Photo © Ivan Pedretti

1st classified


by Sergey Gorshkov

In late May, about a quarter of a million snow geese arrive from North America to nest on Wrangel Island, in northeastern Russia. They form the world’s largest breeding colony of snow geese. I spent two months on the remote island taking pictures there. Arctic foxes take advantage of the abundance of eggs and, later, goslings, catching surplus eggs for leaner times. In this image a fox has to face a gander and must rely on its speed and guile to steal eggs. Usually the battles were fairly equal and I only saw a fox succeed in grabbing an egg on a couple of occasions, despite many attempts. Surprisingly, the geese lacked any sense of community spirit and never reacted when a fox harassed a neighboring pair nesting close by.