iD magazine

Sometimes a photograph­er strikes gold when out and about in the wild, and the result can be hilarious or adorable or even touching.

Spectacula­r, poignant, hilarious—unaltered and unposed: These animals are putting their best foot, and face, forward. On the following pages id presents some of the finest nature photograph­y of the past year.

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THE SKY HAS NO (WEIGHT) LIMITS

Despite its substantia­l size, the Dalmatian pelican is an elegant bird once it is aloft. But first it has to get there. A British photograph­er captured this impressive specimen taking off from Lake Kerkini in Greece after the water froze over for the first time in 16 years. Carol Steele, who was happy to have her camera handy at the time, recalls: “These birds regaled us with hilarious antics, sliding across the frozen lake and attempting to retain control as they took off and landed.” Pelecanus crispus is biggest bird in the pelican family, with a wingspan of 11.5 feet. The size of this pelican’s bill is only outstrippe­d by that of its Australian cousin, Pelecanus conspicill­atus. The Dalmatian pelican eats a diet of fish and must consume about 2.5 pounds per day to obtain the calories it needs. As the bird is slowly swimming along, it abruptly dunks its head underwater to scoop up fish and a large amount of water. Draining the water from the sides of its pouch, it then swallow the fish whole, though it sometimes saves its meal for later. Pelicans are highly social creatures, but the Dalmatian member of the family may be the least social, nesting in small groups or even preferring to remain alone. But when they’re flying in a flock, they gracefully synchroniz­e their movements as they put memories of awkward maneuvers on icy lakes behind them.

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 ??  ?? HABITAT: Lakes, rivers, deltas, and estuaries ranging from the Mediterran­ean to Taiwan and from the Persian Gulf to Siberia. The core population is in Russia. WEIGHT: 20–33 LB HEIGHT: 5'3"–6'
HABITAT: Lakes, rivers, deltas, and estuaries ranging from the Mediterran­ean to Taiwan and from the Persian Gulf to Siberia. The core population is in Russia. WEIGHT: 20–33 LB HEIGHT: 5'3"–6'
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