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.