Winners 2019

2019 prize-winners

Here you can find the winning photographs in this year’s “European Treasures of Nature” photography competition, organised in cooperation with ‘natur’ magazine and Gelsenwasser AG. Our warm thanks go to all those photographers who took part!  

Note: Due to equal scores from the jury, there will be two 4th places.
Tip: Click on pictures for larger view.

Branch of desire

Nutcrackers fight over a branch in the snow

1st place: Branch of desire

1st place: Alwin Hardenbol

“This is my place!” The snow-covered ground can be really cold, so a branch sticking out of the icy whiteness quickly becomes a bone of contention for these three nutcrackers in the Bulgarian Witoscha Mountains.


two sousliks fighting

2nd place: Frenzied

2nd Place: Julian Rad

In late summer, shortly before the sousliks say their farewells to the old year, they start to put on fat for their impending seven-month hibernation. Every scrap of food is vital for survival, and these normally peaceful little rodents turn into regular ruffians.

Feather care

Kingfisher's feather care

3rd place: Feather care

3rd place: Hendrik Fuchs

There is virtually no other bird in Central Europe to compete with the kingfisher’s stunning colours. To maintain their glossy colour, a regular preen is absolutely essential. Its German name, Eisvogel or ice bird, actually has nothing to do with frozen water, but rather comes from the Old High German word ‘Eisan’ which very appropriately means to 'iridesce’ or ‘glisten’.

Root into the forest

Red wood ants

4th place: Root into the forest

4th place: Hans Jürgen Rubin

Red wood ants find their way through our forests using a very elaborate infrastructure of scent-marked paths. Once a photographer gets to know their wildlife highways, such as this tree root, fantastic opportunities open up for taking close up photos of ants.


magpie plucks out a feather from a golden eagle

4th place: Fearless

4th place: Javier Coso

The thieving magpie’s reputation is well-known, but this photo shows just how cheeky and cunning they are. Even though this golden eagle is being distracted by a tasty snack, you have to respect the courage to dare pluck out a feather from a powerful bird of prey many times larger than itself.

White ball of fur

young grey seal on Helgoland

6th place: White ball of fur

© Kevin Prönnecke

6th place: Kevin Prönnecke

Even though the weather on Helgoland is anything but cosy, this young grey seal seems quite contented with its lot. The seal pups are born with a white, fluffy coat, the so-called lanugo hair, which gives them optimal protection from the wind and cold whilst they wait for their mothers on the beach.


La vie en rose

mazarine blue on a flower

7th place: La vie en rose

7th place: Andi Hofstetter

The sunrise on this May morning cloaks the clouds in an unreal pink. A very apposite background to this mazarine blue on its botanical perch. This member of the Blues is fortunately still relatively common.

Secret Observer

Tengmalm’s owl in a hollow birch trunk

8th place: Secret observer

8th place: Alexandra Wünsch

In wildlife photography, the question is often posed: who is observing who? This photo of a rather po-faced Tengmalm’s owl might just prove the point. Even though he is comfortably ensconced in a hollow birch trunk, he does not look at all impressed by the intrusion.

Rural Beauty

blooming larkspur

9th place: Rural beauty

9th place: Gregor Faller

Even from afar, this larkspur glows a powerful dark blue on the fringes of the corn fields or on mounds of fresh earth. Our industrialised agriculture means that nowadays we only rarely glimpse this rural gem.

The origins of life

seahorse gives birth to his shoal of babies

10th place: The origins of life

© Francisco Javier

10th place: Francisco Javier Murcia Requena

In the calm water of a saltwater lagoon, a slender seahorse gives birth to his shoal of babies. In the world of the Hippocampus, it is the male seahorse that provides the offspring. But that is where its responsibilities end, as immediately after birth, the young seahorses are left to fend for themselves.

Alone on the Helgoland cliffs

bridled guillemot

11th place: Alone on the Helgoland cliffs

11th place: Norbert Uhlhaas

Resting places on the high seas are few and far between, so guillemots are normally forced to squeeze together on the narrowest of ledges. Not so here: this guillemot with its unusual eye ring is an exception in more ways than one. This so-called bridled guillemot is not a subspecies, however, but a colour variation on the otherwise plain black head.

Wood lark outside the DIY store

Wood lark is singing at sunrise

12th place: Wood lark outside the DIY store

© Christof Wermter

12th place: Christof Wermter

There is no need to travel to the last, far-flung remnants of wilderness to see great nature. All you should do is to keep your eyes open in your own neighbourhood. This wood lark is tuning up for its morning concert just outside a DIY store in the middle of Germany’s old industrial area of the Ruhr.

Winning pictures of previous years