Eyecatchers are show-stopping and surprising standalone images from the natural world, accompanied by the photographers’ stories from behind the lens. This gallery is a great place to look for those special one-off images, suitable for double-page spreads or simply for inspiration and ideas.
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Danny Green / Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) in flight, Alaska, USA, February
Lucas Bustamante / Toque macaques (Macaca sinica) close to a Buddha statue. Polonnaruwa, Central Province, Sri Lanka
Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals / A mother Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and her joey, surrounded by burnt trees. Survivors of a bushfire in Mallacoota, Australia, January 2020. COP26 Countdown Photo Competition 2021 Fina...
Doug Gimesy / During an extreme heat-stress event at Melbourne's Yarra Bend Grey-headed Flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus) colony, where temperatures exceeded 43 degreesC, in a desperate search for somewhere c...
Ingo Arndt / Mountain Lion (Puma concolor) hunting Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) male, Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile, sequence 3 of 12. Joint winner of the Mammal Behaviour Category of the Wildlife Ph...
Alex Mustard / Free swimming mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus). Bitung, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Lembeh Strait, Molucca Sea.
Tony Wu / Two male Zoarchias major eelpouts (Zoarchias major) engaged in a mouth-to-mouth confrontation. Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan, Pacific Ocean.
Stefan Christmann / Emperor penguin (Aptenodytes forsteri) pair practising incubating with a snowball. Atka Bay, Antarctica. May. Winner of the Polar Passion Category of the Nature's Best Photography Competition 2019.
Eduardo Blanco / Pale burrower mayfly (Ephoron virgo), swarming in the millions on street at night, appearing like snow. Mayflies recently hatched. Tudela, La Ribera de Navarra, Navarre, Spain. August 2019. Finalist i...
Eduardo Blanco / European mantis (Mantis religiosa) hunting swarming Pale burrower mayfly (Ephoron virgo), mayflies recently hatched. Tudela, La Ribera de Navarra, Navarre, Spain. August.
Anup Shah / African elephant (Loxodonta africana) close up of leag approaching - remote camera. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. August 2015.
Neil Anderson / Red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), two curled up asleep in drey inside nest box. Nest of lichen and Pine needles. Highlands, Scotland, UK. Medium repro only.
Konrad Wothe / Firefly (Lamprohiza splendidula) light tracks in forest, Bavaria, Germany
Phil Savoie / Little nomad bee (Nomada flavoguttata) Dandelion (Taraxacum offinicale) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. April
Sergio Hanquet / Loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) young animal tangled in fishing net. Tenerife, Canary Islands. 2019.
Ann & Steve Toon / Ostrich (Struthio camelus) silhouetted in dust storm. Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park, Northern Cape, South Africa.
Tony Wu / North Pacific humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae kuzira) breaching at sunset, Kupreanof Island, Frederick Sound, Alaska, USA, July.
Alex Mustard / RF - Denise's pygmy seahorse (Hippocampus denise) looks out from its home in a sea fan (Annella sp.). Misool, Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Ceram Sea. Tropical West Pacific Ocean. (This image...
Marie Read / Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) brooding three chicks with a fourth approaching, northern Massachusetts, USA.June. Endangered species.
Michael Quinton / Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) feeding on mushroom that it has collected and allowed to dry, preserving the fungus for winter, Alaska
Michael Quinton / Red Squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) carrying mushroom, Alaska
Ernie Janes / Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seed heads and grasses
Juan Carlos Munoz / Aerial view of waves rolling over Langre beach, Cantabria, Spain, February.
Enrique Lopez-Tapia / Two oxen pulling man in sled through post-harvest flooded rice field, crowd watching in background. Rice race during Pacu Jawi, a religious event with parades, ceremonies and weddings. The most powerf...
SCOTLAND: The Big Picture / Grey heron (Ardea cinerea) hunting for food amongst moss with loch and Celtic rainforest in back ground, Scotland, UK, October..
Magnus Lundgren / Wild Wonders of China / Bluespotted mudskippers (Boleophthalmus pectinirostris) skipping along the beach, Hong Kong Wetland Park, Hong Kong, China.
Yashpal Rathore / Indian leopard (Panthera pardus fusca) on rock with forested hills beyond. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, India. Camera trap image. 2019.
Jack Dykinga / Burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia) male covering fledgling with wings to protect from danger. Fledgling flapping wings in protest. Marana, Arizona, USA. May. Sequence 1/2.
Tony Wu / Spotnape cardinalfish (Ostorhinchus notatus) pair, male taking cluster of fertilised eggs into mouth to brood. Shizuoka Prefecture, Honshu, Japan. June.
Franco Banfi / Free diver is swimming over a pod of Sleeping sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) Dominica, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic Ocean.
Matthew Maran / Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) outside houses, North London, England UK
Clay Bolt / Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) and nest on tree trunk. North Moluccas, Indonesia.T his is the only photo that is known to exist of this species (the world's largest bee) in the wild, in situ, a...
Clay Bolt / Composite image of Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) with European honey bee (Apis melifera). This is the world's largest bee, which is approximately 4 times larger than a European honey bee. One...
Shane Gross / Larval flounder (possibly Laeops Kitahara) in the open ocean at night off Anilao, Philippines.
George Sanker / Great egret (Ardea alba) with prey in beak, in evening light. Myakka River State Park, Florida, USA, March. Sequence 2/2.
George Sanker / Great egret (Ardea alba) diving head into water to catch prey, in evening light. Myakka River State Park, Florida, USA, March. Sequence 1/2.
Cyril Ruoso / Mongolian wild ass / Khulan (Equus hemionus hemionus) costume prototype unsuccessful in allowing researchers to approach Khulan for scientific purposes. Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area, Mongolia....
Doug Gimesy / Little blue penguin (Eudyptula minor), two standing on rocks at night, silhouetted against Melbourne city lights. St Kilda breakwater, Victoria, Australia. December 2016. COP26 Countdown Photo Competi...
Ross Hoddinott / RF - Marbled white butterfly (Melanargia galathea) roosting among tall grasses at sunrtise, Volehouse Moor, Devon, UK. July. (This image may be licensed either as rights managed or royalty free.)
Oscar Dewhurst / Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) with golf ball on golf course. London, UK. October.
Lucas Bustamante / Deforestation in the Ecuadorian Choco, Esmeraldas, Ecuador
Alex Mustard / Jellyfish (Catostylus sp.) swims beneath a slick of plastic debris. Indian Ocean off Sri Lanka. Highly commended in the Environmental Report section, Montphoto competition 2019
Nick Hawkins / Chum salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) migrating to spawn in a small river near Bella Bella, British Columbia, Canada. September.
Yashpal Rathore / Female cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) named Silgi (means 'bright future' in Swahili) walking with 7 cubs. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
Jack Dykinga / Patterns in the tidal flats of the delta where the delta is swept by tidal encroachment from the Gulf of California. Evidence of the fresh water flow is observable as plant life turns green. Colorado...
David Pattyn / Great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus) adult with young on its back and in the water, Valkenhorst Nature Reserve, Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, June
SCOTLAND: The Big Picture / Red squirrel, (Sciurus vulgaris), three animals backlit on pine branch, Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, UK.May
Andy Rouse / Spotted Hyena (Crocuta crocuta) fighting over hippo carcass in water, Masai Mara, Kenya