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Bird of the Week: Some of the Greatest Birds We Have Ever Seen
You continue to amaze us with your bird picks.
As ever, you have continued to write in to add to our ever-increasing gallery of astonishing, amazing, awe-inspiring avians. Is this the best bird community on the internet? We’re gonna say…….yes.
Here are a few more of your favorite birds, accompanied by what you wrote about them. We love love love when you tell us about birds you like, so please keep getting in touch at email@example.com.
OK, take it away, bird-lovers!
“I live in Geneva, and this European nightjar recently slammed into a window at the airport. She is okay, apparently, and she is magnificent. A great bird.” — James Beacham
“How about something backyardy - cardinals, blue jays, sparrows. I don't need Namibian Poison Birds or Bird Eating Spider Eating Birds or anything. Chickadees. Red-wing blackbirds. Hell, I'm okay about having gray squirrels.” — Dean C.
“I made a new friend on the water this summer: the pigeon guillemot. They live in the bird equivalent of apartment complexes in cliff sides, and they are extremely fashionable, with a crisp black and white look finished off with bright red boots.” — Julia
“Kiwi (bird) eggs are so massive that the bird is essentially a single-egg carton on little ostrich legs. It's amazing that this evolutionary cul-de-sac of a bird hasn't gone extinct, and we should celebrate this fact.” — Morgan O
Ed. note: This, from reader Matt Butler, counts as the most extensive BOTW submission we have EVER received. We have such dedicated bird people reading us, it’s the greatest thing!!!
“Today, I’d like to tell you a story about stolen valor. I’m going to tell you about how there is one bird, that rules, which now has the burden of standing in for every other predator bird across the world, and nobody talks about it or knows it. You’ll know it though, and once you know it, it will annoy you forever.
This is our girl, and if you can wait for 40 seconds, you’ll understand immediately what I mean:
Hollywood, and media in general, has decided that this super cool bird is always the sound for every other bird. You see an eagle on the screen, that they call an eagle? Cue the red-tailed hawk drop. Oh, what a beautiful desert scene, I wonder what desert bird they’ll use to… red-tailed hawk. They found great footage of an American Kestrel? Oh damn, RedTailedHawk.wav.
This annoys me to no end, because red-tailed hawk are by far some of the most intimately connected birds with people in North America, and we should know better. Red-tailed hawks are some of the most common beginner birds for people to learn to do falconry with, because of their wide range and large size. They are both seasonal birds for falconry, where you release them back to the wild after the season, and some people have permanent relationships with them.
Here is a guy named Ben Woodruff doing an incredible job talking about red-tailed hawks:
The point is, these birds are incredible, and we should respect the fact that they are one species that makes a rad noise. Putting red-tailed hawk cries over some footage of an Australian desert or some other weird place doesn’t make any sense.
Besides, they’re incredibly diverse too! They have tons of different presentations, including many without red tails at all.
Anyway, now that you know this about red-tailed hawks, you should be 5% more annoyed when you hear that screaming noise in a movie.”