Bing Wallpaper Gallery
Feb 4, 2018
Male kori bustard, Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
If you were to assemble a football team on the southern African savannah, chances are you’d want the kori bustard on your team. This husky bird is one of the heaviest animals capable of flight and is the largest flying bird native to Africa. Males can weigh up to 40 pounds. Given the heavy load, the kori bustard prefers to travel by foot, and is known to be slow and careful as it forages for food. This bird is so large, in fact, that smaller birds are known to perch on its back and catch a free ride.
Feb 3, 2018
Rooftops in the walled city of Urbino, Italy
When most people think of Italian Renaissance cities, the walled city of Urbino probably doesn’t come to mind. That’s a shame, as this destination in central Italy was named a World Heritage Site for its rich Renaissance legacy. The city saw its peak in the 15th century, under the rule of Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, who was nicknamed the ‘Light of Italy.’ His former palace is now home to a remarkable collection of Renaissance art, including works by Raphael, who was born here in 1483.
Feb 2, 2018
Alpine marmots at Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria
Are these two alpine marmots waiting to hear news of spring from their distant American relative, the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil? Truth be told, here in the snowy Eastern Alps of Austria, most marmots will likely sleep through Groundhog Day, which is celebrated in the United States and Canada each year on February 2. Alpine marmots hibernate for up to nine months a year in underground burrows, relying on fat reserves to stay alive. During this time, their heart rate lowers to 5 beats per minute and they breathe just 1 to 3 times per minute. Sleep well, little friends.
Feb 1, 2018
Stuben am Arlberg, Austria
The ski resort town of Stuben am Arlberg may closely resemble what you imagine when reading the phrase ‘historic Alpine village.’ Tucked in near the Alberg mountain pass, tiny Stuben is a must for ski fanatics, who can set off on a run right from their doorstep. It’s also the birthplace of the ‘father of modern skiing,’ Hannes Schneider, whose instructional methods revolutionized the sport.
Jan 31, 2018
Sunbeams across Tartu County, Estonia
Tucked between Lake Võrtsjärv and Lake Peipsi, Tartu County, sometimes called Tartumaa, is mostly forests and wetlands with some farmland. But away from the woods and wetlands, the city of Tartu is a bustling university town with a reputation as an intellectual haven.
Jan 30, 2018
Watson Lake in Granite Dells, Arizona
The cliffs in the Granite Dells of central Arizona are popular with rock climbers. Watson Lake—a reservoir created when a dam was built on Granite Creek—is a draw for fishing enthusiasts and attracts many visitors with canoes, kayaks, and other water craft. If you want to blend in with the locals, take Peavine Trail from Prescott into the Granite Dells.
Jan 29, 2018
Vacuum Chamber 5 at Glenn Research Center
The various vacuum chambers at NASA Glenn Research Center are used to simulate the atmosphere-free vacuum of space, and how that affects various materials, constructions, and rocket propulsion. Vacuum Chamber 5 (VF-5) is one of dozens at the research center, each used for specific testing projects. The center is named for John Glenn, the senator and former astronaut who was the first American to orbit the Earth.
Jan 22, 2018
Bird’s-eye view of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
This aerial view of the Golden Gate Bridge would have been familiar to many of the brave men who helped construct the landmark in the late 1930s. Bridge construction took just over four years and strong wind gusts sometimes created perilous conditions. To safeguard the workers, a safety net was installed. It saved the lives of some 19 men who fell from the bridge and became known as members of the ‘Half Way to Hell Club.’
Jan 23, 2018
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil
White sand dunes dotted with brilliant blue lagoons stretch as far as you can see here at Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, not far from the Amazon Basin in northeast Brazil. During the rainy season, valleys between these dunes fill with water, creating a temporary water world. The lagoons are occupied by resilient species like the wolf fish, which goes dormant in the mud when the water dries up.
Jan 24, 2018
Santo Antão Island in the Republic of Cabo Verde
The village of Fontainhas is perched on the hillside here on Santo Antão Island, one of the most mountainous islands in the Republic of Cabo Verde. The country consists of a series of volcanic islands located about 350 miles off the western coast of Africa. Portuguese explorers colonized the islands in the 15th century and Portugal remained in control until 1975, when the country gained independence. These days, it’s known as one of the most stable democracies in Africa.
Jan 25, 2018
Sami lavvu structures, Finnmark, Norway
It’s not a tipi, it’s a lavvu. We’re in Sami country here in Finnmark, Norway, and these temporary dwellings were used by the indigenous Sami people as they followed their reindeer herds across northern Scandinavia. The design has made its way into other symbols of the Sami culture, including the coat of arms for the municipality of Kautokeino and the design of the Sami Parliament building in Karasjok, Norway.
Jan 26, 2018
Eastern grey kangaroos in Australia’s Kosciuszko National Park
These eastern grey kangaroos taking a break on the grasslands of Kosciuszko National Park may look like hares or rabbits from a distance. But up close, a 6-foot-tall male eastern grey could look a person in the eye. Perhaps only koala bears rank higher as wildlife symbols of Australia, but we couldn’t resist featuring a photo of kangaroos to celebrate Australia Day today. Perhaps these ‘roos are waiting for the fireworks show?
Jan 27, 2018
Bioluminescence at Trwyn Du Lighthouse in Wales
Bad weather and unpredictable tides can make the Irish Sea off the northwest coast of Wales a dicey passage. Many seafaring people had urged the leaders of Anglesey Island to build a lighthouse here, but it took a deadly shipwreck in 1831 to prompt the construction of Trwyn Du Lighthouse.
Jan 28, 2018
Winter scenery near Kuhmo, Finland
Winter hits Kuhmo hard, but it sure is beautiful. The town, which lies in an area that borders Russia, was under Swedish and Russian rule in centuries past, but is now proudly Finnish. The boreal forests in this region are home to wolves and bears as well as the rare, and rarely seen, Finnish forest reindeer, who forage among the trees.
Jan 14, 2018
Sanday Island and the North Sea, Scotland
Scotland’s Orkney Islands—or simply Orkney as the locals call the chain of islands—sit in the windswept waters of the North Sea. Sanday is one of the 20 inhabited islands of this 70-island archipelago. Tides and winds constantly batter the shore, gradually changing the coastline. Sandy beaches can extend inland or the shore can be eroded and washed away to the sea. Of course, it might take decades or longer for these changes to become noticeable. In the meantime, the sheep that graze the fields of Sanday probably don’t mind, just as long as there’s grass to nibble.
Jan 15, 2018
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. frequently spoke of the immeasurable value of service to various endeavors that strive to make the world a better place. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, millions honor King’s legacy by volunteering for charities and other organizations. And any of us can make that effort—to give the gift of our time so that we might move from words to action. Your work may be a small part of a greater goal, but the march forward only happens when we are brave enough to take that first step. And once we do, we often find that we are not walking alone.
Jan 16, 2018
Lionfish off the coast of Indonesia
Native to the waters of the Indo-Pacific region, the 12 recognized species of lionfish all sport venomous spikes in their fin rays. Their wild coloration acts as a warning to predators: Eat at your own risk. But across the eastern seaboard of the United States, there’s a campaign encouraging humans to eat lionfish. Why? Because at some point in the 1990s, one or more species of lionfish was introduced to the waters of the Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico. The invasive lionfish will eat nearly anything they can, and as a result, are decimating native fish populations. Would you eat a lionfish? (Properly prepared, of course.)
Jan 17, 2018
Train crossing the Tadami River in Japan
The Tadami flows through three prefectures on Japan’s Honshu Island. This train is crossing the river near the small town of Mishima, in Fukushima Prefecture. Despite the icy, snow-covered scene in our photo, the Fukushima region is famous for the fruit it produces in warmer seasons, especially peaches.
Jan 18, 2018
Entoloma hochstetteri mushroom at Lake Mahinapua, New Zealand
Leave it to weird, wild, wonderful New Zealand to be home to a blue mushroom. Fungus enthusiasts can also find Entoloma hochstetteri in parts of India and Brazil, but it’s bountiful enough on both the North and South Islands of New Zealand, that it is part of the artwork on the latest iteration of the $50 note. It appears alongside the kōkako, a bird whose blue wattles inspired the Māori name for this mushroom: werewere-kōkako.
Jan 19, 2018
Old Town in Prague, Czech Republic
This ethereal view is of Old Town in Prague, also known as ‘the city of 100 spires.’ Prague is one of the most visited places in Europe, and with good reason. Here you’ll find a rich variety of architecture—hence the city’s nickname—and treasures such as the Prague astronomical clock, a 600-year-old wonder that displays the time, date, and positions of celestial bodies.
Jan 20, 2018
Yellow-eyed penguins, Moeraki, New Zealand
The hills are alive with the sound of penguins here on Katiki Point, part of the Moeraki Peninsula on New Zealand’s South Island. This is a significant habitat for endangered yellow-eyed penguins, which are some of the rarest penguins in the world. They are a solitary, vocal bird known as hoiho, or ‘noise-shouter,’ in the Māori language. This winter the birds had a lot to talk about, as scientists discovered evidence of a prehistoric penguin in New Zealand that was human-sized. These prehistoric relatives were given the name Kumimanu biceae--kumimanu means ‘monster bird’ in the Māori tongue.
Jan 21, 2018
Red squirrel in Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
This wee red squirrel looks warm and cozy in its winter coat here in the Scottish Highlands. The red squirrel is the only squirrel species native to the United Kingdom, but its numbers are in decline. It’s estimated there are only 160,000 left in the UK, and 75 percent of the population makes its home here in Scotland, where conservation groups are coming to its aid. The main threat to this group comes from nonnative gray squirrels, which were introduced here in the 19th century and outcompete the reds for food and living space. Perhaps the two species will make amends for Squirrel Appreciation Day, celebrated on January 21.
Jan 13, 2018
Fire-damaged forest near Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado
Wolf Creek Pass is a high-mountain route that’s notoriously difficult to navigate in winter, with steep drops in elevation as the road descends from the peak. While these trees were damaged by wildfire—always a threat here in the Rockies—trees in the surrounding forest have been ravaged by a different menace—the spruce beetle. The tiny but deadly beetles have infested up to 90 percent of the Englemann spruce trees in Colorado’s high elevations, including around Wolf Creek Pass, laying waste to large swaths of the forest.
Jan 12, 2018
Al-Khazneh in Petra, Jordan
A sliver of the Al-Khazneh temple’s façade is just visible at the end of this path. Like nearly every structure in the ancient city of Petra, the temple was carved directly into the sandstone cliffs that line the valley. Al-Khazneh boasts one of the most ornate, detailed façades of all the buildings here. Within the temple are relics of the past, including an elevated stone urn that was once thought to be the spot where bandits hid their loot. That’s been disproved, as the urn is solid stone. But that legend prompted the nickname of this space: the Treasury.
Jan 11, 2018
Bow Bridge in Central Park, New York City
Bow Bridge in New York’s Central Park is the site of many a romantic moment–both on screen and off. The cast iron bridge served as a filming location in such movie classics as ‘The Way We Were’ and ‘Manhattan.’ One of 36 bridges and arches here at Central Park, it was designed in 1862, in part by Calvert Vaux, who is famous for co-designing Central Park along with Frederick Law Olmsted. Years later it’s still inspiring romance.