I seem to have more than my share of Bah Humbug genes, so December is not one of my favorite months. Really, all this dark and cold? Bah. Humbug.
But I am rather fond of making lists, and the end of the year gives me a reason to look back and start tallying a few things.
For instance, here are my favorite birds from 2013. I have many lovely photos of birds standing around and posing quite cooperatively. My favorites, though, are the ones where the birds are interacting in some way with other birds, showing their personalities.
I loved these eagle siblings who were squabbling over a spot at the top of a tree:
The winner sat there for a few minutes, seeming to wonder about what was so great about this spot, and then flew away.
An osprey was working on his fish when a magpie dropped in to see if he could have a piece. The photograph of the staredown is not the best, but I like the moment:
In the category of “awwww, so sweet” I choose this Great Horned Owl and chick:
The mom in this Eastern Kingbird family was a bit more hassled; I was so pleased to catch this moment that any mother can relate to!
Cedar Waxwings are charming with their little Lone Ranger masks, but when two of them decided to give me the once over, their personalities really showed.
And a young raven with its parent seemed to be the epitome of joy:
“Courting” birds have provided interesting photographs as well: it’s hard not to wonder what the female swallow is thinking about in this situation:
My very favorites are the Sandhill Cranes. I adore their silly combination of clumsiness and grace as they spill air from their wings to come in for a landing:
or their rattling calls to each other as they return after feeding in the stubble fields all day. They are just so darned expressive.
But the photo that feels the most “Sandhill-cranelike” to me is the next one. It’s also one of my favorite photographs from this past year: beautiful, graceful, cranes flying into the sunset at the end of a gorgeous fall day.