2019 Recap and Highlights

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Well, it’s 2020. That means we get to look back at all the incredible wildlife we saw and heard in 2019!

It’s always fun to revisit some highlights from the year, and to make a list of the “top birds” (read: most exciting for any reason). A fun way to do this that a good friend of mine uses involves listing the top 3 birds from each country you visited during the year, and listing your top 5 birds and top 5 mammals overall.

I really like the added mammal element. And with my increasing interest in butterflies, dragonflies, plants, etc., I’ll probably add other categories in future years.

Canada
1. Purple Sandpiper — Presqu’ile Provincial Park, ON
2. Yellow-breasted Chat — Grant Narrows, BC
3. Black-chinned Hummingbird — Richmond Nature Park, BC

Purple Sandpiper at Presqu'ile Provincial Park, ON in December
Purple Sandpiper at Presqu’ile Provincial Park, ON in December
Yellow-breasted Chat at Grant Narrows, BC in June
Yellow-breasted Chat at Grant Narrows, BC in June
Black-chinned Hummingbird at Richmond Nature Park, BC in July
Black-chinned Hummingbird at Richmond Nature Park, BC in July

United States
1. Greater Prairie-Chicken — Rothsay, MN
2. Roseate Spoonbill — Grand Isle, LA
3. Hooded Oriole — Los Angeles, CA

Greater Prairie-Chicken in Rothsay, MN in May
Greater Prairie-Chicken in Rothsay, MN in May
Roseate Spoonbill in Golden Meadow, LA in March
Roseate Spoonbill in Golden Meadow, LA in March
Hooded Oriole at Griffith Park Bird Sanctuary in Los Angeles, CA in June
Hooded Oriole at Griffith Park Bird Sanctuary in Los Angeles, CA in June

Top 5 Birds Overall
1. Greater Prairie-Chicken — Rothsay, MN
2. Roseate Spoonbill — Golden Meadow, LA
3. Purple Sandpiper — Presqu’ile Provincial Park, ON
4. Tricolored Heron — Grand Isle, LA
5. Piping Plover — Elmer’s Island, LA
(This was much easier than most years since I only visited two countries.)

Tricolored Heron at Grand Isle, LA in March
Piping Plover at Grand Isle, LA in March
Piping Plover at Grand Isle, LA in March

Top 5 Mammals Overall
1. Orca — Vancouver–Victoria Ferry, BC
2. North American Porcupine — Sax-Zim Bog, MN (and highway 401 outside Kingston, ON)
3. Humpback Whale — from Iona Island in Richmond, BC
4. Northern Short-tailed Shrew — Ottawa, ON
5. Harbour Porpoise — from Iona Island in Richmond, BC

An Orca in Howe Sound
An Orca in Howe Sound
Digiscoped North American Porcupine in Sax-Zim Bog, MN
Digiscoped North American Porcupine in Sax-Zim Bog, MN
The small dorsal fin and arced back of a Humpback Whale
The small dorsal fin and arced back of a Humpback Whale in front of Bowen Island
Lunch time!


Please add your highlights in the comments below!

If they come from exotic and far away places, great! If they come from your backyard feeder, just as good! And feel free to add other categories if you’re interested in other aspects of our amazing world.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Wonderful summary and photos! Thank you!

    1. Thanks, Jay!

  2. My top mammal was a shrew in Ottawa that was injured. Not a glamorous animal, but one I’d never seen before!

    My top bird was hearing a pygmy-owl just outside of Bellingham WA!

    I’m not quite organized enough to do top 3 or 5 lists yet, but maybe I’ll keep better track for 2020. 🙂

    1. Very cool! I’ve only seen a handful of small rodents. A lot of them are nocturnal and I guess I don’t have the patience…
      I love the Northern Pygmy-Owl tooting! =D
      Great highlights!

  3. What a great post that’s cool I found two on you right list the black chinned at the richmond nature park and the yellow breasted chat at grant narrows. The black chinned was a real surprise ! Thanks for recapping your great year and birds so well !

    1. You sure did! I don’t know what I’d (we’d) do without you! =)

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