WPY 2016

Photograph Details

Finalist 2016


Bence Máté, Hungary

Portrait of a pelican

Bence spent 48 hours in his hide looking out over the pelicans feeding on the mudflats. ‘They came so close,’ says Bence, ‘I could make out the tiniest details’. Here he framed the face of a female, its orange-tinted skin and the yellow folds of its pouch contrasting with its blue beak.

The spectacular bill of the great white pelican is a useful tool. Feeding in a group, up to 12 birds form a horseshoe, herding fish into shallow water then catching them in their flexible pouches. However, these majestic birds are at risk – the swamps and marshes they depend on are disappearing.

Technical specification

Nikon D200; Sigma 300-800mm f5.6 lens at 800mm; 1/160 sec at f8; ISO 320; Gitzo tripod.

Danube Delta, Romania: latitude 45.20137, longitude 29.34289 Danube Delta, Romania: latitude 45.20137, longitude 29.34289

Danube Delta, Romania

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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
  • The bird rack
  • Hanger-trap