WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Urban Wildlife

Pål Hermansen, Norway

Shelf life

‘The birds were very shy and did not enter the house as long as I was in there,’ explains Pål. Trying not to disturb the wagtails, Pål set up a remote camera with a monitor controlled from his car. After three days he was able to photograph the couple’s nest – snug inside was a brood of half-grown chicks.

From drainpipes to disused machinery, white wagtails make nests in unusual locations. Once settled, the adults will both care for between three to seven chicks inside a rough cup of twigs, roots and moss – delivering regular beakfuls of insects for two weeks.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 24mm f3.5 tilt-shift lens; 1/6 sec at f13; ISO 250; remote release; Canon Speedlite flash (low power) and softbox; Benro tripod.


Gimsøya, Lofoten, Norway: latitude 68.336555, longitude 14.130826 Gimsøya, Lofoten, Norway: latitude 68.336555, longitude 14.130826

Gimsøya, Lofoten, Norway

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

Pål Hermansen, Norway

A trained dentist and a homeopath, Pål has also written and illustrated more than 30 books. His pictures have been published and exhibited worldwide, and have garnered many prizes in major competitions such as Wildlife Photographer of the Year, World Press Photo and GDT (the Society of German Nature Photographers). His work has also been published in National Geographic, GEO and BBC Wildlife.

  • Life in the balance
  • Life after rust
  • Bumper life