Cool Birds

~LAPLAND LONGSPUR in the black dirt, Spring 2018.~

Each species of bird can conjure up different thoughts and emotions for us as birders. Some can be seen as just flat out beautiful, like a Northern Pintail or a first winter Iceland Gull are for me. Some are cute, I’d put the Atlantic Puffin and Snow Bunting in that category. And we all have our favorites, often for inexplicable or a large variety of reasons ( for me: Upland Sandpiper, and either species of Cuckoo spring to mind). There are also certain birds that I consider inherently “cool”. I stole this idea from Corey Finger, who made mention of it in a post on 10,000 Birds back in 2012. It has stuck with me ever since I read it because it struck a chord with me – I do feel like certain birds just have a coolness factor. It popped back into my mind after my recent trip to the Jersey Shore where we had a Razorbill (very cool bird!). Here is my personal top 5 “cool” birds list; I’d love to hear which birds others might put on their list.

  1. LAPLAND LONGSPUR: The coolest of them all, in my opinion. Beautiful and awesome looking in any plumage.
  2. BARNACLE GOOSE: I love this bird, the coolest of the geese for sure. We need one to show up in our area, it’s been a while (2012? I never caught up with that bird…).
  3. RAZORBILL: While the Atlantic Puffin is cute and the other Alcids are all sharp looking birds, the Razorbill stands above as the coolest. I think it’s that large ridged bill with white lines.
  4. NORTHERN SHRIKE: I would venture to guess this might be on a lot of birder’s list. A cute killer, how cool is that?
  5. BUFF BREASTED SANDPIPER: I lose my mind when I see this bird.
  6. Honorable Mention – BARN OWL: A wonderful combination of beautiful, elegant, and so rare for our area.
~BARNACLE GOOSE in Ramsey, NJ back in 2014.~
~RAZORBILL last week at Manasquan Inlet.~
~NORTHERN SHRIKE at the Grasslands, January 2017. One day I will get a good photo of this bird.~
~Love this bird. BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER in the black dirt, September 2018.~
~Honorable Mention: Barn Owl in Orange Count back in 2014.~

6 thoughts on “Cool Birds”

  1. Matt,
    An impressive list of birds indeed! Being a wild goose chaser myself, the Barnacle is definitely a top bird for me. You are right, we are overdue for a visit from this beauty, maybe this will be the year! John

  2. Thanks, Matt. I looked up all that you mentioned. I’ve always liked the barn owl for its unique and strange look!

    1. I guesss the Barn Owl is a little strange looking – but I like it too. That’s another bird that I hope not too long goes by before I see it again. Matt

  3. Iwillcompile a short list later. Right now I Am busy photographing the total lunar eclipse.Sure cold enough but super clear. Great blog as usual

    1. Thanks. I’ll look forward to your list Bruce, and I’ll have to check out how you did with the eclipse. Matt

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