FOWL HYSTERIA: ROUND 2
16 birds made it to the second round. It only gets harder from here.
THIS ROUND IS NOW CLOSED. CLICK HERE TO VOTE IN ROUND 3.
Last week, 32 birds went beak-to-beak in Round 1 of Fowl Hysteria™, the world’s first-ever bracket-based bird tournament.Hundreds of you voted for your favorites, and now we can unveil which 16 birds have made it to Round 2.
Round 1 had everything you want in a tournament: total routs, wild upsets, wafer-thin victories, and a ton of shocking outcomes. Massive titans of the sky fell to the tiniest birds. Ungainly oddballs trounced sleek A-listers. Underdogs soared past seeming fan favorites. It was nuts!
Now the winners of Round 1 are meeting each other for a new series of matchups, and things are only getting more intense.
Here’s what the Round 2 bracket looks like.
The “scores” are really the percentage of votes that each bird got. Cue gasps! The objectively insane shoebill squeaked past the cute little piping plover? The minuscule bumblebee hummingbird sent the mighty anhinga packing?? The streetwise pigeon was easily dispatched by the sensitive artistic weaver???
Yes, yes, and yes. The numbers don’t lie. Your votes have made Round 2 even more thrilling and unpredictable than Round 1 was. Good job!
OK, onto Round 2. The competition is fiercer than ever. Which eight birds will make it to Round 3? Only your votes will decide.
A Reminder of How This Works
It’s pretty simple. There are 16 birds, so that means 8 different matchups for this second round. We’ve created polls for every single matchup, and made sure to provide you with the links to the relevant bird blogs so you can refresh your memory if you need. All you have to do is vote for the bird of your choice in each poll! You have a week to vote, and then, next Friday, we’ll tell you which birds made it to Round 3.
And remember: this is all for fun, and every single one of these birds is spectacular.
OK. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!!!
The shoebill used its bizarro brawn to muscle its way past the adorable piping plover. Now it faces an even more formidable foe: the enchanting indigo bunting, which left the hooded merganser in its wake in Round 1.
We’re gonna be honest: we didn’t think the potoo had a chance against the much more famous Baltimore oriole. But the inimitable master of the night proved us wrong, easily defeating the oriole. (Our theory: this was a proxy vote against Maryland’s horrible flag.) Can it do the same to the equally iconic American crow???
The crow made it out of Round 1, but its fellow corvid the Australian raven proved to be no match for the breathtaking fruit doves. Now we’ll find out whether the doves can overtake one of nature’s best woodpeckers, the northern flicker.
This is possibly the wildest matchup to emerge from Round 1: the hoatzin, which is a strong contender for the most wonderfully weird bird in the entire world, up against the leftist cuties the cedar waxwings.
How do you like your rapturously beautiful birds: extremely tiny, like the bumblebee hummingbird, or big and bold, like the Himalayan monal?
This, to us, was one of the most shocking outcomes of the first round: the weavers absolutely walloped the pigeon! Can they avoid getting stomped on by the secretary bird, which won its round by an even bigger margin?
We’ve got two birds that inspire pure joy here: dancing goofballs the American woodcocks and abolitionist icons the keas.
Annnnnnd finally, a real Ali vs. Frazier-type bout, as two brawny giants square up. In one corner: the largest sea eagle in the world. In another corner: a bone-destroying vulture. We’re getting chills just thinking about this one.
OK, that’s it. VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE!!!!!!!! And tune in next week for Round 3!
A reminder: you can check out our complete Bird of the Week list here, and get in touch with your bird suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to claim this until someone finds information to contradict us!
I will ride the shoebill train to the fiery gates of hell and back.
Round 1 record: 6/16, which is about as good as I ever do when picking an NCAA bracket.
Round 2 picks:
Meme bird vs. Indigo bunting: I'll give the shoebill some credit for showing up as a character in two of my favorite video games of recent years, Ori & the Will of the Wisps and Chicory: A Colorful Tale. But I feel like it does have the overexposure thing happening, plus I'm a little sore it knocked out the very cute and resilient piping plover. Going with the bunting.
American Crow vs. Common Potoo: This is a tough one. Potoos are amazing - I have seen them appear as wood-like lumps by day and misleadingly chill predators by night. But corvids generally win me over, plus another one of my favorite games from last year was Death's Door, where you play a crow (hooded, not American).
Flicker vs Fruit doves? Flicker. No contest. A woodpecker that pulls insects from the ground, because when you're this mighty, the whole world might as well be made of wood.
Hoatzin vs. Cedar Waxwing. Cedar waxwings will get drunk from eating overripe berries. In this apartment, we drink Manhattans on Fridays, so I'm going to enjoy this cocktail and give the waxwing my (slightly tipsy) vote.
Even the most resplendent pheasant can't compete with the pure, unbridled aggression of a hummingbird.
Weavers vs. Secretary bird. This is a tough one. I flipped a coin and the weavers won. I am sure they're going to lose because my second round record in brackets is usually worse than my first.
American woodcock vs. Kea. TIMBERDOODLES NEVER SAY DIE! (To be fair, the don't say much of anything besides "PEEEENT!")
Steller's Sea Eagle vs. Lammergeier. This is kind of a coin flip too, but I grew up in the Philly area and am going to go with the eagle here.