Sambath Subbaiah Receives Highly Commended Award at “Wildlife Photography of the Year”
The epic battle between a snake and an eagle told through pictures wins hearts of the jury at Natural History Museum for the Wildlife Photography of the Year 2020
This year’s Wildlife Photography of the Year awards has brought mesmerizing photographs of the wild. The bond between nature and its creations, survival of the fittest, love of a parent and so much more has been shown in these stunning images. Apart from the winners of the competition, there were many images that the judges liked a lot. For instance, Sambath Subbaiah’s photo, the snake versus eagle that has been highly commended.
Sambath, a wildlife photographer and a bird watcher from Tamil Nadu, happened to witness this duel between a short-toed snake-eagle and an Indian rat snake at Senneri Lake in Kanchipuram.
Sambath captured many fascinating pictures of this combat, but the one where the bird and the snake had their eyes interlocked, moments before striking, stands out and won the highly commended award under the Birds Behaviour category.
The duel lasted a couple of moments. When the snake coiled itself to the bird’s tail and feet, it seemed like the eagle was losing the fight. But the eagle won in the end and gulped down the snake in seconds. The large eagle is a hunter of reptiles, especially snakes, which are a valuable food source in arid habitats. The bird also feeds upon small mammals as well.
Sambath wants to spread awareness about grassland ecosystems through his photography. His goal is to bring the wonderful avian world to a broader audience and thus help in its conservation. He says that grasslands around water bodies are one of the crucial habitats for snakes.
As our cities expand at a drastic pace, we must remember to preserve our water bodies. And snakes keep rats, which are pests for farmers, in check. If this chain is broken, the entire cycle will go for a toss. He further adds that all small things are interlinked somehow and each misstep contributes to climate change.