Macaulay Library’s Finest Chicken Photographs 2024

There are greater than 50 million images within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Macaulay Library archive. Listed below are a number of the finest from the previous 12 months.

From the Winter 2024 situation of Dwelling Chicken journal. Subscribe now. If you happen to like this picture essay, you’ll additionally get pleasure from final 12 months’s Better of Macaulay essay.

For our 2024 picture essay we’re celebrating fantastic images in 5 themes: the high-speed motion of Thrill of the Chase, a take a look at our avian neighbors with Birds in Constructed Environments, a sampler platter of meals sorts with Feeding Time, spectacular poses in Birds By no means Stop to Amaze, and a peek at a number of the world’s rarest birds with Uncommon Glimpses. Within the ultimate part, we are saying thanks to all of the photographers who make the Macaulay Library archive such a uniquely wealthy useful resource.

Thrill of the Chase

As a visible catalog of the life histories of greater than 10,000 avian species, the Macaulay Library accommodates dramatic pictures that present a uncommon look into how birds work together with perceived foes—corresponding to an egret jockeying with an elephant seal for house on the seashore—and dependable prey, corresponding to a spring cloud of bugs pierced by a sallying Yellow-rumped Warbler. 

Hundreds of birds fly at sunset over a dark city.
Purple Martins fill the sky in Brazos, Texas. Picture by Jonathan Taffet / Macaulay Library.

Birds in Constructed Environments

Macaulay Library pictures present spectacular proof that cities may be filled with birdlife—with images of iconic species nesting, roosting, and migrating from Rome to Kathmandu to the grounds of the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Photographer Jonathan Taffet captured a picture of Purple Martins swarming above the Texas A&M College campus. “It was a tremendous sight to behold,” he says, “much more superb that this was not in some nationwide wildlife refuge or state park, however on a campus traversed by 70,000 college students.” 

A iridescent green hummingbird with a super long bill uses it to gather nectar from a flower.
A Sword-billed Hummingbird’s spectacular invoice reaches nectar in a flower, in Ecuador. Picture by Jeff Hapeman / Macaulay Library.

Feeding Time

Many Macaulay Library images characteristic anxious nestlings awaiting meals or an grownup chowing down, offering scientists with imagery to review chicken diets. Photographer Steven Meisel documented the supply of damselflies to Tree Swallow nestlings at a pollinator backyard close to St. Paul, Minnesota. “The dad and mom had been very busy feeding the 2 hatchlings,” he says, “about each 5 minutes.“ 

Rainbow-bearded Thornbill in Colombia by Heiler Uribe / Macaulay Library.

Birds By no means Stop to Amaze

Birds generally do the weirdest issues. When photographers are there to catch these uncommon moments—just like the inconceivable interplay of a Dunlin standing atop a Willet—they unlock new details about chicken species. Sharing these distinctive images with the Macaulay Library helps to construct a sturdy archive of little-known chicken behaviors. 

A green bird with a green bill, purple patch behind the eye, and black face markings, starts on a forest floor.
A Sumatran Floor-Cuckoo in Indonesia—considered one of simply 17 images of this species within the Macaulay archive. Picture by JJ Harrison / Macaulay Library.

Uncommon Glimpses

A few of the most prized images within the Macaulay Library are pictures of the world’s most reclusive and cryptic birds. Picture documentation places a face to the names of those uncommon and weak species, which helps gas the trigger for his or her safety and conservation. 

Thank You, Photographers

Picture by picture, chicken tune by chicken tune, the Macaulay Library has grown due to the gracious contributions of birders world wide sharing their pictures, sound recordings, and movies. In consequence, the Macaulay Library is a world ornithology useful resource for the world, serving to to additional analysis and conservation.

Yearly, scientific journals publish a whole lot of analysis papers based mostly on analyses of audio recordings, images, and movies from the Macaulay Library. For instance, scientists in Peru used the Macaulay Library to raised perceive the impacts of plastic on seabirds by assessing images of birds entangled or trapped in plastic. Their outcomes had been revealed final 12 months within the journal Environmental Conservation. Contributions from the worldwide group of birders are making a distinction and bettering our understanding of birds and their environments. None of this is able to be potential with out the generosity and dedication of contributors to the archive.

Under are simply a number of the greater than 40 photographers featured on this article. From everybody on the Macaulay Library and Cornell Lab of Ornithology, thanks in your time and efforts; we are able to’t wait to see all that we’ll obtain collectively in 2024.

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