4800+ members, more than 24,000 images and three years!

When we launched Hive in November 2017, we hoped that it would become a bustling community of wildlife and nature photographers where they share their work and encourage each other. Today, we can proudly say that Hive has done all that and more. Not all successes are measured in numbers. The fact that the pace didn’t die down, and you continued to submit your images through the lockdown and the pandemic period is a true testament to what Hive has accomplished. Not a day goes by when we at Nature inFocus don't come across an image that inspires us and leaves us in awe. We are truly grateful for your support and for this community that is championing the natural world. 

As the year draws to an end, here are some of our favourite Hive picks, or should we say, the 20 images of 2020 that made the year buzzworthy. We have combed through our database to come up with this list, which is in no specific order. 

Has your image made it into the top 20? Let's find out!

Paint Me Neon – Roshan Lal

Samlong, Jharkhand

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The iridescent Frog-legged Leaf Beetles are found in the forests of Southeast Asia. As seen in the image, males have much larger hind legs compared to females. Researchers believe that this is probably to help males when they are battling each other to win over a potential mate.

Hairbnb – Subhankar Bardhan

Cooch Behar, West Bengal

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Moths of the genus Cyana pupate in a mesh-like basket woven using the caterpillar’s body hair instead of silk. Although the caterpillar itself is very hairy, when the hairs are too short for building such structures, it connects strands end to end. The pupa can be observed in the middle of the cage, equidistant from all sides. The caterpillar even manages to push its final larval skin outside the mesh while forming the pupa. When the moth emerges, it exits the cage without damaging the structure. 

Damsels in Distress – Prathamesh Ghadekar

Badlapur, Maharashtra 

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Male Southern Heliodor damselflies (Libellago indica) engaged in a battle for territory combat mid-air as they try to force their opponent to leave. When engaged in such battles, the damselflies often move rapidly in circular movements making it an arduous task to capture them in one frame.

Feathers to the Rescue – Ankit Bakade

Chandrapur, Maharashtra

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A male Bronze-winged Jacana with chicks – adult jacanas have black and brown feathers while juveniles sport white and brown coloured plumage. Male jacanas are known to carry their chicks between their feathers when they sense danger.

Here Comes the Rain – Nachiket Dhavale

Nashik, Maharashtra

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Indian Golden Jackals can live in a wide variety of habitats ranging from deserts to forests. They are opportunistic feeders and will feed on cattle carcasses as well as garbage dumped by humans. Despite their adaptability, their numbers are decreasing. Poaching is a major threat to this species.

‘Casquing’ in Love – Siva Kumar

Valparai, Tamil Nadu

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Great Indian Hornbills prefer tall, old trees as nesting sites. They are also known to return to the same nesting sites. Loss of forest area is one of the biggest threats to their population.

Sweet Tooth – Kaushal Nanavati 

Dudhwa National Park, Uttar Pradesh

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A female Oriental Honey Buzzard teaches her young one the art of feeding on a beehive. Honey buzzards mainly feed on bee and wasp larvae. Their mating ritual includes a distinct wing-clapping to establish their territory which also makes it easy to spot these otherwise inconspicuous raptors.

Home is Where the Tent is – Mayuresh Hendre

River Brahmaputra, Assam

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The Indian Tent Turtle derives its name from the tent-like shell characteristic of this species. They are mainly found in central and north-eastern parts of India. The Indian Tent Turtle prefers large rivers and spends a lot of time basking on the river banks during the day.

The Other Side of the Story – Ravi Patel

Ahmedabad, Gujarat

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A flock of flamingos feed in the shallow end of a wetland, against the backdrop of sand mining activities, in Sarkhej, Ahmedabad. Flamingos need shallow lake regions and river beds for survival. They also breed and build nests in these areas. Sand mining greatly impacts the populations that reside near these rivers.

Track of Death – Arindam Ghatak

Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal

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A rock python killed by a train near Buxa Tiger Reserve – Animal deaths and accidents on railway tracks have increased significantly over the last decade. A recent report by the Railway Ministry revealed that more than 32,000 animals have lost their lives on railway tracks between the years 2016 and 2018. While measures such as fencing and educating farmers to protect their cattle are being considered, a wide range of animals are at risk when railway lines cut through protected areas. Many such incidents, especially those involving lesser-known species, including reptiles, go unnoticed and unreported.

City Life – Srikanth Ayyagari

Hyderabad, Telangana

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In the Manikonda region, Hyderabad, sighting peacocks was once a common affair. With increased urbanisation and encroachment of their habitats, the number of peacocks in the region has greatly reduced. The photographer captures these changing times through this image.

On the Tail of a Trail – Abhiroop Ghosh Dastidar

Kibber, Himachal Pradesh

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Depending on their geographical location, Red Foxes have dense or lighter fur. For example, foxes in the Eurasian region have coarse fur, while those residing in North America have silky external fur or guard hairs. They also exist in various colour morphs.

Flight Risk – Souvik Basu

Mangalajodi, Odisha

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Purple Herons mainly feed on fish, but they also capture birds, lizards, insects and snakes. Brahminy Kites, as seen in the image, often swoop low over water bodies or the ground to grab their prey. They are also known to steal from other fish-hunting birds.

Caught in the Act – Senthilmurugan Mayakrishnan

Bangalore, Karnataka

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Checkered Keelbacks are also known as Asiatic Water Snakes. They are mainly found in freshwater lakes and rivers where they feed on fish and frogs. They are non-venomous.

Three's Company! – Soham Chakraborty

Malda, West Bengal

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Largest among the frog species found in India, Indian Bullfrogs (Hoplobatrachus tigerinus) are mainly seen near paddy fields and freshwater wetlands. Although they are brown in colour, during the breeding season, males turn yellowish-green and have distinct blue vocal sacs to attract the females. As seen in the image, single male bullfrogs even latch on to other mating pairs to try and mate with the female.

Paternal Love – Alok Kar

Cooch Behar, West Bengal

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A male giant water bug (Diplonychus sp.) carrying eggs – Among several water bug species females deposit the eggs on the back of the males. The males carry the eggs until they hatch, which usually takes about a week or two. In the meantime, they protect the eggs from predators and regularly bring them up to the surface of the water to provide them with oxygen.

Wrap Me Up – Sandip Guha

Siliguri, West Bengal

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A mating pair of crab spiders – Among spiders, males use various techniques to identify a mate. Some spider species follow silk threads left by females which contain pheromones, while others use visual cues. Courtship patterns also vary between species. For example, male crab spiders are known to wrap their identified mate with silk.

Hiding in Plain Sight – Subrata Das

Siliguri, West Bengal

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Belonging to the crab spider family, Ant-Like Crab Spiders mimic weaver ants. This form of imitation enables the spiders to live amongst unsuspecting ants and prey on them easily.

Keep Your Enemies Closer – Shuvam Sadhukhan

Kolkata, West Bengal

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What looks like an affectionate hug is actually two male Bengal Monitor Lizards engaged in a battle for territory. Monitor lizards are known to stand on their hind legs for such fights or to gain a better view.