WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Black and White

Mats Andersson, Sweden

Winter pause

The red squirrel closed its eyes for just a moment – ‘as if in prayer’, thought Mats – then resumed its search for food. Mats had walked the forest every day, often stopping to watch the squirrels in this spruce tree. For him, the creature’s demeanour on this cold February morning encapsulated the spirit of winter.

Winter is a tough time for many animals. Some hibernate to escape its rigours, but not the red squirrel. It endures the cold mornings of winter foraging for seeds, nuts and insects. They favour woodland with coniferous trees – ensuring a year-round supply of seeds – and store food to help see them through lean times.

Technical specification

Nikon D3; 300mm f2.8 lens; 1/320 sec at f2.8; ISO 800.


Bashult, Sweden: latitude 56.618076, longitude 14.20263 Bashult, Sweden: latitude 56.618076, longitude 14.20263

Bashult, Sweden

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.



Love this image?

Choose your favourite from this year's collection. You can only choose once.

Top five favourites

Mats Andersson

Mats Andersson, Sweden

Mats studied photography at the Industrial Art School in Gothenburg, then worked as an art director and photographer in the advertising industry. He has been art director and photographer at Concret Advertising in Jönköping (Sweden) since 1989, and has worked with photo agency Maskot in Stockholm since 2009. He was elected to the Swedish Association for Nature Photographers in 2011.

  • Requiem for an owl