Check out some of our favorite photos from past National Wildlife photo contests. Each week we'll celebrate nature and wildlife from a different state and this week we're featuring Iowa's wonderful wildlife!
Bev Klingensmith photographed this raccoon kit in her Newton, Iowa backyard habitat using a Canon 40D with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. She writes, "Four baby raccoons took up residence in a tree where, from our deck, we had an eye-to-eye view of them. The babies have been cautiously curious about us and we're enjoying watching them as unobtrusively as possible!" See National Wildlife's A League of Their Own.
Iowa resident Mindi Vervaecke made this image of a common garter snake "sunning itself at the top of black-eyed susans" in Mitchell County, Iowa with Nikon equipment. Read Gobs O' Garters, from Ranger Rick!
Photographer Mike Landwehr got this shot of a cydno longwing butterfly at Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens Butterfly House using a Canon EOS Mark II with a 100-400mm lens. He explains the red background was a red shirt worn by another visitor, illustrating how a photographer can use what is found in a subjects surroundings creatively.
Iowa resident Calvin Curtis writes, "I was filming a nest of cardinals in my front yard when suddenly one of the youngsters found his wings and landed a few feet from the nest. The parents were frantic because one was mobile and the other was still in the nest. I shot this picture from the car window." Curtis used a Nikon D80 with an 80-400mm lens and circular polarizing filter to capture the moment.
Wildlife photographer Radim Schreiber made "this long exposure of fireflies at night, with the distant light from a fading sunset and glow of a nearby city." The Iowa resident used a Canon 6D camera. Get outside with the family and become a firefly watcher.
Photographer Radim Schreiber also made this image of a caterpillar in Fairfield, Iowa. He writes about making this image with a Canon 10D and 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, "I used a flash to create back-lighting to reveal how translucent this caterpillar is."
Iowa resident Randall Engel photographed bison charging in Iowa's Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge using a Canon 40D with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. Read about what the National Wildlife Federation does to help restore bison to the American West.
Nature photographer Amber Aiken writes, "I love shooting photos of insects with my macro lens. I had never seen such a colorful little bug and just had to capture its bright colors against this coneflower bud." The Iowa resident made this image of a leafhopper in her backyard habitat with a Canon 40D and 100mm f/2.8 macro lens.
Wildlife photographer Kevin Krueger photographed this "bald eagle proudly holding a fish in his talon at a lock and dam in Burlington, Iowa, where the frozen Mississippi River provided some broken ice for the eagles to fish in." The Minnesota resident used a Canon 30D with a 600mm lens.
Wildlife Photographer Kip Ladage writes, "Over the years we have been trying to attract wildlife to our yard. I had heard tree frogs calling at night and finally located this gray tree frog resting in my wildflowers." The Iowa resident captured the moment with a Nikon D200 and 70-300mm lens. Learn to attract amphibians to your backyard habitat.
Photographer Daniel Ruf writes, "I spend a lot of time in Fort Defiance State Park, mainly because it's a 'best kept secret' of Northwest Iowa. The creek area is abundant with wildflowers and deer and during the spring it is a great area to photograph. This was taken during sunrise and the broad spectrum of light required the use of HDR processing." The Iowa resident used a Canon 50D with a 17-40mm lens on a tripod.
Charles Liner describes making this image, "A clearly defined, low lying layer of fog at dawn got me outside and into a nearby hay field. Just before sunrise, a slight stir in the air dispersed the fog bank leaving the grasses covered in sparkling dew. Noticing a tiny grasshopper in a position to get both insect and the rising sun, I got this picture using fill flash to bring in the insect." Iowa resident used a Canon 40D and 18-55mm lens and 6x magnification filter.
Iowa resident Doug Pfeil photographed this muskrat with cat tail root during an early spring in Iowa using a Nikon D90 and 300mm lens.
Mike Harvey writes, "I was photographing monarchs in flight with this ruby-throated hummingbird came into my viewfinder. It was trying to intimidate the butterfly to leave the butterfly bush blossoms, but the monarch wouldn't leave so the hummer was forced to feed beside it." The Iowa resident captured the moment between these species in Shenandoah, Iowa using a Canon 7D with a 150-500mm lens.
Aspiring photographer Wil Abeling made this image, aptly named 'Eyes on Orion,' in Badger Creek State Park using a Canon 70D with a wide angle lens. The Iowa resident writes about creating this scene, "While the first quarter moon was high overhead, I took two headlamps and shined them towards Orion. I used the self-timer to start the camera and then walked into the scene.
Iowa resident Randall Engel made this image of a great crested flycatcher while canoeing in Iowa's Lake Rathbun using a Canon 40D with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and 1.4x extender.
Jennifer Goldsmith writes, "On a sunny summer afternoon, I was out taking pictures of the butterflies on the flowers in my yard. Several skippers were bobbing around on some marigolds, and I was able to get a picture of one of them enjoying a snack." The Iowa resident used a Nikon Coolpix L110. Garden for wildlife and attract butterflies to your backyard habitat.
Nature photographer Radim Schreiber writes, "Where I grew up, I only saw fireflies a couple of times, deep in the forest. When I came to the United States, I was shocked and thrilled to see the abundance of fireflies and their amazing glow. I was happy to encounter this firefly and photograph its magical bioluminescence." Schreiber made this image in his Iowa backyard habitat using a Canon 5D Mark II with a 100mm f/2.8 macro lens. Glowing organisms have captured our curiosity for centuries, yet scientists are still discovering how they glow - and why.
Photographer Robert Gaines captured this moment between a squirrel and white-tailed deer in his Iowa backyard habitat using a Canon 20D with an 80-200mm f/2.8 lens. He writes, "The lower bowl was supposed to be a birdbath but tended to catch enough food that I ended up just leaving it dry. Most of the time the squirrels would be happy there but today, the deer and the squirrel were having a "discussion" about who really was in charge of the bowl." Read tips on how to attract mammals to your habitat garden.
More from the National Wildlife Federation:
Learn about NWF Affiliate Iowa Wildlife Federation
Visit Iowa Wildlife Federation's Website
NWF Blogs about Iowa
Iowa native Jay "Ding" Darling and the creation of NWF
Find a Park: Iowa
National Wildlife Federation's South Central Regional Center
Nature's Witnesses: Powerful images of wilderness can inspire conservation
Our declining wildlife need urgent protection before they face serious risk of extinction. This bold vision for conservation funding could be the solution.Read More
Urge Congress to stand up for polar bears and their young by opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Read More
Students ages 9-18 are invited to share their big idea through the "Every Elephant Counts" contest for a chance to win a trip to Botswana.Read More
Get to know the amazing wildlife in your backyard and beyond.Read More
You don't have to travel far to join us for an event. Attend an upcoming event with one of our regional centers or affiliates.