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This is Nature at Her Very Best – 20 Mesmerizing Photos

The Nature Photographer of the Year contest has announced its 2021 winners recently. Presented by Nature Talks, the competition aims to celebrate the beauty of nature through the eyes of its talented array of photographers from more than 97 countries.

This year, the title of Nature Photographer of the Year 2021 was given to Terje Kolaas from Norway for his extraordinary image of thousands of Pink-footed Geese in flight during their winter migration. Some of the other winning images from this year’s contest include a close-up of a pygmy seahorse, a photo capturing the eruption of an active volcano, and a Black panther under the stars.

Scroll on and marvel at these stunning wildlife and nature photos.

Related: These Photographers Truly Love Nature, and It Shows

"Winter migration" by Terje Kolaas - Overall Winner and Winner of the Birds Category

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, migration, Pink-footed Geese
Thousands of Pink-footed Geese at the Trondheim fiord wetland system in Norway.

"Fishing trip at sunrise" by Miquel Angel Artús Illana, Runner-Up, Category: Birds 

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, penguins
A group of Magellanic penguins heads out to sea in the early morning in The Nec – Saunders Islands – Islas Malvinas.

"Silverbach Chimanuka" by Josef Friedhuber, Winner, Category: Mammals

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, gorilla
Chimanuka, a 35-year-old silverback gorilla at the Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

"Storm warning" by Paul Goldstein, Highly Commended, Category: Mammals

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Storm , elephants
A small herd of grazing elephants makes their way to Boscia tree during a gathering storm at the Olare Conservancy in Kenya.

"Walking among fennels" by Ruben Perez Novo, Winner, Category: Other Animals

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, caterpillar
The caterpillar of the Machaon butterfly on a hot summer day in Ares – Coruña – Spain.

"Circle dance" by Csaba Daróczi, Highly Commended, Category: Other Animals

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Japanese oak silk moth
The flight phases of a Japanese oak silk moth in Szekszárd (Hungary).

"Heat of Hoar" by Rupert Kogler, Winner, Category: Plants and fungi

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, ice
Particles of ice fall down as a glittering curtain. Location: Linz, Austria

"Natures eatable Arctic gould" by Audun Rikardsen, Runner-Up, Category: Plants and Fungi

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Cloudberries
Cloudberries occur naturally throughout the Northern Hemisphere. This one was found on a remote island in the Vestfjord close to Lofoten in Norway.

"Zombified" by Ripan Biswas, Highly Commended, Category: Plants and Fungi

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Cordyceps
Cordyceps are a genus of fungi that is known as parasitoid. They live as parasites in the body of their host. This fruiting body of a Cordyceps fungus covering the body of a dead insect with long legs was found in a garden nearby in Coochbehar (West Bengal in India).

"Dragon’s Lair" by Denis Budkov, Winner, Category: Landscape

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, volcano
The photo shows the eruption of the highest and most active volcano in the natural park Kamchatka “Klyuchevskoy” in Russia. The park is near the seismic station “Apakhonchich”. 

"Legendary towers in the Dolomites" by Georg Kantioler, Highly Commended, Category: Landscapes

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Dolomites
"This image shows the “Fermeda-Towers”, which belong to the “Villnösser Geisler- group”. The “Villnösser Geisler” in turn belongs to the world-famous Dolomites in the Alps (Italy – Southtyrol)."

"Red in red" by Georg Nies, Winner, Category: Underwater

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, pygmy seahorses
A close-up of a tiny pygmy seahorse.

"Dolphins home" by Dmitry Kokh, Runner-Up, Category: Underwater

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Dolphins
Dolphins in Sataya Reef (or Dolphins home) in Egypt.

"Ice cell" by Gheorghe Popa, Winner, Category: Nature Art

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, ice cracks
The fresh snow and the ice cracks created these shapes that resemble neurons or just cells. Location: Cuejdel Lake in Romania.

"The king of the ocean" by Javier Murciar, Winner, Category: Human and Nature

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, swordfish
"The image shows a juvenile swordfish (Xiphias gladius) inside the labyrinth that forms “the Almadraba”, an ancient fishing art (used since the times of the Romans and Phoenicians) that is currently used to catch large pelagic fish, such as tuna." Location: Southern Coast of Spain

"White Wedding" by Roie Galitz, Winner, Category: Black and White

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, ​Polar bears
Polar bears in courtship, during a whiteout in Svalbard.

"Cloud of dust" by Clement Kiragu, Highly Commended, Category: Black and White

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, lioness
A lioness is covered in a cloud of dust after a failed attempt to attack a herd of zebras at the banks of the Mara River in Tanzania.

"Black leopard" by William Burrard-Lucas, Winner, Category: Animal Portraits

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, Black panther
A Black panther under the stars in Kenya’s Laikipia County.

"Fox crossing the bridge" by Andius Teijgeler, Winner, Category: Nature of “De Lage Landen”

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year, fox
A fox crosses a bridge in the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen nature preserve in Bentveld, Netherlands.

"Beautiful world" by Levi Fitze, Winner, Category: Youth

2021 Nature Photographer of the Year,  Alpine Ibex
A young Alpine Ibex strolls dreamily across an alpine meadow in the Swiss Mountains.
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