So, what birds do I want to see more than any in the whole wide world? Tough call. Still, duty demanded that I make a list, if by “duty” you mean “the need for symmetry in my blog”. And thus, here they are:

1. Any Albatross. Strictly speaking, this is not “a bird”. It is many birds – between 13 and 24 species, depending on who you ask and how their shoes fit today. But all of these birds are elegant, amazing creatures. Oh, sure, they’re not much on the ground; but then, they’re not on the ground much. And in the air, they are masters of perfect efficiency.
Unfortunately, the slow pace of their lives leaves them very vulnerable to the casual depredations and careless litter of the human species, and more than three-quarters of all species are considered threatened by the IUCN. So If I’m going to see them, I’m going to need to see them posthaste.

2. Andean Condor. First of all it’s a condor. And second of all it’s the biggest bird in the Western Hemisphere. And thirdly, it lives in the Andes. And fourthly, despite having a bald lumpy head, it always looks faintly pleased with itself

3. Kakapo. The world’s only flightless parrot, this fuzzy green lumpkin vaguely resembles an owl (hence its genus name Strigops, roughly owlfaced) except of course for being green. And a parrot. And flightless. It is nocturnal, though, and wanders the mountains making booming calls. I’ve wanted to see one ever since I read Douglas Adam’s account of the species in the delightful yet melancholy Last Chance to See, but with only 90 individuals known to exist, perhaps it would be better to give them their privacy so they can get on with making more Kakapos.

4. Smew. Smew. Smew. Smew. Smew.

5. The Sapphire-spangled Emerald, doing duty as a representative of South and Central America’s vast and fascinating population of hummingbirds. At the Olde Homestead, hummingbird feeders provided us with an endless range of daring, dexterous Ruby-throats all summer long; my mother especially loves the tiny creatures and the vast pendulum swoops they sometimes execute and the heedless dogfights they perpetrate. I’ve since seen Anna’s and Allen’s Hummingbirds out west, as well, but the world is full of hummingbirds I haven’t seen.

And as a birdwatcher, I have to do something about that.

I’m not tagging anyone for this, because most of my blogroll has already done it! (Old meme is oooooooold.) But if you’re reading this, even in the year 2525, and feel like doing it, consider yourself tagged.

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