Surveying the scene, Darío was captivated by ‘the fragility of the chick’ as it used its oversized legs to scurry after its parents. After an uncomfortable crawl through a salt field in the rain and mud, Darío trained his lens on the speckled fluff of the chick, framing it against the dramatic background of salt and sky.
Two-banded plover chicks will leave their nests almost immediately after they hatch, relying on their stilt-like legs to keep pace with their parents and to evade potential predators. Their long legs also keep their soft down away from the wet ground. After four or five weeks, they will grow large enough to fly away from the care of their mother and father.
Canon EOS-1D X + 300mm f2.8 lens + 2x extender; 1/1600 sec at f5.6 (+1.3 e/v); ISO 1000
Valdes Peninsula, Patagonia, Argentina
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.
Darío Podestá, Argentina
Darío is a biologist - his work in the field also allows him to photograph wildlife. His images have been published in many books, calendars and magazines, as well as for conservation projects. Through his photography, he hopes to raise awareness of the need to protect the planet and its species for future generations.