A 2020 “Big Year” + 12 Bird Photos

Ever since I began birding seriously at the beginning of 2018, my wildlife photography of the same has improved in many ways too.

2020 was no exception, as I had taken further steps to produce better photographs and see more unique species.

I began “chasing” birds when they occurred in my area of Ohio, studying more birdsong and calls and perusing various field guides. Any and all resource, be it written or word-of-mouth of my fellow photographer friends was a boon to my birding success.

Another big thing I started in 2020 was keeping score with a “Year List” or participating in a “Big Year.” The goal is to simply record however many species you end up seeing in 12 months.

I kept a text file on my phones’ notes app and the information below is what I recorded as I saw or heard the species.

For anyone curious, all of these findings were in southwest Ohio and so were mainly North American avian species (perhaps with the exception of some of the more obvious invasive or non-native ones, and the East Asian-bred Mandarin Duck that was a late-year surprise near Cincinnati.)

Without further ado, here it is.. (an asterisk denotes not only a year bird but a life bird as well.)

My 2020 Year List! (About 124 species total)

January (45):
European Starling
*Hermit Thrush
Barred Owl
*Short Eared Owl
*Northern Harrier
American Robin
Northern Cardinal
Tufted Titmouse
Rock Pigeon
American Crow
Mourning Dove
Blue Jay
Belted Kingfisher
Killdeer
Bald Eagle
*Greater White Fronted Goose
Northern Flicker
Brown Headed Cowbird
Ring Billed Gull
Red Bellied Woodpecker
*Hairy Woodpecker
Pileated Woodpecker
Downy Woodpecker
Carolina Chickadee
Dark Eyed Junco
American Goldfinch
House Finch
Brown Creeper
Carolina Wren
White Breasted Nuthatch
*Ring Necked Duck
*Bufflehead
White Throated Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Coopers Hawk
Red Tailed Hawk
Red Shouldered Hawk
Eastern Bluebird
Hooded Merganser
Canada Goose
Mallard
Great Blue Heron
Black Vulture
House Sparrow

February (3):
Red Winged Blackbird
Redhead
*White Crowned Sparrow

March (4):
Turkey Vulture
*American Tree Sparrow
Mute Swan
*Northern Shoveler

April (23):
Eastern Towhee
Eastern Phoebe
Blue Winged Teal
*Wilson’s Snipe
*Pectoral Sandpiper
Yellow Rumped Warbler
Double Crested Cormorant
Ruby Crowned Kinglet
*Eastern Meadowlark
Tree Swallow
*Northern Rough Winged Swallow
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow
*Brown Thrasher
*Wild Turkey
*Rusty Blackbird
Blue Grey Gnatcatcher
Gray Catbird
Yellow Throated Warbler
*Louisiana Waterthrush
*Northern Parula
Scarlet Tanager
*Black Throated Green Warbler

May (33):
*Philadelphia Vireo
Baltimore Oriole
Palm Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
*Orchard Oriole
Rose Breasted Grosbeak
Indigo Bunting
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
Summer Tanager
Red Headed Woodpecker
Yellow Warbler
Eastern Wood Pewee
*Sora
Great Egret
*American White Pelican
Prothonotary Warbler
Eastern Kingbird
Spotted Sandpiper
Cliff Swallow
Common Nighthawk
American Redstart
Blue Winged Warbler
*Magnolia Warbler
Yellow Throated Warbler
Green Heron
Great Crested Flycatcher
*Yellow Throated Vireo
*Henslow’s Sparrow
*Warbling Vireo
Willow Flycatcher
*Bobolink
Barn Swallow
Purple Martin

June (9):
*Northern Bobwhite
*Prairie Warbler
*Lark Sparrow
*Willow Flycatcher
*Bell’s Vireo
*Blue Grosbeak
*Dickcissel
Yellow Billed Cuckoo
*Yellow Breasted Chat

July (3):
*Hooded Warbler
*Sedge Wren
Solitary Sandpiper

August (0):

September (2):

*Greater Yellowlegs
Chimney Swift

October (0):

November (0):

December (2):

*Snow Goose
*Mandarin Duck

As you can see, a couple months were dulled a bit in terms on new bird activity, whether it was a lack of migratory patterns or even personal life getting in the way.

Regardless, A number of life birds were very cooperative in front of the camera, and so in no particular order, here is twelve photos taken from this year. Some of more common year-round residents as well as birds I was seeing for the very first time.

Some of the photos are my favorite 2020 bird shots taken and fortunately the majority of them are lifers as well!

The species as they appear in the slideshow: (an asterisk denotes it being both a year bird and life bird.)

Brown headed cowbird, White throated sparrow, *American tree sparrow, *Sedge Wren, *Henslow’s sparrow, *Sora, Canada geese, *Northern bobwhite, Barn swallow, House finch, Tufted titmouse, *Mandarin duck

To all birders and bird photographers, did you have a productive and exciting 2020? Tell me how your outdoor adventures went in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Purchase my 2021 Calendar

The ‘All Outdoors Photography Podcast” is a show where we discuss stories from out in the field, techniques and gear with two outdoor photographers and various guests.

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Autumn & Fall Photography All Outdoors Photography Podcast

In today’s episode, Henry and Ryan talk about one of the most photogenic seasons there is for outdoor photography; Autumn! Patreon Link https://www.patreon.com/alloutdoorsphotographypodcast?fan_landing=true About the Show: Welcome to the All-Outdoors Photography Podcast! This podcast is about all things nature photography, including landscapes, wildlife, macro, and more. The show features two talented photographers Henry Doyle and Ryan Taylor who both bring their different and unique photography experiences to the podcast. Episodes are released weekly every Tuesday at 1pm EST. Follow the Show: Email Us: alloutdoorsphotographypodcast@gmail.com Linktree (Links to all Podcast Platforms) – http://www.linktr.ee/AllOutdoorsPodcast Instagram- https://bit.ly/3jKBTmU YouTube- https://bit.ly/32WB5FJ Follow the Hosts: Henry Doyle Instagram- https://bit.ly/3jHhIX0 YouTube- https://bit.ly/2X0XldT Ryan Taylor Website- http://www.ryanltaylor.com Blog- https://bit.ly/2Nd3r8L Instagram- https://bit.ly/32VgPUP YouTube- https://bit.ly/3meslRj #AOPP #AllOutdoors #PhotographyPodcast
  1. Autumn & Fall Photography
  2. Shining Light in the Woodland with Korey Hart
  3. Recent Photography & Nature News
  4. Natural Ohio & Henry’s Webinar
  5. Mental Health, The Outdoors and You

Published by Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a 25 year old photographer located in Beavercreek Ohio, United States. Specializing in wildlife and landscapes both big and small, Ryan has sought to capture many different natural locations throughout the Buckeye State and beyond.

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