Britain's Backyard Wildlife | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Britain's Backyard Wildlife

Pop quiz: Name some wildlife living in the United Kingdom.

If you're like me and can't think of anything other than a fox and a pheasant, the 2011 British Wildlife Photography Awards are here to help.

This year's winning photographers snapped images of wild boars, grey seals, tope sharks, scorpion flies and, yes, even a fox. The competition's best entries will be featured in a coffee table book and in a U.K. exhibition.

A luminous jellyfish floating in the Blue Sea of Sula Sgeir, Scotland, won Richard Shucksmith top honors in the overall competition. The jellyfish, known as the mauve stinger, is dressed head to toe with stinging cells and delivers a fierce sting if you brush up against it. When waves bounce the mauve stinger around, the jelly lights up the water with bioluminescence created from its mucus.

On the awards website, competition judge Greg Armfield called the photo "a truly beautiful shot of a jellyfish that perfectly captures its iridescent colors and magical qualities. All the more remarkable that it exists in U.K. waters. Fantastic."

"Champagne Starling" — an eerie image evoking an end-of-days countryside – earned David Biggs first place in the "Urban Wildlife" category. He photographed hundreds of European starlings abandoning a dark, towering tree against the deep, pumpkin colors of the sky in England's Shropshire County.

About 804,000 breeding pairs of starlings live in the U.K., according to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Although these winged whistlers are one of the most common backyard birds in Britain, they are on the red list of globally threatened species due to declining populations.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

After Nazi Plunder, A Quest To Bring The 'Woman In Gold' Home

The new movie Woman In Gold tells the true story of Maria Altmann, who fought her way to the Supreme Court to force the Austrian government to give back a painting of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer.
NPR

When Wal-Mart Comes To Town, What Does It Mean For Workers?

Wal-Mart has long been criticized for low pay and erratic work schedules. So when the retailer arrives in a community, it stirs controversy — but it also brings jobs and low prices.
NPR

Sen. Robert Menendez Indicted On Corruption Charges

Sen. Menendez of New Jersey has been indicted on corruption charges. These are the first criminal charges brought against a sitting U.S. Senator in seven years.
NPR

Still Need A Lawn Yeti? Good News — SkyMall May Be Cleared For Relaunch

The in-flight catalog went bankrupt earlier this year. But its new owners say SkyMall catalogs might make their way back to airplane seatbacks soon.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.