The Wildlife Photographer of the Year for 2011 was Stefano Unterthiner. On Lake Kussharo in Hokkaido Island in Japan, these whooper swans (1) have gathered to take advantage of ice-free water, kept that way by local hot springs.
Stefano Unterthiner is a wildlife and conservation photographer. He began serious photography at the age of 17, went on to study zoology and, in the fall of 2000, obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. After completing his studies, Unterthiner returned to Italy and began his career as a zoologist. He still lives in Italy, working as a full time photographer.
For more about Stefano, visit his blog: http://www.stefanounterthiner.com/about-us