Amusing Monday: winning wildlife photos

I’m always pleased to present the winners of “National Wildlife” magazine’s annual photo contest. This year’s winning photos seem better than ever.

The magazine’s editors say they continue to be surprised by the quality of the entries — which reached 28,000 in the 2012 contest. And they were pleased to see expected and unexpected animal behaviors shown in the images.

To view the top winners and the stories behind the photos, go to the page “2012 Photo Contest Winners” on the National Wildlife Federation’s website.

The photo of the leopard seal and the baby penguin captures a moment after the seal ambushes the bird and starts playing with his food. The photographer, Amos Nachoum of San Francisco, had to hang out patiently under water to catch this and similar images.

The photo of sockeye salmon was captured when photographer David Hall of Woodstock, N.Y., tried to escape the swift current by taking refuge near a tree trunk. The stream is the Adams River of British Columbia.

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