Best of 2018: Photography

Following a tradition we started in 2017 we compiled a list of our best photos from the year. It's in no particular order and our criteria for picking images was mainly subjective.

Mountain bluebird

Mountain bluebirds signify the end of winter on the prairies and their return makes people happy. It is rare to see them sitting in trees; especially posed this nicely.

Roseate spoonbill

On a trip Mexico we heard about a remote location where spoonbills sometimes hang out. When we peered through bushes and saw a lagoon covered in pink birds we were blown away.

Burrowing owl

The high point of our summer had to be spotting wild burrowing owls in Alberta. We had spent weeks scanning fields and we literally freaked out when we spotted them.

Hooded oriole

An oriole's colourful plumage make them top notch photo subjects. In Mexico we spotted a hooded oriole that had been eating flowers and was covered in pollen.

Anna's hummingbird

In Arizona we saw lots of hummingbirds showing their crazy colours. The elements came together in this photo to make it one of our favourites of 2018.

Nuthatch

Although the white-breasted nuthatch is very common in Alberta we're always happy to see them. Conditions were perfect when we bumped into a super friendly group of nuthatches in Carseland Alberta.

Aracari

Toucans are one of the most visual birds on Earth and the collared aracari takes it to the next level. They were one of our favorite birds we saw in Costa Rica where we spotted 76 new lifers.

Redstart

One of our most memorable Alberta trips was to Cold Lake. We didn't have the best conditions for photos but we did get good looks at a lot of cool warblers and songbirds.

Parakeet

Our first good sighting of a bird from the parrot family happened in Costa Rica! The orange-fronted parakeet has great markings too! We also spotted 3 other parrot species on our trip.

Yellow-headed blackbird

A lot of our best pictures of 2018 featured perched birds so we tossed in an action shot for variety. The yellow-headed blackbird is popular among birders because they're obviously awesome!

Ferruginous hawk

The ferruginous hawk is considered at-risk in Alberta and it's the largest hawk seen here. We saw one near Brooks that looked even more stoic than usual and it made our list.

Orange-breasted bunting

Our jaws hit the ground when we first spotted the insane colours of the orange-breasted bunting (which is endemic to Mexico). The contrast between the desaturated grass and the bird made this pic a favorite.

Looking back

This year was full of birding adventures close to home and far away. We visited 3 other countries and saw exotic birds in Arizona, Mexico, and Costa Rica. It's incredible to see some of the same birds in Canada and Costa Rica. It reminded us just how cool the local birds in our backyard are and we can't wait to see them in the new year.

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