National Geographic has announced the winners of its “Pictures of the Year” photo contest — and one really takes the cake.
Karthik Subramaniam was named the grand prize winner for his photo titled “Dance of the Eagles,” which shows a trio of bald eagles battling for a spot on a branch in Alaska’s Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve, according to a press release from the outlet.
The photo was selected from nearly 5,000 entries across four different categories: Nature, People, Places and Animals.
Subramaniam, who is also a software engineer, said the image was captured as the eagles battled over what he believes is one of the birds’ “favorite spots to hang out.”
The photo will be featured in an upcoming magazine issue.
RELATED: ‘Rare’ Footage of Titanic Shipwreck Released for First Time: See into Chief Officer’s Cabin and More
Nine other photographers received honorable mentions for their photographs, which were taken all over the world — including a second photo that features an eagle, which was taken by Eric Esterle.
The image shows a nomadic Kazakh eagle hunter and his dog preparing for a hunt in the grasslands of Mongolia, which has been a tradition in the region for 3,000 years, according to the outlet.
Another honorable mention went to wildlife biologist Bruce Taubert for his photograph of a rare screech owl grabbing a nonnative Mediterranean gecko in Arizona.
Taubert captured the image while researching the eating habits of desert owls “using an infrared trip beam that triggers a high-speed flash,” according to National Geographic.
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Rhez Solano captured a different kind of bird: King penguins.
In the image, the birds are seen clustered together in the image taken on a beach along Gold Harbour on South Georgia Island, which sits near Antarctica in the southern Atlantic Ocean.
RELATED: Viral TikTok Shows Waves Crashing Against Ship Windows in ‘Treacherous’ Voyage through Drake Passage to Antarctica
Several nature and landscape photos from the United States and beyond received honorable mentions, as well.
Photojournalist Tayfun Coskun captured an aerial shot of the salt marsh ponds at Alviso Marina County Park in San Jose, Calif., while Tihomir Trichkov shot an incredible image of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Parkway under a blanket of fog.
Tihomir was returning home following an October airport run when he spotted the breathtaking landscape and stopped to take a picture.
RELATED: Scientists Shed New Light on Massive ‘Space Hurricanes’ That Form Above North Pole — See the Photos!
“I was staring at a whispering mystery, creating impressionism with a camera,” Trichkov said in a statement. “It had rained the day before; there was a ton of moisture in the air. I named it ‘Legends of the Fog’ as I hear whispers when I stare at it.”
W. Kent Williamson grabbed his notable photo by Tipsoo Lake in Mount Rainier National Park in Washington around just after 3:30 a.m. one summer morning.
The photographer said he saw the headlights of climbers approaching the mountain’s 14,411-foot peak before snapping the shot, per Nat Geo.
“The night sky was unusually clear, and the Milky Way could be seen just above the mountain,” Williamson said.
W. Kent Williamson
Outside of the U.S., photographers like honoree Riten Dharia snapped images of some of the world’s most stunning views.
Dharia submitted a photograph of an active Fagradalsfjall volcano in Iceland, which erupted in May 2021. The volcano, located in the Reykjanes Peninsula, had not erupted in over 6,000 years at the time.
RELATED: See Dramatic Footage of Mauna Loa Volcano Erupting on Hawaii’s Big Island
In Peru, honoree An Li photographed a hillside at the Salt Mines of Maras, where 4,500 salt wells are etched into the hillside.
RELATED: See Photos of the Sturgeon Supermoon from Around the World
And in Austria, Alex Berger captured an intriguing photo of a gold-leafed tree surrounded by a forest of pines.
Berger was on a road trip through the Austrian Alps when he saw the fascinating sight, having followed a one-lane road that snaked through the mountains.
The photographer said the image has “a fantasy-ish inspired dimension” to it, adding that it gave him “goosebumps.”