This issue's featured photo

Barred owl sitting on a maple tree with a crawfish in its mouth.
Gordon Kilgore

During a May visit to Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina, I spotted this barred owl sitting on a maple tree. The bird kept glancing at the shallow canal below and eventually swooped down and grabbed a crawfish from the water. I had only a few seconds to take the picture before the owl swallowed the crawfish. I don’t often have the opportunity to photograph barred owls, particularly in good light. A crawfish hanging from the bird’s beak was a real plus. A little while later, the owl caught another crawfish and went back to the maple tree to enjoy the meal.

—Gordon Kilgore, Sharpsburg, Georgia

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cats licking each other in a pet bed
Rachael Rodgers

Previously featured photos

Photo of a gorilla standing against a rainy landscape.
Seeing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat with my wife, Wendy, was a longstanding bucket list item. In November 2018, Wendy and I traveled to Uganda and Rwanda to see these amazing animals firsthand. During our final trek, a group of gorillas left the safe confines of Volcanoes National Park and ventured into the adjacent agricultural fields to feast on eucalyptus trees. As we followed the group at a respectful distance, I noticed this silverback standing on a ridge. To my surprise, he stopped—covered in a chilling drizzle of mist—to survey the mountain forests of his natural environment behind him and the planted fields that had once been his natural habitat surrounding him. After contemplating the scene, he descended to his group.
—Gary Price, Connecticut / Featured in the Summer 2023 issue
A a male blue-gray gnatcatcher feeds a fledgling.
As I stepped outside my house one June day, I saw a baby bird fly into a trash can then begin flying in circles. I went over to help and he was surprisingly calm as I picked him up. The other bird in the photo, presumably his parent, began to call out as I held him. While I was checking to see if the bird was OK, the parent flew over to feed their young. Afterward, I placed the baby bird on a branch and waited with my camera—and sure enough, the parent came back to feed him again. After taking the photo, I waited at a distance to make sure that the baby could fly in a straight line. He flew off with the other bird about 10 minutes later!
—Emma Dampier, Georgia / Featured in the Spring 2023 issue
Pika sitting on rocks with his mouth open.
I live near Mount Evans in Colorado and travel up the mountain several times a summer to enjoy the scenery and watch wildlife. I occasionally see American pikas, but it’s difficult to get a good view of these small and quick animals, who are threatened by our warming climate. I recently discovered a rocky area that appeared to be a pika village. I sat on a rock and waited for the noisy guys to come out of hiding. One perched on a rock and squeaked to warn his neighbors about a nearby weasel. Until I reviewed the photos at home, I had not realized that I’d captured a pika mid-chirp. That was even more exciting!
—Ann Zimmerman, Colorado / Featured in the Winter 2023 issue
Photo of a dog wearing a watermelon bandana sitting on a street in front of colorful houses.
I met Foxy during a trip to Puerto Rico when I was looking for dogs to photograph for my pet photography business. Foxy’s owner, Genesis Jaramillo, reached out to me and I immediately gravitated to the young husky mix’s beautiful aura and her story. She was found after Hurricane Maria hit the city of Toa Alta in 2017 when she was only 2 months old; soon after, she was adopted by her foster family. Photographing Foxy inspired me to create a calendar showcasing the lives of rescued satos (street dogs) in Puerto Rico. Proceeds from the calendar benefit animal shelters on the island. These dogs are a great example of what a street dog can become if given the chance for a better life.
—Carmen Gonzalez, New York / Featured in the Fall 2022 issue

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Cover all All Animals Fall 2023 Issue