Monday, August 24, 2015

These Are a Few of My Favorite Birds: Harlequin Ducks, Meadowlarks, and Great Blue Herons

Cedar Waxwing
Great Horned Owls
When camping with my nephew this summer he asked me what my favorite bird was.  Gee!  What a hard question for this bird loving soul!  Ultimately, I had to break it down into categories to puzzle out my answer.
Mountain Bluebird
The bird which I think can lay claim to my favorite song, liquid, burbling, magnificent music for my ear, would have to be the Western Meadowlarks.  Hands down.
Mallard and ducklings
Long-billed Curlew
The prettiest to look at though would have to be the Harlequin Ducks with their strikingly contrasted mohawk, perfectly circular white facial spot, and stunning mahogany colored flanks.

Harlequin Ducks

But, in the end, I gave the overall coolness award to the elegant and commanding Great Blue Heron.  They are beautiful on their tall, slender legs with their long, shaggy neck plumes catching the breeze.  In addition to looks, they are large and often conspicuous making them easy to watch--even with the naked eye.  They have offered me some of the most interesting bird behavior viewing I've seen.  We've spent hours watching them poised in utter stillness as they hunt and then, in a flash, spear a fish and toss it back in one fluid motion.  We watched them improbably bounce about the tops of evergreen trees, swaying with the boughs, building nests.
Baltimore Oriole
Brown-headed Cowbirds
So, I guess, what I learned is that, if pressed, I'd name the Great Blue Heron as my favorite bird.  Who knew?  Good question, Eli.  Even I am surprised by that one.
Mountain Chickadee
Cliff and Bank Swallows


  1. I would DEARLY love to see a meadowlark!

    1. They are very special! They are our state bird.

  2. Meadowlarks and Killdeers remind me of spring. I don't see them in the city but they are special memory from my childhood growing up in the country.

    1. Killdeer are lovely, too, aren't they?! Its remarkable how memories can become so deeply linked with objects, people, creatures, etc.

  3. Photos of them are always showing their mouths wide open in song - more than any other bird.

    1. Totally! They'll do that...over and over and over. What beauties!


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