My Backyard Birds: The Best Of 2021

My Favorite Backyard Bird Photos From 2021

This was the year when I decided to make some things in my backyard that would help with my photography.

21. We start the countdown off with a little cheating. I actually made this photo in my front yard. Controversy off the bat I know. Why would I do this? I liked this pose though, and it makes all of the stares from my neighbors as I sit in the driveway on a folding chair worth it.

20. This Tennessee Warbler gave me a nice look while visiting my house on its way down south this past fall. It is always nice to have some new birds visit the backyard. Now that the yard has very little color it would be nice to see a few more colorful birds show up.

19. As I post this I realize that if it were any other bird it would be much higher up on the list. It is the most common bird in my backyard though so it ends up here. I have so many house sparrows that I couldn’t count them if I tried. This one found a nice perch up on my tree as the leaves were turning. It is a bit of color that would be welcomed on a day like today.

18. I did not have much time with the hummingbirds this year. This little guy came late, and only stayed for a couple of weeks. It was fun making hummingbird photos again though. They are one of my favorite birds. I need to figure out a way to get one to stay the summer again.

17. This year we had three mourning doves that hung out for most of the summer. Two of them actually mated quite often within view of our back door. Here one of them gives me a sheepish look after one of those sessions.

16. The blue jays have always been a bird that I have wanted to make close photos of. Well it turns out they really like peanuts, and they will come close to you to grab one. I have photos of them without the peanut in their mouth, but I thought that this one looked so happy with this peanut that it had to be the photo that I posted.

15. In the winter the tufted titmouse is a bird that becomes much easier to photograph as well. They will come a little closer for food not caring as much about me. Here one stops and poses for a second before grabbing some food from the feeder.

14. I really wish that I had cleaned up that background before this red-bellied woodpecker showed up. Just imagine this pose without that distracting background. It was still a cool moment in some great light.

13. The white breasted nuthatch might just be the most photographed bird in my backyard. It has the great pose that always looks good. Here I had some fun with framing to come up with something a little different.

12. I am pretty sure that this was the first and so far only time that I have ever seen an ovenbird in my backyard. I saw it down on the ground, and then it flew up into the tree for a second. I made this photo as a way to document this rare occurrence. I am glad that it stopped by, and it is always welcome back.

11. The first of a couple of cardinal headshots that will appear on this countdown. Sometimes the perch is not too exciting so I like to give a little more head room to the photo. Here that worked out quite nicely for a photo that I really liked.

10. The catbirds show up for the summer and hang out in the trees on the side of our house. They love it when these little berries ripen late in the year. Here one grabs a quick bite before going back into the pine tree.

9. A Carolina wren family spent the summer in the backyard. Here one of the young ones poses for me. The feathers here are great, and really made this a photo that I really like.

8. For some reason I almost always want to convert starling photos to black and white. Here I thought that it worked for an interesting photo. The perch is almost menacing here. It was just a photo that screamed to be in black and white.

7. After grabbing a quick drink at my feeder this hummingbird just moved to the top of the feeder and hung out. It cleaned its beak not caring that I was just a few feet away. I love how fearless these birds can be sometimes.

6. The white breasted nuthatch hanging out in the snow. I love the way that falling snow looks through a 600mm lens. Here the snow and the pose worked out for a photo that I really liked.

5. This is not the best red breasted nuthatch photo in the world, but man did I work to get it. These birds are not often around here so when they are I always want to make photos of them. This guy would not pose in a good spot for me. I spent weeks waiting for it to even be in a good spot on the tree. Here things worked out for an okay photo of it. Hopefully we see them again soon so I can improve on this photo.

4. Here is another photo of the Tennessee warblers that came through the backyard in the fall. This one was very cooperative and even allowed me to watch it for a while until it came into a position that I could photograph it. When it came to an unobstructed area it even gave me a nice pose. I love it when things work out for the best.

3. The golden crowned-kinglet made an appearance in the backyard for a couple of days. I made some photos that were good enough to just show that I saw the bird, and then it came closer and gave me a photo that I really liked of it. When new birds show up it is always nice to make a good photo of it. It is even better when it is a good photo.

2. One of the baby Carolina wrens spent some time calling for a parent here. They have an unmistakeable call that lets me know that they are in the backyard. Here I was able to grab my camera and make some photos. I am very invested if next summer I will have more of these wrens hanging around or if the babies will find their own place to hang out.

  1. This is number one just because I like the pose and the background. This year the cardinals really become tolerant of me. Usually in the winter they are more concerned with my sunflower seeds than me. In the summer they are usually much more shy. This year they didn’t care about the guy in a chair as much as they used to.


One last photo before I go. When you have some plants in the backyard for the birds it also brings in other wildlife. Here a rabbit responds to seeing me making photos without a shirt on. I hope that I didn’t scar this little guy too bad. I will have to learn that no matter what the bird is that I need to have a shirt on when I make photos from now on. Sorry little guy.

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