Daniel Beltra and Mateusz Piesiak awarded with the Wildlife Photographer 2011 and Young Wildlife Photographer 2011 awards respectively

The winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year have been announced as Daniel Beltra. His image, dubbed Still Life In Oil, depicts a group of Pelicans rescued from an oil spill, still showing the effects of coming into contact.

The image was taken at a temporary bird rescue centre at Fort Jackon, Louisiana, and Daniel describes the image as “crude oil trickles off the feathers of the rescued brown pelicans, turning the white lining sheets into a sticky, stinking mess. The pelicans are going through the first stage of cleaning. They’ve already been sprayed with a light oil to break up the heavy crude trapped in their feathers’, making them look discoloured.”

The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award has been given to Mateusz Piesiak from Poland, whose image Pester Power shows a far more light-hearted side, with two Oystercatchers quarrelling over a small piece of food. ‘As soon as it saw an adult with a morsel,’ said Mateusz, ‘it would run over with loud, begging queep queep cries and try to snatch it from them. Sometimes the adult would give in.’

The images can be seen at the Natural History Museum from the 21st of October until the 11th of March next year. For more information head to the Natural History Museum’s website.