Bird brained stories!

Friday, May 12, 2006

I've been tagged! 10 Most Beautiful Birds

Remember when you were a kid, playing tag after dinner in the neighborhood? Though I was an uncoordinated klutz (is there any other kind?), failing miserably at games like baseball, I could run like the wind, so tag was my game. I was feeling a bit like I'd run too fast lately, as I read all the 10 Most Beautiful Birds lists of my blogging friends, never being tagged myself. Or so I'd thought.

I just returned from three very wet hours birding after work. So many beautiful birds seen, even with all the rain; Rose Breasted Grosbeak, Scarlet Tanager, a flock of Baltimore Orioles and an ever-sublime Great Crested Flycatcher. Even with the images of all those lovely birds in my mind, it's not enough to warm me up, so curled up in a blanket with a computer in my lap, I visited Cindy's Woodsong, which linked me to John of DC Birding Blog and his list of people who were tagged "it." Catching up on blogfriends this way, I discovered that Duncan of Ben Cruachan Blog had tagged me. I get to play after all! The rules are to list your candidates for most beautiful birds, using parameters of your choosing, placing an asterisk by those you've seen in the wild, then tagging three more bloggers.

I loved Duncan's approach of connecting his birds to memories. I'd like to create my list by choosing my Beautiful Birds based on the stories they tell. Surprised? I didn't think you'd be.

1)*Barred Owl Just tonight, I heard a Barred Owl calling, and I wondered once again; why does he always ask me "Who cooks for you?" Does he have a favorite recipe to share with my personal chef? Perhaps he's discovered a new taste sensation in "Squirrel Seasoned with Wild Mint" he wants to share with me.

2)*Sora My guess is that the Sora loves to tell what storytellers call "noodlehead stories," those stories of foolish folks who do foolish things, like the townspeople of Chelm. Have you ever listened to them? That crazy laugh, punctuated by the whining call? They sound just like kids who hear me tell stories like "Lazy Jack!"

3)*Pileated Woodpecker Well, of course. They sit around telling really bad puns, which my friends all know I live to tell. How else to explain that maniacal laughter, followed by banging their heads against a tree upon hearing the groaner?

4)*White Throated Sparrow Stories of love lost. You think I'm kidding? Any bird that repeats mournfully "Poor Sam Peabody, Peabody, Peabody," has to be lamenting those heros, like Sidney Carton, who give up their true love for the greater good.

5)*Ruby Throated Hummingbird David and Goliath. Just watch them fight off all comers twice their size at a feeder or patch of jewelweed, chittering away. Need I say more?

6)*Common Loon Ghost stories. I'm absolutely certain of this. That eerie call, so often echoing across the northern lakes under a full moon, can be no other kind of story, can it?

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7)*Kildeer They tell all those old hunting yarns. I've heard them all from the hunter that shares my home, but I don't hold this against the Kildeer. I still think it's a pretty neat bird, in spite of all those tales from deer camp.

8)*Warbling Vireo Urban legends, the real slasher stuff. Seriously. Any bird with the song mnemonic "as if saying to a caterpillar, 'When I see you I will squeeze you and I'll squeeze you till you squirt'" loves those stories that they heard from a friend of a friend that are 'absolutely true.'

9)*Eastern Bluebird I think these lovely passerines like telling those Chicken Soup stories, you know, heartwarming stories intended to inspire and tug at the heart. "Cheeree, cheeree."
I can say this, because I will be published in a forthcoming Chicken Soup book this July. I didn't think I had it in me, but I pulled one off!

10)*Red-Winged Blackbirds Gossip, gossip, gossip. Just listen to them yakking away constantly. Watch them in the fall, gathering in huge flocks, even associating with other birds, sharing that last juicy tidbit about that brazen Great Blue Heron one last time before heading south.

There you have it. Ten birds, chosen for the stories they like to tell, all of which I've not only seen, but have photographed and displayed on the pages of BirdBrainedStories. Since I'm coming in on the end of this meme, I'm hoping those I tag haven't already been "it." I'm tagging Jimmy, Amy, and Jim & Peg. You're it!

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