Patrick of The Hawk Owls’ Nest tagged me with his intriguing, yet entertaining 10 Most Wanted Birds Meme. This meme works like all the rest: Post a list of the 10 species that you’d most like to see. You can limit it to a geographic area or cover the whole world. Tag a few people and they in turn will post their lists on their blogs.
My problem (OK, one of my problems) is that I have my sights set on all 10,000. Thus, I canâ€™t credibly narrow the list down to ten. After all, anyone whoâ€™s spotted, say, twenty different warblers would be hard pressed to determine which one was best or which one satisfied the warbler itch. The task grows tougher with exotic species. I mean, Iâ€™ve already seen Keel-billed Toucan and Collared Aracari, but that doesnâ€™t quench the desire to see the other members of the Ramphastidae family from the Plate-billed Mountain-Toucan of Ecuador to the Blue-banded Toucanet of Bolivia. A more honest response from me will have to be painted with broader brushstrokes. Therefore, I present my 10 Most Wanted Bird Types, in, of course, their native environments:
- Any ratite: Whether weâ€™re talking about flightless fuzzballs or any of their colossal kin, Iâ€™ll be happy with any kiwi, ostrich, rhea, emu, or cassowary, as long as I see it on its home ground rather than a ranch.
- Any penguin: I might not like the cold, but Iâ€™d be willing to brave Antarctic winds to spot one of these splendid Sphenisciformes.
- Any albatross: Lacking one of these powerful pelagics from my life list hangs around my neck like a…well, you know.
- Any crane: These tall drinks of water have managed to elude my gaze for years, but they wonâ€™t succeed forever.
- Any cockatoo: Cockatoos, like parrots, macaws, and other prisoners of the pet trade, must seem all the more magnificent and wild when spotted outside of confinement.
- Any bee-eater: My, but these birds are pretty.
- Any hornbill:Â What a prehistoric looking family. From bill and casque to plumage and song, these birds make a major impression.
- Any antbird, ant-thrush, or antpitta: Of the hundreds of birds in these assorted families, Iâ€™m most interested in the dedicated ant-swarm followers. What a niche to exploit!
- Any shrike: Predatory passerines given to impaling prey on spikes? Sign me up for that.
- Any bowerbird: The complex building behavior of these happy homemakers is almost as impressive as their unique aesthetic sense. Martha Stewart would be proud.
Thatâ€™s my list. After making the next installment of I and the Bird a theme edition, I have no right to inflict something else to write about on anybody. Instead, hereâ€™s an open invitation to anyone whoâ€™d like to join the fun. Be sure to let Patrick know if you pick up his meme.
One doesn’t only have to brave the cold of Antarctica. One of the other possibilities is off the coast of southern Brazil. (a bonus is many other great landbirds in that area)
Brazil sounds a lot more inviting than Antarctica, that’s for sure. I’ve also heard of penguins in warm areas on the New Zealand coast. Much more civilized way to spot these birds.
you could probably scratch your penguin, crane, ratite, bee-eater and albatross itches in one trip to South Africa. Go on. You know you want to…
…in fact, why don’t we have an IATB day out in Cape Town next time I get sent there? I can get you at least six of those…Like the man said, you know you want to… )
…and don’t forget South African hornbills and shrikes, either!!!
You guys are making a lot of sense… can a trip to South Africa be far off? I don’t think so.
Sounds like you’ll have to come to New Zealand. There’s a royal albatross colony about half an hour away from my house and the penguins just pop out the water when you’re not even looking for them
You need to go to Sydney.
There is a colony of Fairy Penguins in Sydney Harbour.
In the centre of the city, living in the Royal Botanic Garden and the Domain, there is a flock of Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos. Also, there’s a couple of pairs of Galahs and I have seen a lone vagrant Long-Billed Corella flocking with the Sulphur-Cresteds several years ago. A short distance (2 or 3 kms) away in Centennial park in the eastern suburbs, there is at least one breeding pair of Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoos.
Then it would be off to Cairns or Townsville for the Cassowary.
On the way there or back, You could stop at somewhere in southn QLD or northern NSW like Girraween National Park, where you’ll find the Satin Bower Bird. There’s a male that hangs around the Castle Rock campground.
Nice twist on it, Mike. BTW, I scratched one off my list yesterday – Swallow-tailed Kite! I’ll blog about it once I get the pictures off my camera.