As difficult as 2020 has been for millions of people, birdwatching has been a welcome distraction, and for many, a new passion to help us through dark days. Bird photography is arguably more important now, to show the world the amazing diversity and beauty of birds, and we at BirdWatching are blessed to be able to showcase incredible images every day on our social media pages, including our Instagram page. We found these photos in our Reader Galleries — a group of six galleries with more than 20,000 photos posted by birders.
Below are our 20 most popular photos of the day from 2020 — those that garnered more likes than any others — along with their original captions from Instagram. The list begins with our most-liked image, a Gila Woodpecker peeking out of its cactus nest, and continues down the list. Enjoy!
Gila Woodpecker by Pamela Parker
Posted December 11
After excavating a hole in a cactus, Gila Woodpeckers have to wait several months before using it to let the inner pulp dry. Pamela Parker spotted this one at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch in Gilbert, Arizona. Original gallery image
Pyrrhuloxia by Gary Hamilton
Posted October 11
Gary Hamilton added this photo of a Pyrrhuloxia to our galleries about seven years ago. He spotted it in Texas. Original gallery image
Northern Cardinal by Gabriel Diaconu
Posted December 25
BirdWatching wishes you and yours a very merry Christmas! Northern Cardinal photo by Gabriel Diaconu. Original gallery image
Great Horned Owl by John Williams
Posted November 14
John Williams shared this portrait of a Great Horned Owl to our galleries five years ago. He spotted it at Harriman Lake in Jefferson County, Colorado. Original gallery image
Short-eared Owl by Greg Gard
Posted October 18
We shared this amazing image in celebration of October’s Global Bird Weekend. Greg Gard photographed this Short-eared Owl in flight in Orange County, New York, about three years ago. Original gallery image
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