Since shorebirds are my favorite subject, it seems appropriate to use them for the inaugural image. Here's a pair of semipalmated plovers along Limantour Beach in Point Reyes National Seashore. What I love most about this image is the expression of the bird in the background. From this trip, I came back with a variety of plover portraits, but the images that stood out the most for me had something cute or different in the background. I suppose some could consider it distracting, but for me, it shows the expression of the birds and gives it a bit more life. While this pose was just the finish of a stretch during some preening, I see a look of pure glee -- sort of fitting for these cute little birds.
Here's the more "normal" version of this image. I like this one too, but it doesn't pull me in quite the same way.