In February, after waiting for hours in the bitter cold high up on the Gemmi Pass, Louis and his father finally saw a bearded vulture as it flew over the mountain village of Leukerbad. The rush of wind through feathers was the only sound to break the silence as it glided by just a few metres from where Louis stood.
This bearded vulture soars above the mountains, scavenging for a meal. It is the only species of bird that cracks open bones to feast on the marrow inside. Lifting large carcasses to great heights, they drop them onto the rocks below to break up the bones and access the marrow. Smaller bones are swallowed whole.
Canon EOS 7D; 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 lens at 210mm; 1/640 sec at f6.3; ISO 800.
Gemmi Pass, Leukerbad , Switzerland
Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Louis Pattyn, Belgium
Louis has always been interested in nature and wildlife. He thinks just about anything can be beautiful, from the tiniest insects to the biggest mammals. His whole family is interested in wildlife and spends most holidays in wild places. Louis hopes his images can inspire other children to become interested in wildlife.