Jan 12, 2022

The Year in Review

The spectacular color and form of a banking Roseate Spoonbill as it returns to the nesting rookery at Smith Oaks last spring on the edge of High Island, Texas.

It’s an excellent time of year to review the photos you’ve taken during 2021, to organize your photo files, and take a little extra time to pick out your favorite photos of the year. I’d even suggest creating a new file of copies of the best photos you have taken during the past year. That’s a fun and easy project if you have kept up with editing your photos periodically; after each birding session, or every week or so. If that’s the case, you have already gone through all your photos, edited all the best images, named and dated them.

All things photographic work best if you have a process, which you can always improve upon, and now’s a good time to review your process and consider any changes that will help you become more organized and make referring to specific photos easier. Developing and using a photo filing system is important, and I shared an example of how to begin in an article published in The Birding Wire in the January 27, 2021 issue, which is available in the Archives link at the top and bottom of every issue.

An animated Red-headed Woodpecker displayed by bowing and calling as Paul took a series of his best photos of this iconic eastern woodpecker just 4 miles south of his home.
After flying across an open water area, a colorful Purple Gallinule reaches a perch on the shoreline in a lagoon bordering High Island, Texas.

As you review your photos and pick out all your favorites, your best, your most memorable images, you will surely be reminded about the broad range of photos you took last year through the changing seasons. Last week I took the time to review my photo files, which were pretty-well organized and edited up to New Year’s Eve. It was fun, rewarding, and thrilling in many ways. Really, it can turn out to be among the most enjoyable activities of the new year for you, and when I do this task I always want to share some of he photos with you and everyone I know.

Recently photographed on November 30th, a trusting young Snowy Owl provided a memorable photo session, probably not long after it left Arctic Canada.

In fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do here, although limited by space in this article, I pared down my “Favorites of 2021” to a precious few. Even so, I have shared many of the best photos I took last year in articles in The Birding Wire, and you may even recognize a couple of the images I selected to showcase here.

Overall, our photos reflect our great interest in birds, and the images are a testament to the beauty and actions of the individual birds we encounter as they represent their species as part of our wild and natural world. Cherish all the good bird photos you take and the time and processes that permitted you to take each photo.

It is with great humility and honor that I can share my favorite photos with you. Don’t hesitate to share your favorites with me the staff at The Birding Wire too. Good Luck as you continue enjoy bird photography as an especially rewarding part of your birding activities.

Article and photographs by Paul Konrad

Share your bird photos and birding experiences at editorstbw2@gmail.com

A rare nesting species in the area, an adult Red-necked Grebe with 1 of its 3 fledglings provided a peaceful image south of Paul’s office in southeast North Dakota.


An egret or heron of unknown hybrid lineage provided a rare opportunity to photograph a unique bird near Florida’s Atlantic Coast. Some people suggest this bird is a Snowy Egret x Tricolored Heron hybrid.


Closer to home, half of a downy brood of Blue-winged Teal was photographed during a late afternoon nap.


A female Orchard Oriole provided a memorable series of photos during its migration stopover at nearby Melody’s Grove in late May.


Back to a dramatic pink bookend to this Top 10 collection of photos taken during 2021.