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 Kentucky's nature and wildlife.
Travel photographer Jordan Reed made this sunset image with a Nikon D800 and 14-24mm f/2.8 lens in Kentucky's Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. He writes, "Hensley Settlement is situated atop of Brush Mountain inside the park. The settlement was originally founded back in 1845, and abandoned in 1951. There is something surreal about exploring the old farms, losing myself within time." Learn more about landscape photography, and get tips on how to choose the right tool for the right impact.
Kentucky resident Victoria Ligenza photographed this Purple Finch, resting in her backyard habitat, through her kitchen window using a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F717.
Nature photographer Mike Stander writes, "A family of white-tailed deer would walk right through the back of our campsite at Mammoth Cave National Park each evening. This young buck was being harassed by a rather large bumblebee." The Michigan resident used a Canon 5D Mark II with a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens.
Kentucky resident Deborah Riggs photographed this "beautiful" gray hairstreak butterfly feeding on milkweed blossom in a wildflower field at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Kentucky using a Canon Rebel XTi with a 100mm macro lens on a tripod. She explains, "The butterfly was quite determined to feed on this particular blossom, and allowed us to photograph closely as long as we cared to."
Rita Adkins made this image of a frog resting in her Kentucky backyard habitat using an Olympus C-5000 with a zoom lens. She writes, "I often find these little tree frogs in by daylily flower bed." Learn how to attract amphibians to your backyard habitat.
Travel photographer Jordan Reed made this image in Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park with a Nikon D800 and 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. Learn more about the U.S National Park Service's mission in Living Legacy, from National Wildlife.
Lizzie Filiatreau writes, "Hummingbirds visit every day at this feeder in my backyard." The Kentucky resident captured a visit from this ruby-throated hummingbird with a Nikon D500. Learn how to create a haven for hummingbirds, and attract these avian pollinators to your garden.
Michael Gerle was hiking the Hematite Lake trail in Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area when "this beautiful" Eastern tailed-blue butterfly landed on a blade of grass next to the trail. The Kentucky resident captured the moment using a Nikon D7100 camera.
Patrick Adams photographed a Kentucky spring salamander while on a nature walk in Hyden, Kentucky with a Fuji A210 camera "and patience." Read A Stormy Love Affair with Salamanders, from National Wildlife's archives.
Photographer Keith Bridgman writes, "About 1,000 or so sandhill cranes were using this field near Barren River Like, Kentucky" to rest along their migration route. The Kentucky resident "managed to capture this group as they settled down" using a Sony Alpha with a 50-500mm lens. Threatened by water diversions, sandhill cranes have benefited from decades of work by NWF and its partners.
Photographer Autumn Sandlin made this image of Daisy bottoms in a field in Booneville, Kentucky using a Canon PowerShot ELPH 320. She writes, "I like unusual shots of flowers, and this just seemed like a great way to capture the beauty of these wild daisies."
Robert Park writes, "Four young squirrels were running around a tree, but scattered when I walked by. One went up the tree beside me and stood completely still for a long time. Finally, he had to look to see if I was still there." The Florida resident captured the moment at a state park in Western Kentucky using a Canon PowerShot camera.
David Becker photographed the beautiful fall colors of Kentucky's Breaks Interstate Park. This bi-state park is located partly in both southeastern Kentucky and southwestern Virginia, in Jefferson National Forest. The Indiana resident used a Nikon D100 with a 20mm f/5.6 lens on a tripod.
Arkansas resident Simon Hunter made this portrait of an Eastern screech owl in Kentucky's Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area with a Fuji s5100 digital camera. This species is common east of the Rockies and can be found wherever trees are, in woods, suburban areas and even urban parks, and are even willing to nest in backyard boxes. Learn how to create a habitat for screech owls.
Wildlife photographer John Clare writes, "Cave salamanders are one of the most beautiful but elusive animals in North America. They spend the day in cracks in cliff faces and within the twilight zone of caves. This individual was found nestling in a rock face within this cave." The Ohio resident made this image using a Nikon D800 with a 16-35mm lens and external flash unit in Kentucky's Natural Bridge State Park.
Kentucky resident Christine Knopf photographed a "Solomon's Seal just beginning to unfurl its leaves" near Kentucky's Gabe's Branch Falls with a Nikon D40 and a 55-200mm lens.
Nature photographer Jack Dean made this portrait of a Northern cardinal in Falmouth, Kentucky with a Canon 7D and 400mm lens. The Kentucky resident writes, "I noticed this guy hanging around some flowering trees, but I had to patiently wait awhile before I finally got the picture I wanted." Learn how to woo these birds to your garden.
Kentucky resident Diana Clark captured this "early morning shot" in Kentucky using a Canon 10D and 35-80mm lens. She writes, "This habitat is home to a variety of wild animals, including coyotes, wild turkey, hawks and white-tailed deer, just to name a few.
Kentucky resident Danny Head photographed a female gold finch in suburban habitat on a "cloudy, misting rain day" with a Nikon D90 camera. Read National Wildlife's Candid Cameras and learn how to get great images of backyard birds.
Photographer Kimberly Smith made this image of a ladybug on their 10-acre Kentucky backyard habitat, where she regularly would explore with a camera to see what wildlife could be found. Smith shot this scene with a Nikon D5000. Learn how to create a haven for beneficial bugs in your backyard habitat.
Photographer April Robinson writes, "I found this white-tailed deer buck wandering through the woods while hiking" in Kentucky's John James Audubon State Park. "He posed several times, but I liked how the flower blossom centered on his nose in this shot." The Kentucky resident used a Canon 60D camera to capture the moment.
More from the National Wildlife Federation:
Learn about NWF Affiliate Kentucky Waterways Alliance
Visit the Kentucky Waterways Alliance website
NWF blogs about Kentucky
Find a Park: Kentucky
National Wildlife Federation's Mid-Atlantic Regional Center
Nature's Witnesses: Powerful images of wilderness can inspire conservation
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Urge Congress to stand up for polar bears and their young by opposing drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.Read More
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Get to know the amazing wildlife in your backyard and beyond.Read More
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