WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Bence Máté, Hungary


At first Bence thought this black-headed gull was carrying a particularly long reed. It was breeding season after all and the gulls were gathering nesting material. Reviewing the photo he saw that the reed was actually a clothes hanger. ‘I saw this poor bird flying around for two more days before it disappeared,’ says Bence.

Black-headed gulls usually feed on insects, earthworms and fish, but have also taken to scavenging for food on rubbish heaps. It’s likely that this is where this individual picked up the hanger. Seabirds are particularly vulnerable to plastic pollution and this is a stark reminder of the impact our waste has on wildlife.

Technical specification

Nikon D700; Sigma 300-800mm f5.6 lens at 600mm; 1/800 sec at f8; ISO 1000; Gitzo tripod.

Kiskunság National Park, Hungary: latitude 46.836586, longitude 19.19371 Kiskunság National Park, Hungary: latitude 46.836586, longitude 19.19371

Kiskunság National Park, Hungary

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Bence Máté, Hungary

Bence is a wildlife photographer from Hungary. Since 2008 he has been designing wildlife photography hides around the world including Hungary, Costa Rica, Brazil, Norway, South Africa and Transylvania (Romania). He was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2010.

  • Lunge feeding
  • Ant rider
  • The great gape
  • Pelican perspective
  • Flight of the hoopoe
  • Brilliant show
  • Great catch
  • The lost supper
  • Workers' reflections
  • Fire on the Pantanal
  • King of the vultures
  • Leg-work
  • Attention time
  • A marvel of ants
  • Caiman's little mouthful
  • Herons in time and space
  • Portrait of a pelican
  • The bird rack