I was all set to unveil a new top 10 list on the bird blogging world, but John over at A DC Birding Blog beat me to it! John was the originator of the 10 Most Beautiful Birds post and has come up with another great one. Name your 10 favorite bird songs or bird vocalizations. Here's my list, in no particular order:
1. Veery - The ethereal song of the woods. Other thrushes have amazing songs, but this one takes the cake in my book.
2. Bobolink - People have likened it to the sounds of R2-D2, so maybe my childhood (and adulthood) obsession with the Star Wars movies made me choose this. (Note: I hate the 3 most recent Star Wars films.)
3. Red-tailed Hawk - Who doesn't love to hear the call of the RT Hawk? I just hate it when it's coming from a random bird in a movie that looks nothing like a RT Hawk.
4. Vesper Sparrow - A beauty of a song from the world of sparrows, where songs range from the super short to the super long.
5. House Wren - This song really symbolizes the arrival of spring for me.
6. Winter Wren - If I had to pick a #1, this would probably be it. A tiny bird with an absolute monstrous song is just beyond cool for me.
7. Tennessee Warbler - I have a penchant for birds with big songs and here's another.
8. Sora - A real song of the marsh, this little bird's song can carry quite a way.
9. American Bittern - The Thunderpumper... not so much a song, but a strange vocalization caused by gulping and expelling air. Truly a unique part of nature.
10. Barred Owl - A haunting sound of the woods and fun to imitate!
There are a zillion others I could have included on here and I only stuck to the ABA area,
World Cup fever has hit every corner of the world (although it's maybe only approaching a warm forehead here in the US). In honor of this international tournament, this 26th edition of I and the Bird marks the first (and perhaps only) unofficial IATB World Cup. We have 6 teams participating in the IATB World Cup this year. Let's take a look at each team and some of their key players.
The Phantom Photogs
The Photogs look to be tough competitors in this year's IATB World Cup. They have representatives from all corners of the world and a range of young, up-and-coming talent. They are truly a portrait of excellence and skill.
- Over at Alis Volat Propiis, Leigh spent the day in La Jolla, CA photographing pelicans, gulls, and cormorants and was rewarded with some wonderful shots. Although she's new to photography, her skills will help make her team a Cup contender for years to come.
- Duncan, representing Australia and Ben Cruachan Blog, tells us about his wonderful day of birding and photography despite the sometimes uncompromising weather in What a Day.
- Gwyn shares another of her Bird Brained Stories about photographing a recent lifer - a Dickcissel - practically right in her own front yard! Check out Tap Your Red Shoes Together Three Times... for the full scoop and picture.
- Representing England, Tai Haku from Earth, Wind, & Water has posted some lovely pictures and information on the Reed Bunting, a globally threatened species. It's time to Break Out the Buntings. (Special honors to Tai for mentioning the real World Cup in his post)
- It's not an IATB World Cup without some representation from New Zealand... Pohangina Pete tells the story of a Little Shag, a relative of the cormorant, in The Shag Who Spied Me. Pete's stunning photos are worth a click alone.
- Through the camera lens comes Kevin of NaturalVisions... On a recent trip to Tappen Slough he saw some great birds and took some incredible pictures of grebes and pelicans.
The Evolution Revolution bring with them two tough, well-respected superstars and look to be a real threat this tournament.
- GrrlScientist presents The Rise of the Feathered Dragons at Living the Scientific Life. She discusses an exciting paper from Science that will change the way that scientists think about avian evolution.
- Rob the Bird Chaser tackles a sometimes controversial subject with eloquence and grace in Birds, Evolution, and God.
Conservationists at Large
The Conservationists look to make their mark on the IATB World Cup through the relentless backing of their huge fan base and unquestioning support from all the governments of the world.
- Tom from Sphere discusses the natural and unnatural impacts to a tern colony in Sandy Point: Birders, Terns & Fireworks. You may be surprised as to which has the biggest impact.
- For an Interesting Thing of the Day, Joe has written about potential champions of any World Cup - the folks of Operation Migration and the amazing work they do with Whooping Cranes.
- Dave from the Bird Treatment & Learning Center tells us about the lengths that some volunteers go to on behalf of their education birds in Isn't It Great.
The Wonderful Encounters
A constant fan favorite, everyone loves the Wonderful Encounters. No matter where you're from or how much you enjoy the IATB World Cup, the Wonderful Encounters will always bring a smile to anyone's face.
- Dan from Migrations spent a day birding the Baldwin Preserve in the Cayuga Lake Basin, a local shrubland habitat preserve. He had a tough battle with some sought-after Black-throated Green Warblers, but was rewarded with another gorgeous warbler. Every World Cup needs a true character player and Dan takes this role by dealing with some litter problems at the site as well.
- Robin and Roger of Dharma Bums also represent a terrible twosome of blogging power. Their wonderful contribution to the IATB World Cup tells the story of their encounter with the Day-Glo Yellow Hooded Oriole.
- At Woodsong, Cindy spent an Afternoon with Purple Martins - avian champions of aerial acrobatics.
- Birdchick recently attended the Potholes and Prairie Bird Festival in North Dakota. In Moments in North Dakota, we get the full play-by-play of the convention including some shots of the great birds that can be seen there and even a guest appearance by the world-famous Cinnamon. It's enough to make me want to book a trip to North Dakota next year!
- Live from the ABA Convention in Bangor, Maine, comes Amy of Wildbird on the Fly. In ABA: Tuesday, she takes us through Tuesday's field trip to the Schoodic Peninsula in Maine where she saw a marvelous array of birds including eiders, loons, and many species of warbler. She's also graced us with some wonderful scenery shots from one of the most beautiful areas of the US.
Education Nation includes some well-respected veterans. Fans are always looking to them to learn something new.
- From Burning Silo comes Bev's discussion of Vulture Culture. It's a great opportunity to learn about these sometimes under appreciated carrion eaters.
- Mike, who is moving his way towards those 10,000 Birds, tell us all about the Vireos of Northeastern North America.
- Backing up Tai on Team England, Charlie from Charlie's Bird Blog, discusses one of my favorite birds, the Acorn Woodpecker. These clown-like birds have some unusual behaviors as seen by Charlie's photos.
- Over at A DC Birding Blog, John gives us some insight into the life of the Black-crowned Night-heron.
The youngest team in the World Cup is also one of the toughest teams around. Sometimes they have an uphill battle, but their coaches and supporters make huge efforts to keep them successful.
- Don and Lillian Stokes show us the life and times of a fledgling Hairy Woodpecker and its parents in Easy Street and Easy Street #2. The Stokes make a potent tandem of birders, photographers, and ambassadors to birding - a triple threat in the IATB World Cup!
- Deb from A Sand Creek Almanac had an up close experience with a fledgling Downy Woodpecker in First Flight.
- From the top of the Moose Hill Journal, Al writes about his experiences with baby robins in That One May Live.
- As any reader of Julie Zickefoose's blog knows, she goes to great lengths to help birds in need. In her post Raising the Fledging Tent, Julie talks about her recent "adoption" of a pair of homeless Eastern Phoebes at her home and the responsibilities that go along with it.
The Lifers are always a joy to watch. Many of their hardcore fans live to see the Lifers and some follow them all over the world.
- Rob of Rob's Idaho Perspective, describes a recent trip where his camp is invaded by birds in Sawtooth Valley Idaho.
- Carel, the wonderful wildlife artist of Rigor Vitae, is unofficially representing Africa for our IATB World Cup. In Terrific Turacos, he displays 2 gorgeous paintings and lots of information on this unique family of African birds.
- Bill of Bill of the Birds tells a story that most of us can relate to I'm sure. In Jinx Me No More, Bill goes hunting for the elusive Connecticut Warbler that has haunted him for years. Does he succeed? Read more to find out.
Well, that's it for our teams in the IATB World Cup. There's no winning team in this tournament... the real winners are the birds and the people who have the pleasure of reading everyone's posts. It's been a great pleasure hosting IATB for everyone and I really enjoyed reading every submission.
I and the Bird #27
Mike of 10,000 Birds will be the host of I and the Bird #27. This will mark the one year anniversary of I and the Bird! The theme will be "why you blog, why you bird, or why you blog about birds". Send your entries to Mike by July 4.