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The Winners of the 2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

posted by Jason Kottke   May 14, 2020

2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition

In Focus has a selection of the winners of the 2020 BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition organized by the California Academy of Sciences. Here’s how Andy Parkinson got that amazing photo of the hare:

To get this intimate shot of a mountain hare (Lepus timidus) curled up against a Scottish winter storm, Andy Parkinson endured weeks of ferocious cold and wind that drove shards of ice into his face. Britain’s only native rabbit species, on the other hand, is utterly at home in these inhospitable conditions. Groups of twenty or more hares gather each winter to nibble heather on leeward slopes, where the snow tends to be shallower. Before resting, they jump away from their tracks to confuse predators. And while some ride out storms in burrows or depressions, this female created her own shelter, tucking herself into a ball to conserve heat and minimize exposure to the elements. It’s a nifty strategy for surviving the kind of weather that drives most creatures indoors or underground.

You can view the winners and category finalists on the BigPicture Competition website. Photos above (top to bottom) by Andy Parkinson, Jes Stockhausen, and Amy Vitale.