The Audubon Avian Awards
It was a close race in every category, but four birds have come out on top. Determined by popular vote, here are the winning birds in the Audubon Avian Awards.
And the Egret goes to...
For leading performance by a migratory species--the Atlantic Puffin
The Atlantic Puffin is a truly remarkable species. After a puffin chick fledges it stays on the open ocean until it is two or three years old before returning to the colony. Often Atlantic Puffins nest near the very burrow in which they were hatched, returning to land each summer during the breeding season. Learn more about these birds on the Audubon Project Puffin website.
For leading performance in a courtship ritual--the Western Grebe
The Western Grebe mating display is surely deserving of its win. These majestic birds dance across the water, their powerful legs pushing them along the surface in perfect synchronicity. Learn more about Western Grebes here.
For best original song--the Hermit Thrush
The Hermit Thrush's clear, musical voice can be heard ringing through the woodlands and thickets of the northern and western United States and much of Canada and Alaska during the spring and summer months. The Hermit Thrush's song is a favorite of many birders, and Avian Award voters. You can listen to a variety of its calls here.
For best costume design--the Painted Bunting
Though there are many birds with beautiful plumage, it is little wonder that the rainbow hued Painted Bunting came out on top. Found in the southern United States, as well as Mexico and Central America, the vivid Painted Bunting is a treat to anyone who can catch a glimpse through the swamp and woodland thickets and hedges in which it lives. You can symbolically adopt a Painted Bunting as gift for yourself or a loved one from Audubon's online gift catalog.
Thanks to everyone who voted in Audubon's Avian Awards.