Picture of the Week 3 – Determined!

This small Lion cub was playing very determinedly with the piece of wood.
The picture was taken at The Bronx Zoo in New York.

[View all Pictures of the Week 2012]

Determined by Christian Sperka

For more Lion pictures got to
www.sperka.biz/lion (for African Lion)
www.sperka.biz/lion2 (for African Lion in zoos)
www.sperka.biz/lion3 (for Asiatic Lion)

[If you would like to order a print of this images online click here] 

About lions:

Lions (Panthera leo) are one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild Lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times.

Lions are a vulnerable species, having seen large, possibly irreversible, population decline over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. 

Lions live for ten to fourteen years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than twenty years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than ten years, as injuries sustained from fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. Zoos are cooperating worldwide in breeding programs for the endangered Asiatic subspecies (See my pictures of the Asiatic Lions at the Zurich Zoo in Switzerland).

Lions at The Bronx Zoo in New York.

Picture of the Week 2 – View Point

Cheetahs are one of my favorite cats. In 2005 I had the opportunity to follow a Cheetah mom and her four cubs for three days. I got many beautiful shots from these days. This week’s picture was never published before. Enjoy it!

View Point – A Cheetah with her cubs resting on a termite hill looking for prey on Mziki Marsh – Phinda Private Game Reserve – South Africa.

For more Cheetah pictures got to www.sperka.biz/cheetah.

If you would like to order a print of this images online go to http://www.sperka.biz/potw2012/h2ba335ce#h2ba335ce

About Cheetahs:
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East.  It is the only cat with non-retractable claws (therefore cheetahs cannot climb vertical trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches). It achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal—up to 120 km/h (75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.

The cheetah has unusually low genetic variability. It is thought that the species went through a prolonged period of inbreeding following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age. The extinct genus Miracinonyx was extremely cheetah-like, but recent DNA analysis has shown that Miracinonyx (early to late Pleistocene epoch), found in North America and called the “North American cheetah” are not true cheetahs, instead being close relatives to the cougar.

Hawk @ The Arcade

Pigeons used to have a good time at the Arcade in Downtown Nashville 🙂

The good times are over!

A juvenile Cooper’s Hawk has made the Arcade his home and has helped the Arcade management with their Pigeon problem.

At today’s First Saturday Gallery crawl you may be able to spot the beautiful bird in the building’s roof structure.

I am looking forward to seeing you tonight at the Arcade!

Click here for more information about the FIRST SATURDAY GALLERY CRAWL

Special Presentation – Week 1 – King Vulture

While reviewing my picture library I came across this beautiful portrait of a King Vulture. I thought many of you might like it.

[Do not forget to vote for the picture of the year 2011 :-) ]

[and I hope you will be able to come this Saturday to the Gallery Crawl in Nashville]

More about King Vultures:

The King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa) lives predominantly in tropical lowland forests stretching from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. Large and predominantly white, the King Vulture has gray to black ruff, flight, and tail feathers. The head and neck are bald, with the skin color varying, including yellow, orange, blue, purple, and red.

The King Vulture has a very noticeable yellow fleshy caruncle on its beak. This vulture is a scavenger and it often makes the initial cut into a fresh carcass. It also displaces smaller New World vulture species from a carcass. King Vultures have been known to live for up to 30 years in captivity.

Invitation – Animal Art Photography @ First Saturday Gallery Crawl

When: Saturday, January 7, 2012 from 6p.m. to 9p.m.
Where: Christian Sperka Photography / Animal Art Photography Gallery at the Arcade [Downtown Nashville in the block between Church and Union Streets and 4th and 5th Avenues]

The New 2012 Series

I will be showing a new picture collection of images not published in print ever before.

They are available  as various size art prints at the gallery.

I am looking forward to seeing you at on Saturday.

Picture of the Week 1 – Sly!

The first picture of the week for 2012 is of a Red Fox at the Natur- und Tierpark Goldau (a beautiful zoo in Switzerland displaying  many indigenous species – http://www.tierpark.ch/english/index.htm)

[and do not forget to vote for the picture of the year 2011 🙂 ]

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About Red Fox:

The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes, as well as being the most geographically spread member of the Carnivora. It is distributed across the entire northern hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and the steppes of Asia.

Despite its name, the species often produces individuals with abnormal colourings, including albinos and melanists.

The species has a long history of association with humans, having been extensively hunted as a pest and furbearer for centuries, as well as being prominently represented in human folklore and mythology. Because of its widespread distribution and large population, the Red Fox is one of the most important furbearing animals harvested for the fur trade.

Frosty, Foggy, Freezing

I have just returned from a short trip to Germany and Switzerland. The weather over Christmas was not great, but on my last day I took this image in Switzerland.

I like the ambiance of this foggy, frosty and freezing scenery.

Once I have had time to edit  all the pictures from this trip I will upload the few pictures I took at the Zurich Zoo, the Basel Zoo and the Tierpark Goldau. In Zurich and Goldau I spent most of my visit in the fog 🙂

Vote for your Picture of the Year 2011 and win an Art Print

PLEASE VOTE FOR THE PICTURE OF THE YEAR 2011 by sending an email to INFO@SPERKA.COM. Thanks you.

Select from  http://www.sperka.biz/potw2011.

Same procedure as last year 🙂 Please select your Picture of the Year 2011 from all my Pictures of the Week in 2011. You can review the pictures at http://www.sperka.biz/potw2011. Then either send me an email, a blog message or a facebook message with your choice of image.  The voting process is open until the end 20th of January 2012.

On January 21 I will draw two winners from the group of people who voted for the winner image (with the most votes). I will also draw one winner from all people who voted regardless for which image. All three winners will get one Christian Sperka Art Print (11″x14″) with an image of their choice for free.

So, PLEASE VOTE FOR THE PICTURE OF THE YEAR 2011 by sending an email to INFO@SPERKA.COM. Thanks you.

Picture of the Week 52 – Walking the tight-rope!

This week’s picture of a male Bateleur was taken at Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal South Africa.

To review all 2011 pictures of the week go to www.sperka.biz/potw2011/slideshow

About Bateleur …

The Bateleur (Terathopius ecaudatus) is a medium-sized eagle. It is a common resident species of the open savanna country in Sub-Saharan Africa. Bateleurs pair for life, and will use the same nest for a number of years. Unpaired birds, presumably from a previous clutch, will sometimes help at the nest. The Bateleur is a colourful species with a very short tail which makes it unmistakable in flight. Immature birds are brown with white dappling. The prey of this raptor is mostly birds and also small mammals; it also takes carrion. “Bateleur” is French for “tight-rope walker”. This name describes the bird’s characteristic habit of tipping the ends of its wings when flying, as if catching its balance.

For more Bateleur pictures go to www.sperka.biz/bateleur