Winners 2020

2020 prize-winners

Here you can find the winning photographs in “European Treasures of Nature 2020” photography competition, organised in cooperation with ‘natur’ magazine, Gelsenwasser AG and the photo shop "Lichtblick" in Constance. Our warm thanks go to all those photographers who took part!  

Tip: Click on pictures for larger view.


Cormorants fight for prey

1st place: Mine!

© Tony Zhang

1st Place: Tony Zhang

Cormorants don’t have it easy: in many places, they are hounded and even shot down. Even once they’ve succeeded in hunting down some food, there’s always the business of keeping envious onlookers away from it. One such greedy chancer tried to snatch this tasty morsel of fish just moments after it had been caught by a successful hunter. The two of them battled for 20 seconds – until the original owner lost his prey.

Almost as good as flying


2nd place: Almost as good as flying

© Fabio Sartori

2nd Place: Fabio Sartori

This photographer went out one morning in late autumn to hunt for a subject. Suddenly he came across some ants on a dandelion head carrying its seeds home between their mandibles. Suddenly a puff of wind floated one of the ants away, as though suspended from a parachute.

Paso doble


3rd place: Paso doble

3rd Place: Lutz Klapp

What may look like an elegant dance for two is, in reality, a battle for food. Two starlings were having a real shouting match in a garden in Hesse, or should we say a squawking match! This gave the photographer a fascinating series of pictures, proving that even competition for food can provide aesthetic interest.  

Wing beat


4th place: Wing beat

4th Place: Christof Wermter

Sanderlings are typical intertidal waders, darting along the water’s edge in small groups, earning themselves the name “Keen Tied” in the local dialect, meaning “no time”. In the autumn, these long-distance migrants can be seen along the German North Sea and Baltic coastlines. This Sanderling was captured by the photographer’s lens on the Darß peninsula – in an unusually quiet moment.

Flock of starlings bathing

Flock of starlings

5th place: Flock of starlings bathing

5th Place: Oscar Diez Martínez

What bird of prey could pick out a single individual from this mass of feathers? Huge flocks often offer small birds their best chance of survival. Starlings are the true champions of group formation: their flocks can hold several hundred thousand of them.

Carabus problematicus

Carabus problematicus

6th place: Carabus problematicus

6th Place: Konrad Funk

How the ridged violet ground beetle came by its Latin name is a mystery. Carabus problematicus is everything but problematic. In reality, as a predatory beetle, it plays an important role in the forest ecosystem. Foresters lucky enough to have them on their patch will be pleased to see them.


Little Owl & Woodpecker

7th place: Taken!

7th place: Dr. Bernd Stein

Perches serve a practical purpose for birds: from them they have a wonderful view of the immediate vicinity, looking out for food and enemies. These sites are very much in demand. In this case, a little owl needed its full repertoire of hissing to keep off this greater spotted woodpecker with its equally smartly spotted plumage.

The runner

young European tree frog

8th place: The runner

8th Place: Astrid Hauzenberger

It’s more usual to see a frog hopping or jumping, but this young tree frog looks like he’s getting ready for a 100-meter sprint. The sticky pads on the tips of his fingers and toes can clearly be seen; these are perfectly adapted to climbing up grasses, sedges and trees.

Kiss for Mummy

Bears in Finland

9th place: Kiss for Mummy

© Marcus Gangloff

9th Place: Marcus Gangloff

This photo was taken from a photography hide one evening in Finland. After Romania, the country has the second highest population density of bears in Europe. Once the males had cleared the area, this female was ready to venture forth with her young cub of only a few weeks. It is touching to see how intimately the mother plays with her cub and cuddles it.  


Faroe Islands

10th place: Giants

10th Place: Pawel Zygmunt

Rough weather is the rule not the exception on the Faroes. So this photographer had to battle his way through storms and hail showers to get this drone photo of the Kallur cliffs. It was worth it: the picture captures the threatening mood that often reigns over this North Atlantic archipelago in a most impressive way.

High Expectations

Purple Heron

10th place: High expectations

10th Place: Dr. Ulrich Hopp

The grey heron may be a familiar sight in Central Europe but its somewhat smaller relation, the purple heron, is rarely seen. The primary area of its distribution is still in southern Europe. However, in the Wagbachniederung nature reserve in Baden-Württemberg, it is possible to get really close to these slender birds without disturbing their breeding.

Long Legs

Harvestman on moss

12th place: Long legs

12th Place: Edwig Vanhassel

Filigree legs balancing on delicate moss stalks. Harvestmen are known for their long limbs; these can reach 25 times their body length in some species, allowing them to walk elegantly across fragile plant structures such as these.

Winning pictures of previous years

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2023"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2022"

See the winner photos of the photo competiton "Europe's Nature Treasures 2021"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2020"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2019"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2019"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2017"

See the winner photos of the photo competition "Europe's Nature Treasures 2016"