I recently joined a new group on Facebook. It's called 'Birds of Texas' and it has 16000+ members. I've been posting some of my better photos there for the past couple of weeks and it has been interesting seeing how many people like which ones - and trying to work out what it is that attracts people to particular ones.
The most popular pictures were ones of a Vermilion Flycatcher (798 likes) Ruby-throated Hummingbird (766 likes). It's easy to see why people like these: They are sharp close-ups of two really beautiful birds.
The next most popular shot was of a Common Pauraque (453 likes). As it isn't a particularly good photo, I can only assume that people thought the bird itself was pretty cool - which it certainly is!
373 people liked a photo of two Royal and two Sandwich Terns. I was surprised by this and I can only imagine that the main reason for this picture's popularity is the fact that there is a certain comical aspect to the photo.
Over 300 people liked each of the two shots below. American Coots are very common, rather drab birds but I managed to catch one as it dashed across the water in order to take off. The reflection adds to the photo also. The Red-tailed Hawk shot isn't very special but it is sharp and it shows the bird's magnificent plumage well.
Four pictures got 250+ likes and I think it's easy to see the different reasons why quite a few people would like each of these particular shots.
Inevitably, some other photos weren't so popular. In most cases, these were reasonably good photos but were of common subjects, such as yard birds. I was a bit surprised, though, when the photo of a Crested Caracara below netted only around 85 likes.
If you ask me, it's a much better picture than most of the ones that were much more popular: It's a pretty sharp photo of a really interesting and iconic Texas bird in flight. I guess it just goes to show that, when it comes to bird photos, it really is a matter of different strokes for different folks!