Kangaroo Strumming an Air Guitar Wins Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards

Kangaroo looking like its strumming an air guitar

“Air Guitar Roo” by Jason Moore (Australia). Overall Winner and Winner, Alex Walker's Serian Creatures of the Land Award.
Animal: Western Grey Kangaroo
Location of shot: Perth, Australia
“I was driving past a mob of Western Grey Kangaroos feeding in an open field that was filled with attractive yellow flowers. I had my camera with me, so I stopped to grab a few photos. I suddenly noticed this individual adopt a humorous pose – to me, it looks like he's practicing strumming on his air guitar.”

A kangaroo rocking out on its air guitar took home the top prize at the 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards. Jason Moore‘s hilarious picture beat out 5,300 funny animal photos in what was a fierce competition. Now, Moore will get to experience a once-in-a-lifetime safari in Kenya's Masai Mara for his efforts.

Moore took the image after spending time photographing waterfowl in Perth. While on his way home, he stopped by a field where he knew kangaroos often congregate. As luck would have it, he saw a number of them sunning and feeding themselves, and he stopped to take some photographs, including this extra special one.

“Not many people know that kangaroos are normally fairly docile and even a bit boring most of the time if I’m honest,” he shares.  “However, when I saw this roo striking the air guitar pose, it immediately brought a smile to my face, and I knew that I had captured something really special.”

Moore's photo stood out for its “happy vibe and feel-good factor,” according to the judges. But that wasn't the only memorable photo.  Jacek Stankiewicz's adorable photo of two goldfinches in a “dispute,” topped the youth competition and won the People's Choice Award—a first in the competition's history.

“One of the greatest pleasures we experience in this competition is seeing the incredible standard of photography, combined with humor, which consistently increases each year,” shared competition co-founder Tom Sullam. “This year’s People’s Choice Award winner is like the cherry on the cake. To have a junior entrant win this major prize is extremely rewarding for us. We want more juniors to enter, we want to take our conservation message and our love of photography to the younger generation, and this result proves that young photographers have as much chance of winning as anybody else.”

See more prize-winning animal photography, as well as the contest's 10 highly commended images below, and revel in the joy they bring to your day.

These funny animal photos won the 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Two greenfinches on a branch that look like they're fighting

“Dispute” by Jacek Stankiewicz (Poland). Junior Award Winner and Affinity Photo 2 People's Choice Award.
Animal: Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)
Location of shot: Bialowieza forest
“I caught this scene while watching birds in the Bialowieza Forest. Young greenfinch was still fed by parents. However, from time to time birds looked like having argument. My friends interpret this scene in two ways. 1 A young naughty kid is arguing with a parent. 2. One kid is reporting to the parent that its brother did something wrong: look he has broken the glass in the window.”

Otter balancing on one paw

“Otter Ballerina” by Otter Kwek (Singapore). Creatures Under the Water Award.
Animal: Smooth coated Otter
Location of shot: Singapore
“An otter ballerina gracefully dances in an Arabesque position. The otter was leaping while attempting to grasp the overhanging leaves, and during an unusual landing, it ended up in the Arabesque pose. I showed this photo to a ballet teacher, and she commented that the otter is a natural but just needs to tuck in its tummy a bit — precisely what a ballet teacher would advise.”

Squirrel leaping into the air

“I finally learned to fly…or not?!” by Tímea Ambrus (Hungary). Amazing Internet Portfolio Award.
Animal: Ground squirrel
Location of shot: Austria
“The ground squirrel jumped as if he could fly. Unfortunately he has no wings. To his surprise he fell back to the ground.”

Squirrel falling onto the ground

“I finally learned to fly…or not?!” by Tímea Ambrus (Hungary). Amazing Internet Portfolio Award.

Two Northern Gannets turned toward the camera after rubbing necks

“One for the family album” by Zoe Ashdown (United Kingdom). Highly Commended.
Animal: Northern Gannet
Location of shot: Yorkshire, UK
“With one having returned to the nest, the Northern Gannets had greeted each other with normal beak rubbing. Whilst firing off a load of shots to capture that encounter, they stopped and looked over, and at that moment this image was captured forever. How proud do they look with their chick between them!”

Fox lounging with a piece of wood in its mouth

“Excuse me sir but I think you're a little too young to be smoking” by Dakota Vaccaro (United States). Highly Commended.
Animal: Grey Fox
Location of shot: Virginia, United States
“While I was working deep in the Virginian woods, a family of grey foxes took up residence under the deck of the abandoned cottage next to my work housing. One day while practicing their hunting skills on bits of moss and branches, one of the kits lunged at a small chunk of wood and started rolling around with his prize. Tired after his hunt the kit lounged on his belly still holding the wood in his mouth which gave the strong resemblance of a cigar. I was very envious of the kit at this moment cause who wouldn't want to just lay around all day relaxing.”

Swamp turtle with dragonfly on its nose

“The Happy Turtle” by
Tzahi Finkelstein (Israel). Highly Commended.
Animal: Swamp turtle
Location of shot: Jezreel Valley, Israel
“The swamp turtle is surprised and smiles at the dragonfly resting on its nose.”

Striated heron diving into the water to fish

“Unexpected plunge” by Vittorio Ricci (Italy). Spectrum Photo Creatures of the Air Award.
Animal: Striated heron
Location of shot: Zimanga Private Game Reserve, South Africa
“An unusual and almost miserable end of a perfect moment, previously prepared, for a successful fishing.”

This year's photo contest has 5300 incredible entries from 1842 photographers in 85 countries.

Underwater photo of puffin looking down while watching a jellyfish

“Don't look down” by Brian Matthews (United Kingdom). Highly Commended.
Location of shot: Farne Islands, Northumberland UK
“A puffin does an inverted snoopy impression while watching jelly fish.
Animal: Atlantic Puffin.”

Monkey laying down with hair over its mouth in Bali

“The rainforest dandy” by Delphine Casimir (Belgium). Highly Commended.
Animal: Monkey
Location of shot: Bali, Indonesia
“This picture was taken in the monkey forest in Ubud, Bali. This place is a crazy place where monkeys are king! Sometimes they give a show, sometimes, they climb on you to look for fleas or steal the piece of biscuit you are trying to eat.”

Great Gray Owl drapped over a branch looking sad

“Monday Blahs” by John Blumenkamp
(United States). Highly Commended.
Animal: Great Gray Owl
Location of shot: Grand Teton National Park, USA
“This Great Gray Owl spent most of the afternoon posing majestically and looking, well, wise. But for a moment or two after doing some elegant stretching, he/she would slump and give a look of ‘is Monday over yet?'”

Two kangaroos in Westerfolds Park

“Boing!” by Lara Mathews (Australia). Highly Commended.
Animal: Eastern Grey Kangaroo
Location of shot: Westerfolds Park, Melbourne, Australia
“Taken at Westerfolds Park, a beautiful and surprisingly wild pocket of land in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne, famous for its kangaroo population. The mob was enjoying some morning sunshine when this joey decided to get silly and try his hand at boxing.”

White grouse puffed up

“Snowball!” by Jacques Poulard (France). Highly Commended.
Animal: White grouse
Location of shot: Spitzberg
“A grouse is coming to me in a very cold winter , Svalbard.”

Macaque in the road with its right hand out

“Look at right Bro…” by Pratick Mondal (India). Highly Commended.
Animal: Macaque & Deer
Location of shot: Bharatpur, Rajasthan, India
“I was searching for Jackle in the jungle which was at an isolated place. I sat at a place and waited for Jackle. Then I saw a Macaque come out of the jungle and started itching its armpit keeping its' hand straight and at the same time, a deer also appeared behind the Macaque. Previsualize the image captured the moment.”

A white-winged dove appearing to fly head-on into a cholla cactus skeleton

“That wasn't here yesterday!!” by Wendy Kaveney (United States). Highly Commended.
Animal: White-winged Dove
Location of shot: Buckeye, Arizona, United States
“A white-winged dove appearing to fly head-on into a cholla cactus skeleton.”

Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.

Related Articles:

Funny Finalists of the 2023 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards

Cute Winning Photos from the 2023 Comedy Pet Photography Awards

These Early Entries From the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photo Awards Are a Hoot

Winners of the 2022 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards Show the Silly Side of Nature

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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