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Best Rare-Bird Pictures of 2012 Named

By Brett Line

rare bird spreads wings
A white-bellied cinclodes displays in the this award-winning image. Photograph courtesy Dubi Shapiro, World’s Rarest Birds.

A picture of an endangered white-bellied cinclodes perching on a rock high in the Peruvian Andes is a first-prize winner in the 2012 The World’s Rarest Birds International Photo Competition.

Contest judges considered photographs of the 197 critically endangered bird species and the 389 endangered bird species listed by BirdLife International on the 2012 IUCN Red List. Images from both this competition and an earlier one held in 2010 are featured in the book The World’s Rarest Birds, which published April 3.

The photo of the white-bellied cinclodes won the Critically Endangered Birds category. The birds are found only in the high Andes of Peru, where the biggest threat to their survival is habitat destruction caused by mining and the dumping of mining waste. Their population ranges from 70 to 400 individuals and continues to decline, according to BirdLife International.

“We believe that photo competitions with a purpose such as this are invaluable in helping to spread awareness of threatened species,” said Andy Swash, managing director of WILDGuides and joint editor of The World’s Rarest Birds. “Our aim in making the book was to raise awareness of the plight of the most threatened birds in the world, the hope being that further actions to conserve these species would be the key outcome.”


  1. Emme @ Green Global Travel
    July 5, 2015, 6:01 pm

    Wow, it is so upsetting that there are only 70-400 of these beautiful birds left due to mining in the Andes. I hope that these gorgeous photos help raise awareness to protect the futures of these endangered species. Thanks for the post.

  2. shadrack mwandawiro
    malindi KENYA
    May 9, 2014, 4:10 pm

    Human economic activities have lost Marcy on other dependence creatures of this common shared universe even to the extents of their habitats and territories. Let’s arm the creatures to defend themselves.

  3. R K Sharma
    Banikhet, Dalhousie Hills, Himachal Pradesh, India
    April 9, 2013, 9:33 am

    ” I care to dare, no one can take my freedom away” !

  4. olalekan
    lagos nigeria
    April 7, 2013, 11:35 am

    Are there any in captivity? I think there shld some form of breading programmed 4 them. Human being careless about nature.

  5. iqbal shaikh
    April 6, 2013, 10:40 pm

    bird it self like to says somthing

  6. Joanne White
    Red Deer, Alberta Canada
    April 6, 2013, 3:44 pm

    It’s a depressing situation were in when such beautiful animals that have lived on earth longer than the human race are in Danger of not being here any longer.
    These birds are here for a reason, they are part of the natural course of us being here. We’re sharing the earth with them, not vise versa..
    I love that we have guardians for all non human beings. Thank you to all that work so hard at showing us in pictures what most of us never get to see in our regular lives, I envy, and salute you. Keep up the great work!!! 🙂 <3

  7. callistine jude
    cochin ,kerela ,india
    April 6, 2013, 6:42 am

    i love nat geo mag .i read about animals everytime i want to become a zooligist and nat geo has helped me to understand animals more. i loved nat geo magizine ANIMALS AT PLAY and mexico special issue.