Tough choices…

Last year, I posted a look back at some of the best photos of 2013, and thought I might try that again this year. I managed to pare down the initial 63 selected photos of just the MN and CA backyard birds to the top 10 by making some tough choices.  Reasons for their selection are listed below the photo, but I would be interested to know if blog readers agree.  Which one of these is your favorite?

juvenile barn swallow

A juvenile Barn Swallow waiting patiently to be fed.  This one projects a lot of personality.

black-crowned night heron

A Black-crowned Night Heron fishing on Lake Temescal in California.  I picked this one for the nice reflection of the heron in the water below.

canada geese flying

Canada Geese on the move on the Mississippi River in the spring.  Action shots are more interesting to me.

cedar waxwing on hollyhock

Cedar Waxwings are such handsome birds, with their yellow and red accented feathers and black mask. I liked the composition of this photo, even if we can’t see the bird’s handsome facial markings.

cowbird chick begging

A cowbird chick begging for food from its foster parent, the much smaller Chipping Sparrow. This photo “begs” to be captioned. I’ll leave it to readers to make suggestions.

mallards at sunset

Three (Mallard) guys communing with nature at sunset. I picked this one for the color, and the symmetry of the three ducks. This was taken literally 100 yards from my back door.

rose-breasted grosbeak

Rose-breasted Grosbeaks don’t usually pose so nicely for me. I like the just opened leaves surrounding him, as he cocks his head to inspect the bird feeder below him.

mourning dove billing

There was some foreplay going on between these two Mourning Doves. I guess you could call this “billing”, and they may have been cooing as well.

chestnut sided warbler

Of course I had to include warblers in my top 10 selection, and what better than the stand-out Chestnut-sided Warbler.

yellow warbler

Couldn’t bring myself to throw the Yellow Warbler out of the top 10 either. I like the way the bright yellow pops out of the darker background.

white pelican

White Pelicans flying over the Mississippi — such photogenic and graceful flyers. Another action shot to finish off the top 10.

Oops, I just recounted, and there are 11 birds here. I can’t decide which one to reject, so I’ll leave it up to my readers.

30 thoughts on “Tough choices…

    • Oh, and there were so many warblers to choose from this year, but the other photos all had some little detracting branch or weren’t quite as bright as these two. Thanks for voting Judy.

    • Looking at those pelicans reminds me of what a glorious day that was, with a concentration of birds overhead and on the ground. It was a rare photogra-ganza, to coin a weird word.

  1. I never understood what “billing” had to do with cooing. Thank you for that shot! My favorite is the barn swallow, but they were all dandy and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

    • Thanks, Pam. I think the billing is just what you see here, and the cooing is their vocalization while billing. But whether that has anything to do with other species — probably not. Yeah, it’s easy to fall for the babies!

  2. I like them all. However, if forced to choose… The young Barn Swallow is so expressive and the composition on the Chestnut-sided Warbler is spectacular. I know how difficult it is to get those warblers to sit still! And that shot of the Cowbird is just priceless.

  3. It is difficult to select without further dividing them into different categories but I would have to go for the Mourning Doves as I like the idea that it is showing behaviour as well as appearance and intimacy with the birds. It looks as if they are simulating feeding a young bird? Great photograph. Amelia

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