This BIRD giveaway has been a blast, what with the bird limericks, birding site suggestions, and of course, the six scintillating essays in praise of beloved bird species. The authors have done their part in applauding the avians of their choice and we’ve done ours in publishing them for your perusal. Now it’s your turn. We cannot award that highly desired fourth copy of BIRD: The Definitive Visual Guide until you vote for your favorite essay. The polls are officially open and will remain so until Wednesday, December 12 at noon. That’s not much time, so get cracking!

First, the rules each author observed:

Since BIRD is a paean to the planet’s avian diversity, let’s join the authors in celebrating the birds we love. Write an original essay of at least 250 and no more than 750 words in praise of a single bird species. Photos of up to 400 pixels in width are welcome as long as the author has rights to the images. The title of the post must be “In Praise of (SPECIES)” with content suitable for an audience of all ages.

Now place your vote. Please consider the merits of each outstanding essay:

Also, remember that the gift ideas for birders competition for the fifth and final copy of BIRD (along with several other outstanding titles) ends Wednesday as well…

Written by Mike
Mike is a leading authority in the field of standardized test preparation, but he's also a traveler who fully expects to see every bird in the world. Besides founding 10,000 Birds in 2003, Mike has also created a number of other entertaining but now extirpated nature blog resources, particularly the Nature Blog Network and I and the Bird.