Saturday, April 22, 2006

Most Beautiful Birds

A small group of ornithologists put together a list of what they considered to be the fifteen most beautiful birds in North America. Here is what they picked:

1. Scarlet tanager

2. Blackburnian warbler

3. Golden-winged warbler

4. Prothonotary warbler

5. Baltimore oriole

6. Green jay; swallow-tailed kite; wood duck

7. Harlequin duck

8. Chestnut-sided warbler

9. Magnolia warbler

10. Hooded warbler; ivory-billed woodpecker; northern cardinal; painted bunting

It is hard to argue with most of these. I probably would not include the ivory-billed woodpecker, not so much because of on-going disputes, but because I do not consider it to be in the same class of visual beauty as the others listed here. If any woodpecker were to be included on this list, it ought to be the red-headed woodpecker. I would also leave off the ones I have not seen to make room for the black-throated blue warbler and eastern bluebird, two of my favorites.