Most Beautiful Birds Meme

Posted May 1st, 2006 at 11:18 pm in Birding

I’ve been tagged. Nuthatch over at Bootstrap Analysis, has tagged me with the most beautiful birds meme.

Rules: Post a list of the 10 birds you consider most beautiful on your blog; you may limit the list to the ABA area (continental United States and Canada) or use a geographic area of your choice. Mark birds you have seen with an asterisk. Tag 3 bloggers to keep it going

So, although there are a lot of great birds in the ABA area, I’ll broaden my horizons to Latin America — Mexico and south. And because everybody likes to know what I’m talking about, I’ll link to pictures. Also, because I’ve got enough to pick from, I’ll choose only birds I’ve seen.

  1. Ocellated Antbird* (of course)
  2. Resplendent Quetzal*
  3. Andean Cock-of-the-rock* (yes, the picture’s safe for work)
  4. Powerful Woodpecker*
  5. Black-and-white Owl*
  6. Booted Racquet-tail*
  7. Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan*
  8. Long-tailed Silky-Flycatcher*
  9. Flame-faced Tanager*
  10. Violet Sabrewing* (and check out this enormous picture someone forgot to resize – warning 2.7 MB).

In her post, Nuthatch mentions that the most beautiful world bird she hasn’t seen is Wallcreeper. I find this greatly amusing, as this bird is the source of recent friendly arguments with my wife. You see, I don’t really want to go to Europe. It’s not that I hate the place. There are far worse, like Hell (some of you may know it as Houston, TX). It’s just that as a biologist and birder, every other continent appeals to me more. It’s kind of like if I ran out of places to go, Europe might stir my interest. So in this heated discussion with my wife, I informed her (obnoxiously, sarcasticly, and untruthfully) that the only reason to visit Europe was to look for Wallcreeper, and that if we went, we could do nothing else until we found it. So Nuthatch, though you didn’t realize it, thanks for the laughs.

As for me, the bird I’d like to see most is the Kakapo, the 8 pound, flightless, nocturnal parrot is at the top of my list of world birds I want to see the most. The birds of paradise come in a close second. Wilson’s Bird of Paradise and Blue Bird of Paradise would be just fine with me. (Yes, birders can never just pick one bird).

Now to tag three other people… Perhaps Bill Thompson of Bill of the Birds would like to play. Amy Hooper of WildBird on the Fly is one of the nicer people you’ll ever meet, even if I’ve only met her a couple of times doing the festival in south Texas. And GrrrlScientist over at Living the Scientific Life seems to love these kinds of things. Remember, if the response from other blogs averages greater than 1, it’s an epidemic.

13 Responses to “Most Beautiful Birds Meme”

  1. Kakapo is right up there on my want-to-see list, too.

    Believe it or not, my husband and I have argued over Wallcreepers as well. He works for a European company, and on a business trip was going to do a little birding on the side — to go for a Wallcreeper that was wintering on the walls of the Neuschwanstein castle in Germany. I told him he did not dare see a Wallcreeper before I did! The editor of Birder’s World notes in my comments that there’ll be an article on Wallcreepers in the August issue.

    BTW, I felt much the same as you regarding Europe as a birding destination, but having visited, they do have great garden birds, and I really enjoyed it. But Latin America will always have my heart.

  2. Top ten most beautiful North American birds I’ve seen:

    1. Painted bunting (thanks, Jay)
    2. Red-faced warbler
    3. Blue-throated hummingbird
    4. Violet-crowned humminbird
    5. Magnificent hummingbird
    6. Painted redstart
    7. Western tanager
    8.Green Jay
    9. Scarlet tanager
    10. Rose-breasted grosbeak

  3. Joe St declares:

    Sorry for posting twice in a row, but I want to weigh in on Birds of Europe.

    Having lived in Europe for four years, and spent lots of vacations there, the birds of Europe are interesting in their own way. As Nuthatch says, the typical garden birds that have adapted to centuries of living among humans are rather nice. For example:

    1. White wagtail
    2. Chaffinch
    3. European goldfinch
    4. Nightingale (stuff of legends)
    5. Robin redbreast (so friendly and cute)
    6. Bullfinch
    7. Hoopoe (very cool bird)
    8. Jay (no, not the blogger)
    9. Great tit (picture would be safe for work if I had one)
    10. Blue tit

  4. Sheesh… it’s a small world!

    I only found your blog the other day, and sent you and email to say hi. Then you sent me a nice reply back, thanks!

    Then you say the bird at the top of your world list is the Kakapo. It was certainly was my top too, until 2002 when I spent two weeks monitoring the movement of all the birds and their brand new chicks. 22hrs a day, 7 days a week for two weeks I was hanging out with them. Fantastic. Haven’t written about it yet on my blog but will stick up a photo or two tonight for you all.

    So then I went to look at your piece on the Kakapo, which was very well written! It is unusual to see something so accurate written about NZ species from outside NZ. Their is a neat little twist to the 2002 breeding season story which I will summarize on my blog sometime.

    So then I followed Jay’s comment back to his website, only to find that he had linked to the press release on Fairy Tern that I wrote on Friday! We got could coverage on it here, and ENS picked up the story too.

    So… it’s a small world.

    My top ten birds I’ll take you to see if you come to NZ, all of which are beautiful:
    1. Little Spotted Kiwi
    2. Fairy Tern
    3. Takahe
    4. Kaka
    5. Kokako
    6. Kereru
    7. Fantail
    8. NZ Robin
    9. Red-crowned Kakariki
    10. NZ Dotterel

    That list is in no particular order, some rare and some common and there’s more than ten that I would stick on that list.

  5. *slightly embarrassed cough*

    It pays to check before submitting…

    For “Their” read “There” in para 4
    For “could” read “good” in para 5

  6. Okay, Okay! I wasn’t trying to slight Europe. I was just saying that (always) given limited time and limited funds, there’s a whole lot of birding I want to do before I’m gone, and none of those places are in Europe. I know that I would completely enjoy it if I went. Especially if Wallcreeper was on the agenda.


    I never knew you had birded so much and always thought your interest was a little more casual. Chalk it up to my density.


    I am incapable of spelling the word lose correctly, as I always spell it loose. This can be very embarassing when you mean to say someone’s losing their wife but the message gets interpreted as meaning a women with loose morals.

  7. Hmm…I like the list; especially the giant picture of the COTR.

    Here’s my list of birds I like in no particular order:

    1) Hyacinth Macaw
    2) Green Jay
    3) Blue Bird of Paradise
    4) Great Grey Owl (So magestic; so powerful looking)
    5) Golden Eagle (Talk about large)
    6) Golden-Collared Macaw
    7) Roller
    8) Common Raven
    9) Blue Jay
    10) Red-Shouldered Hawk (I was living in North Carolina for one year 2 years ago, and there was a family of Red-Shouldered Hawks roosting on the swingset outdors. Turns out they have been there for 11 years!)

    On a side note, this “bird” is quite beautiful. I say “bird” because Boeing 747s aren’t birds, but this thing is spectacular!

  8. Female Red-winged Blackbird (This has really been the only bird that made me say it was beautiful, a specific lady though, in my local park, it must have been the light, the weather, the something! but if I were another bird, I would have asked it to marry me)
    Sulids (Northern Gannet) (A great sleek package)
    Blackburnian Warbler (Pretty face)
    Yellow-Billed Cuckoo (Love that tail)
    Harlequin Duck
    Marbled Godwit
    Azure Kingfisher
    Gang-Gang Cockatoo
    Great Egret (Breeding plumage of course, on a slighty windy day)

  9. thank you for all these pictures. they are a cute animal picture.

    Morgan (7 y.o.)

  10. Isidro interjects:

    My top then most beautiful birds that I’v e seen (free, clear) are the nexst:

    -Black-eared Wheatear (Oenanthe hispanica)
    -Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea)
    -Blue Tit (Parus caeruleus)
    -Ringneck Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
    -Eurasian Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)
    -Great Bustard (Otis tarda)
    -Pin-tailed Sangrouse (Pterocles alchata)
    -Eurasian Kingfisher (Alcedo atthis)
    -Eurasian Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
    -Hoopoe (Upupa epops)

    The top ten birds that I mot likely to see, in Spain, are:

    -Wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria)
    -Eurasian Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)
    -Eurasian Roller (Coracias garrulus)
    -Osprey (Pandion haliaetus)
    -Bluethroat (Luscinia svecica)
    -Spanish Imperial Eagle (Aquila adalberti)
    -Buttonquail (Turnix sylvatica)
    -Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio)
    -Waldrapp Ibis (Geronticus eremita)
    -Spanish Blue-winged Magpie (Cyanopica cooki)

    And my favourite birds of all over the world (very difficult to choose):

    -Kakapo (Strigops habroptilus)
    -Kagu (Rhynochetos jubatus)
    -Prince Albert Bird of Paradise (Pteridophora alberti)
    -Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephius principalis)
    -Takahe (Notornis mantelli)
    -Blue Vanga (Cyanolanius madagascarinus)
    -Long-taled Ground Roller (Uratelornis chimaera)
    -Cuckoo-roller (Leptosomus discolor)
    -California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus)
    -Bronze-tailed Sylph (Sappho spathanura)

  11. Pranjal Ghimire comments:

    Its strange nobody mentioned Danphe and Peacock, which are quite easily the most beautiful birds in the whole world. By the way, Danphe also happens to be the national bird of my nation i.e. Nepal.

  12. Pranjal Ghimire interjects:

    Here’s a link to Danphe’s pic. Beautiful isn’t it?

  13. Wow. That is incredible. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of the Danphe. I won’t forget it.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2006 at 11:18 pm and is filed under Birding. You can follow any comments to this entry through this RSS feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.