Eurasian Griffon in Kuwait– Ahmed Salem Ragab
CAIRO – 26 August 2017: Twelve years of observation, hard work and genuine interest in birds have resulted in breathtaking pictures that capture special moments in Mother Nature, obtaining recognition from National Geographic.
Ahmed Salem Ragab, Egyptian birdwatcher and environmental researcher, started bird watching as a hobby in 2005 in Egypt’s Beheira governorate. He watched birds with his naked eyes and recorded his observations. He traveled to Kuwait in 2010 to document bird life with modern photography equipment.
In 2015, he joined a Kuwaiti volunteer team to monitor wildlife, following about 316 bird species out of Kuwait's 412 species that live in or migrate to Kuwait.
“My photo ‘Freeze in the Air’ was ranked the top in the world in National Geographic Arab and Global magazine in February 2017 – out of thousands of photos worldwide.
The photo was taken in Kuwait City during the migration season of the Kingfisher,” Ahmed Salem Ragab told Egypt Today.
The winning photo was captured while a Kingfisher was fluttering his wings above the water for an entire minute, trying to locate the fish under the water with his vertical vision.The bird then descended like an arrow from the sky, capturing the fish and taking it to the nearest branch.
The Kingfisher bird naturally lives around the Nile River and water canals in Egypt, building its nest in the mud next to the water at an altitude of a few meters. The nests are dug deep in the mud in the form of a cave and covered with fish scraps.
The male is distinguished from the female by its wide, black double band under its neck, while the female only has one band and sometimes a white feather. The male always sets a specific fishing area for himself, and defends it against his rivals.
“Freeze in the Air” photo of the Kingfisher fluttering his wings in the hot air of Kuwait, ranked #1 in National Geographic in February 2017– Ahmed Salem Ragab
A Steppe Eagle injured, treated and released in a natural reserve in Kuwait– Ahmed Salem Ragab
Eurasian Griffon treated bythe Kuwait Zoo and then released – Ahmed Salem Ragab
A rare photo of the Great Grey Shrike hunting a snake in Kuwait – Ahmed Salem Ragab
A rare photo of the Great Grey Shrike eating a snake in Kuwait – Ahmed Salem Ragab
A White Cheeked Sterna feeding itshatchling on the island of Kubbar, Kuwait, which is the breeding place of four different species of the birds in Kuwait – Ahmed Salem Ragab
A Pied Kingfisher and a white-throated Kingfisher in Kuwait eating a hunt peacefully, a rare behavior due to their fierce hostility toward one another– Ahmed Salem Ragab
A picture capturing the rare behavior of the birds, where the Squacco heron appears, mimicking the Kingfisher while fishing in Kuwait – Ahmed Salem Ragab
A bird caught in a bird net in Kuwait - Ahmed Salem Ragab
The migrating Common Kingfisher, pictured in Kuwait, is one of the most beautiful water birds that live around the Nile River in Egypt - Ahmed Salem Ragab
Photographer Ahmed Salem Ragab (middle) in Roaa Masreya Exhibition (Egyptian Visions) in Kuwait with Egyptian Ambassador in Kuwait Yasser Atef (right) - Ahmed Salem Ragab