Bird of the Week: How Are You This Good At Finding Awesome Birds?!?!?!?!?!
We asked for birds, you gave us birds, and they ARE SO GOOD OH MY GOD.
It’s the greatest time of the week—Bird of the Week time!!!!
If you are one of the many people who signed up to Discourse Blog yesterday after Katherine’s incredible New York Times rage-blog, and were expecting something similar today…sorry. Fridays are when we write about birds! The world is a dark and dismal place, but birds are joyous and brilliant, and because we need joy and brilliance in our lives, we write about birds. I promise we will be back to writing about the dark and dismal world on Monday.
Today is a little different because last week, we asked our incredible readers to hype up their favorite birds, and so many people responded! So today, we’re giving three of those birds their time in the spotlight. (Don’t worry, I have not forgotten the rest of the birds!!!) Drum roll please….
Nearly two years ago, Caitlin ranked this bird as the 6th-best state bird in America, but I have to admit I kind of forgot about the common loon after that—until wise reader Kangaroo Ass (yes, we are a colorful crew) made a case for them, writing, “the Common Loon has long been and shall long remain my favorite bird.”
Looking at this picture, it’s easy to say why Ms./Mr./Mx./etc Ass feels this way. The pattern on the feathers? That red eye? The bill????? Not only that, but the loon is George Washington-level important in Canada, and by that I mean that it’s featured on the one dollar coin, which is known as a “loonie.” (The rest of the money is skewed towards your normal old white people.) I would kill to have only nice birds on currency rather than the assorted slave owners and genocide enthusiasts we insist on featuring on our money.
“It's time to celebrate the American crow! Just a perfect bird.” So said reader bobthepigeon. Pigeons going nuts for crows??? What’s the world coming to!
But our pigeon friend is correct: the American crow is a perfect bird. I chose this picture of a crow in flight because it is so majestic, and seeing a crow in the sky is one of the best things. Also, crows, like all corvids, are what we would call back in the Bay Area “hella smart.” One study concluded that they have the intelligence level of a seven-year-old child. That’s so much brainpower! Why are we concerning ourselves with aliens when the intelligent life we seek is right in our faces????
Look at this incredible submission from BOTW stalwart Amelia:
Belted kingfishers! They're the rare bird where the female is more colorful and interesting than the male, who doesn't even have a belt. They dive for fish and small reptiles and mammals and they make a freaky rattling noise when they fly around, and allegedly a group of them is called a kerfuffle but that sounds made up to me. There are a lot of kingfishers around the world, most of them flashier and more glamorous than the belted (kookaburras are kingfishers!) but this is the one I see so it's the one I love.
The facts crammed in here, the eye-popping details, the exuberance…Amelia has me shaking!!!! Don’t take my job!!!!
And Amelia is correct: one look at this bird and I am in heaven. (Adds kookaburras to the list.)
OK, that’s it for this edition of Bird of the Week! Keep a lookout for more reader birds to be featured in the future—we will definitely be doing it!
And please keep letting us know which bird you simply DEMAND that we write about. You can get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can just drop your bird info in the comments below.
If you need a reminder of every single bird we’ve already profiled in Bird of the Week, just click here.
I am genuinely emotional at being a "BOTW stalwart"!!!
Re crows, this blew my mind: https://www.ted.com/talks/joshua_klein_a_thought_experiment_on_the_intelligence_of_crows?language=en. The hook!