<p>Whooper swan. Hokkaido, Japan</p>

Whooper swan. Hokkaido, Japan

Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner

Our Favorite Pictures of Birds Around the Globe

From vibrant feathers to vast wingspans, see striking photos that show the beauty of birds.

“The future of birds, and us, are intertwined more than we know. We soar, or plummet, together.”—National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore

In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic is launching the “Year of the Bird”, a 12-month storytelling project which will shed light on the vital role birds play in the future of our planet, and what we can do to protect them.

Here we share but a small sampling of the 10,000 or so species of birds alive in the world today.

Read This Next

Haitians reflect on the past while confronting the future

Chunk of an ancient supercontinent discovered under New Zealand

These mystery stories solve crimes and spark travel

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet