Best Birds of 2020

Boat-tailed Grackle

How can there be a best of anything in 2020, you say. To quote my young friend, “The only thing that’s open is nothing!” Isn’t this another year that will live in infamy, similar to Queen Elizabeth’s recent personal annus horribilis. It’s true that I couldn’t take any foreign birding trips and had to stick to the local patches, but even those gave up some decent shots.

Little Blue Heron
White-eyed Vireo

It seems I have quite a number of shots of passerines, peaking out among the leaves and only partially visible. But isn’t this just the way of our birding lives; fleeting glances of beauty, here for a second and then gone forever. Sounds like there’s a sermon in there, waiting to be preached.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Blue-winged Teal

I’ve chosen the inevitable “F” shots, feeding, flocking, and flying. Birds just being birds while we voyeurs, aka birders, watch and shoot.

Red-bellied Woodpecker
Sandhill Crane

I know it’s just a Mallard, but if you put the accent on the second syllable and look very closely you’ll see some real beauty in that common puddle duck.

Mallard

I try to avoid the classic poses or portrait views, however some sneak anyway by virtue of color, background, or other photographic features. I don’t usually get a clear shot of the Painted Bunting in the “wild” away from the Corkscrew Swamp bird feeder, so I’ve included that lucky view and marvel again at this spectacular bird.

Painted Bunting
Anhinga
Short-tailed Hawk

The Short-tailed Hawk shot is not technically anything special, but reminds me of my first sighting of this nemesis bird. Everyone was reporting this bird in Florida, except me. Finally I learned to look up, way up and found him circling in a kettle of vultures. Looking up; you’d think that would come naturally to a true birder. Sounds like the makings of another sermon.

Eastern Bluebird
Tricolor Heron
Loggerhead Shrike

Lastly, there are shots that just strike my fancy because of color, texture, background, or lighting. In particular I like that dark Grackle posed on nature’s blues and greens, and that Bluebird in a similar setting.

White-eyed Vireo
Red-shouldered Hawks

There’s only six shopping days left before Christmas and perhaps a last chance for a few more lucky shots. Until next year, hope your Christmas and New Year’s holidays are joyful and safe, and thank you again for your interest and comments over this last annus horribilis.

13 thoughts on “Best Birds of 2020

  1. Dear Steve,
    Thank you very much for another year of excellent (feels like you’re there) photos.
    Thank you, too, for the Best Birds of 2020. I’m glad you did not include a photo of the bird brain of the year. There’ll be lots of those coming!
    Have a good Naples Christmas.
    Martha Menees

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Merry Christmas Martha. So good to hear from you and glad you’ve enjoyed the photos. Next time you’re in our neck of the woods I’ll take you birding to see these creatures in real time, including some bird brains, I’m sure.

      Like

  2. Sometimes we overlook the local / the common / the ‘what we see every day’ in favour of the exotic. One thing this pandemic has done is force us all to take better note of what is in our environment – which, after all, is exotic to someone else! Your photographs are a joy to see – every one of them!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You are very good at both!! By the way, I see that I am following you, but somehow I have not been paying enough close attention to my WP Reader , and missed many of your posts over many months, much to my dismay!

        Liked by 1 person

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