National Wildlife Federation 1st Place Mammals, Pro Category 2011:
Alaskan Coastal Brown Bears (Ursos Arctos) are both one of the most dangerous but also one of the most engaging mammals on earth. This mother had lost her other cubs so instead of the cubs playing together she would fill that role and spend hours playing with her single remaining cub. Because we work with these "gentle giants" in an open coastal plain where they can see and not be threatened by us the bears often approach fairly closely, enabling us to get a unique wildlife viewing and photographic experience. In this area as the females grow from cubs they tend to turn from their initial dark color to a gorgeous light "cinammon" color. The bears also have plenty of food along the coast--sedges, berries, clams and of course salmon so they are also much more accommodating of our time with them than inland bears would be. Lake Clark Park, Alaska.
National Wildlife Federation Grand Prize Winner 2012 Photo Contest:
Harris Hawks (Parabuteo unicinctus) form "hunt groups" often led by a dominant female who will defend territory and food against interlopers. In this case the female hawk has been watching over carrion, standing guard. Even though she wasn't feeding she wouldn't let other hawks eat. Here she is flying at an interloper to drive it away.