the Birds category

Photographer: Jan Van der Greef, The Netherlands

A focus of Van der Greef’s trip to Ecuador was the astonishing sword-billed hummingbird — the only bird with a bill longer than its body (excluding its tail).

This particular bird had to pass a fiercely territorial collared inca to get to the feeders at his lodge. Rather than being scared off, once or twice a day “it used its bill to make a statement.”

Van der Greef set up multiple flashes to freeze the hummingbirds’ wing-beats — more than 60 a second — and finally captured the precise colorful moment.

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