A living curtain of red-billed queleas—said to be Earth's most numerous bird species—billows about an African elephant in one of the winning pictures announced last month by organizers of the new HBW World Bird Photo Contest.
Sometimes called Africa's most hated bird and likened to locusts, the crop-destroying queleas are capable of swirling sky ballets rivaling Rome's starlings (see picture). (Watch video of swooping red-billed queleas and elephants.)
Why We Love It
"I love the play between movement and stillness in this frame—the solid stillness of the elephant in the face of this torrent of fluttering wings."—Alexa Keefe, photo producer
Pictures We Love: Best of June
A bird-buffeted elephant, an oddly green cathedral, and an impossible "droplet" figure among our favorite news photos of last month.