WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Urban Wildlife

Jaime Culebras, Spain

The tyre nightjar

Jaime was looking for snakes when he stumbled across this nightjar, its mottled feathers mimicking the truck’s colours. The next night, he set up his camera and waited for the bird to return for its post-hunt snooze. ‘I was sure it wouldn’t come,’ he explains, ‘but finally, after hours, it arrived and I was able to capture that beautiful moment.’

The cryptic plumage of these birds makes it difficult to distinguish between species and consequently, new species of nightjars are still being discovered. Their colouring is a creative camouflage and allows them to blend into leaf litter (or the mud and treads of a car tyre) while sleeping and nesting.

Technical specification

Canon 6D; 17–40mm f4 lens at 17mm; 1/60 sec at f10; ISO 640; two Yongnuo Speedlite flashes; softbox; Manfrotto tripod; remote wireless trigger.


Jardin de los Sueños reserve, Ecuador: latitude -0.941227, longitude -79.23181 Jardin de los Sueños reserve, Ecuador: latitude -0.941227, longitude -79.23181

Jardin de los Sueños reserve, Ecuador

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Jaime Culebras

Jaime Culebras, Spain

Jaime is a biologist living in Ecuador, where he works as a curator and researcher of reptiles and amphibians, and as a wildlife photographer. He co-founded the Photo Wildlife Tour and is a member of the Big Mammals Conservation project and the Vida Silvestre Ecuador Foundation, which works to end the illegal wildlife trade.

  • Toad with attitude