Country Life’s top 10 nature stories of 2019, from mesmerising photographs to the bird that can screech as loud as a fighter jet

Nature, in all its beauty and ferocity, was celebrated in these unforgettable articles.

Eight beautiful photographs from Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019

©Jason Bantle / Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Natural History Museum’s peerless nature photography competition always throws out some wonders.

Read the full article.


Britain’s giant tortoises

©Richard Cannon/Country Life

‘They’ve been around for 200 million years – we’re a blip to them’

Read the full article.


The confusingly enormous hummingbird hawk-moth

©Getty Images/iStockphoto

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s a hummingbird hawk-moth. Simon Lester took a closer look.

Read the full article.


Breathtaking photographs from the Outdoor Photographer of the Year award

©OPOTY/Anya Burnell

20,000 people entered the Outdoor Photographer of the Year award in 2018 — the winners were announced in March of 2019.

Read the full article.


Curious Questions: Can a swan really break your arm?

©Alamy

Alexandra Fraser attempted to answer the question of the ages.

Read the full article.


Can horses really heal humans?

©Getty

The claims made for how horses help humans get over all manner of trauma stretch back to ancient times. Pippa Cuckson investigated.

Read the full article.


Best pictures from the 2019 Audubon Photography Awards

©Kevin Ebi/2019 Audubon Photography Awards

An unusual piece for us in that it focused on North American birds, this piece on the Audobon Society’s competition featured one of the great photographs of the year.

Read the full article.


Why are we so superstitious about magpies?

©Alamy

One for sorrow, two for joy…

Read the full article.


The world’s loudest songbird is like standing next to a jet fighter taking off

©Alamy

Quite astonishing. You really have to read this one.

Read the full article.


The parts of Britain invaded by Asiatic hornets

©Nature Picture Library / Alamy

The worrying appearance of this ‘devastating hornet that can kill up to 50 bees a day’ made headlines at the end of the summer. Let’s hope it’s an isolated occurrence.

Read the full article.