A Look Back at Our Most Popular Photos of 2014

There’s no question that photography is essential to protecting wildlife, and conservation in general. A photo can inspire action or transform information into a visual experience. We’re absolutely thrilled when our social communities enjoy a photo enough to pass it along to their friends and family. Last year, we compiled our most popular Facebook photos, and we’ve done it again for 2014! This year we’ve added popular photos from our other social communities as well, like Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest. Let’s begin with the most popular Facebook photo for each month in 2014.

January 2014

The year began with a huge snowy owl irruption. We shared that Arctic owls survive subzero temperatures — and can show up in unexpected places as a result.

Snowy owl by Brian Hansen.

Snowy owl by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Brian Hansen.

February 2014

New data showed that the yearly winter migration of monarchs was once again dwindling. Experts pointed to three major reasons for the decline: changes in weather and climate, illegal deforestation, and midwestern agriculture. Additionally, the post offered ideas on how to help monarchs in your backyard.

Monarchs by Lisa Comer.

A group of monarch butterflies in Fort Morgan, Alabama from December 2010. Photo donated by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Lisa Comer.

March 2014

This post described the strong appetites of manatees. Although they only eat plants, manatees can eat more than 100 pounds per day!

A manatee nurses her calf in the warm waters of Florida by John Muhilly.

A manatee nurses her calf in the warm waters of the Three Sister’s Spring. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant John Muhilly.

April 2014

This was one of our wildlife photos of the week titled, “Raise Your Paw.”

Sow and cub in Alaska by Sara Lopez.

Sow and cub in Alaska by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Sara Lopez.

May 2014

This was a photo we used to kick off National Wildflower Week. We shared advice on how to bring the beauty of the wilderness to your yard, while helping wildlife, with native plants.

Wildflowers in mountain valley in Colorado by Greg Ochocki.

Wildflowers in remote mountain valley in Colorado. Photo by Greg Ochocki.

June 2014

We shared this photo as part of a collection of 21 photos of wildlife in action, a way to introduce folks to our annual National Wildlife Photo Contest.

Turtle in New Jersey by Mike Quinn.

Turtle in New Jersey by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mike Quinn.

July 2014

With summer in full swing, fireflies were illuminating night skies across the country. We shared that bioluminescence in fireflies is nearly 100% efficient, meaning that little energy is wasted to produce their light. By contrast, an incandescent light bulb is only 10% efficient — 90% of the energy is lost as heat.

Firefly in Iowa by Radim Schreiber.

Firefly in Iowa by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Radim Schreiber.

August 2014

We professed that “we’re into cougars” in honor of World Cat Day. You might be, too, after you read the mountain lion facts we shared.

Mountain lion cubs at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Photo by Lorene Auvinen.

Mountain lion cubs at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Photo by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Lorene Auvinen.

September 2014

As we entered the fall season, this post explained the science behind brilliant autumn leaves, and why they fall.

Autumn in the northwoods of Wisconsin on a small lake by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mary Kay Finholt.

Autumn in the northwoods of Wisconsin on a small lake by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Mary Kay Finholt.

October 2014

We wished everyone a Happy Halloween and to consider recycling their pumpkins for wildlife with these tips.

Squirrel enjoys a pumpkin by Alice Miller.

Squirrel enjoys a pumpkin by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Alice Miller.

November 2014

Our post in honor of Thanksgiving read, “Hope everyone enjoys their time with friends & loved ones!”

Red fox kit and mom in Massachusetts by Vic Neuman.

Red fox kit and mom in Massachusetts by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Vic Neuman.

December 2014

We wished our community a “Happy Holly-days” and shared that berries from native plants help birds weather the long, cold winter. And, as it turns out, hollies are among the best winter berry plants.

Eastern bluebird snacking on holly berries by Becky McRae.

Eastern bluebird with a holly berry by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Becky McRae.

Top 5 Photos from Twitter in 2014

Instagram

As we continued our Wildlife Selfies series on Instagram, this great horned owl was the most popular of the year.

View this post on Instagram

Feeling great. #greathornedowls #birdsofprey #wildlifeselfies #wildlifeselfie #raptors #wildlife #birds

A post shared by National Wildlife Federation (@nationalwildlife) on

Google+

We shared that great horned owls feed on practically any living thing, including frogs, scorpions, squirrels, ducks & bats. This post from February was the most popular on Google+ in 2014.

Great Horned Owl mother with black racer by Kathleen Finnerty.

Great horned owl mother with black racer by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Kathleen Finnerty.

LinkedIn

This year was the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act. We shared that it all began with 9 million acres in 1964, and now protects 109 million acres of wildlands. This post to celebrate the birthday of the Wilderness Act was the most liked on LinkedIn for the year.

Bison by Sandy Sisti.

Bison by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Sandy Sisti.

Pinterest

The most re-pinned photo in 2014 is of this adorable wood duckling jumping from its nest box. The pin linked back to a blog about wood ducks and some of their fascinating behaviors, explaining that there is no reason to worry when ducklings jump, because they bounce!

Wood duckling by Harlan Albers.

Wood duckling by National Wildlife Photo Contest entrant Harlan Albers.

Looking for More?

We’d love to have you join our social communities! They’re great places to share photos and articles & connect with others who care about the well-being of wildlife. Follow us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, Instagram and more to stay up to date on the latest wildlife news and for gorgeous nature photography.

Join_NWF_ButtonIf you’re looking to be more connected and informed, we’d love to have you become a member. You’ll receive the award-winning National Wildlife magazine and a monthly newsletter. And, of course, your contribution will help us protect wildlife.

Thank you to all those photographers who have generously donated your photos to NWF, we wouldn’t be able to communicate as effectively or broadly without your wonderful images. You truly impact the work we do to protect wildlife!

 

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