Swedish national Johan Siggesson, residing in Malta since 2002, has to travel far to enjoy birds. Now his photo, “The Egg”, taken in the Kalahari Desert somewhere at the Botswana – South African border won the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 title in the ‘nature’s studio’ category. The rather unconventional wildlife image of a secretary bird in the Kalahari desert shows a bright white stone behind the bird, and a slight camera shake makes it look like the bird has laid an egg.

Photo credit: Johan Siggesson (

The European Wildlife Photographer of the Year is awarded by the Society of German Nature Photographers (Gesellschaft Deutscher Tierfotografen e.V. – GDT). It is a registered non-profit organisation since 1971 and one of the world‘s largest nature photography
associations. Annually, the GDT presents the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year (GDT EWPY). This competition is open to all professional and non-professional photographers resident in Europe and for GDT members.The competition seeks to promote awareness for nature conservation through the means of photography. You can see other winning photos here or on the official website.

“To win this specific category in this highly regarded competition calls for a visually unusual image. It is not the traditional wildlife image often seen in guidebook and regular nature books or magazines,” Siggesson explains. “The type of image I submitted often divides viewers into two opposing camps. Either you love these more graphic or artistic images or you don’t understand their appeal at all. Personally I love this type of imagery.”

He travelled around the Kalahari desert for about a month. “The secretary bird spends most of its day hunting for prey on the ground and make for good photography subjects. At one point I noticed a lightcoloured stone next to one of the birds and thought it almost looked like its egg,” the photographer remembers. “