WPY 2013

Photograph Details

Joint runner-up 2013

Animal Portraits

Peter Delaney, Ireland

Showdown

It was midday, and Peter had arrived at a waterhole in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. Scores of white-backed and lappet-faced vultures covered an eland carcass, squabbling over the meat. 'Two things hit me simultaneously,' says Peter. 'The vile stench of rotting flesh and the intense buzz of flies.' The white-backed vultures were surprisingly violent as they vied for the best feeding positions. This particular individual had backed off from a fight but was about to re-enter the fray. Covered in dust, wings spread, head lowered, it reminded Peter of a gladiator in his chariot, lining up for a charge. Its picture is a portrayal of the true character of this feisty bird.

Technical specification

Nikon D2Xs + 200-400mm f4 lens + 1.4x teleconverter; 1/1250 sec at f9; ISO 400; window mount; Gimbal head.


Kalahari National Park, South Africa: latitude -25.6831, longitude 20.3353 Kalahari National Park, South Africa: latitude -25.6831, longitude 20.3353

Kalahari National Park, South Africa

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.


Peter Delaney, Ireland

In 2001, Peter decided to quit his career in finance to pursue his dream of travelling Africa in a four-wheel drive. He has spent years in the African wilderness looking for unique photographs to showcase the rich variety of wildlife and the beautiful landscape that Africa has to offer.

  • Contemplation
  • Big foot