What are the five best birds to see in the United States? Here is one list for your consideration:
1. Kirtland’s warbler. The current population is about 4,500 individuals for this rare and beautiful warbler. It winters in the Bahamas.
2. Wood duck. These ducks are just plain gaudy as the male sports multiple colors, ranging from a bright red eye to yellow, green, blue, white and reddish-brown feathers. The female is more subdued, but still quite lovely.
3. Black rail. A hard-to-see bird, this is our smallest rail and is no bigger than a sparrow. It has a red eye and its plumage is mostly gray and black.
4. Yellow-breasted chat. Placed in a bird family between sparrows and blackbirds, this yellow-breasted beauty is a terrible singer, emitting a discordant series of trills, whistles and rusty-hinge notes. Its lovely plumage makes up for any lack of vocal virtues.
5. Whooping crane. Five feet high, this statuesque white bird resides at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas coast. In the early 1940s, there were only 15 left in the world.
Okay, this is just one possible list. I am sure you can think of other birds well worth seeing – the painted bunting and the eastern bluebird come to mind. Obviously, the list could go on and on.
In truth, every bird is well worth seeing. If it flies, it’s fabulous.
In closing, please remember if you spot a hummingbird during the month of February, please let me know – call me at 512 847-3730.