Looks like The Bird Who Wasn’t There isn’t the only out-of-place wading bird turning heads on the North American continent this August!
The Jabiru is native to the Americas from Mexico to Argentina, so it hasn’t come as far as the Western Reef-Heron. However, it is also an ABA checklist 5 for difficulty, meaning that it’s been seen at most three times in the last thirty years in North America north of Mexico, or less than five times in this region in history, which is the same rating as the Bird of Great Coyness. (There is such a thing as an ABA 6; this distinction goes to birds that are extinct, extinct in the wild, or have never been seen in the region at all. The dude who allegedly sighted the Ivory-billed Woodpecker would score a six, as would the gentleman who claims he observed an Eskimo Curlew last September.) Also, the Jabiru is the largest stork species in the world, meaning that it is arguably cooler to look at than the Reef-heron, and it has indisputably got a cooler name.
For those of you who aren’t birders, have there ever been specific wild birds that turned your head and were memorable to you? For those who are now birders, what got you started?