My Bird-a-thon fundraising slide show includes many slides of birds that we won't be seeing during Bird-a-thon 2012. The White-tailed Kite pictured above is a good example. I had certainly never seen one before! When some Mississippi Kites were reported in Falmouth last year, I drove down to try and see them, but without any luck. Seeing this Kite was a real thrill! You should see it hunting - it hovers in the air like an Osprey!
The Black-necked Stilt was very high on my 'must see' list - it is a bird I have dreamed of seeing since I was small. I was NOT disappointed by the real thing, either! I know many people will object to this description, but it is one cute bird! The perfectly round head and great big eyes probably elicit a protective reaction in humans, similar to our reaction to human babies, puppies, and baby seals. When an adult animal or bird retains these characteristics, the tendency we have is to coo and think it's 'cute.' But this stilt is also gorgeously well-proportioned and has very striking coloring. It is now one of my favorite species!
The American Avocet is also strikingly beautiful. Like the Black-necked Stilt, the Avocet is a delicate and graceful looking bird that is hard to resist. Just looking at this photo brings back the thrilling birding vacation we had the last time our family was all together. What a wonderful trip it was!
I know that pelicans are as common as dirt in many places, but I find them irresistible. Now, it would be hard to characterize a pelican as cute or delicate, but they are impressive as hell! Of course, I've always been partial to great, big birds that you tend to see near the water. Why? Because those are the only birds I could see when I was little. I was blind as a bat, yet somehow no one noticed I needed glasses until I was in 5th grade. Whatever the reason, though, I still love the big birds best. I probably always will!
Of course, the purpose of the presentation is to raise money for Massachusetts Audubon, so there are many slides of birds that are just as easily seen here. To tell you the truth, even I was surprised by the number of bird photos that could have been taken anywhere. Birds are truly citizens of the whole world. We share birds across countries and continents - too bad we can't seem to share anything else!