Birding the Net Favorite Species Roundup

Spotted: a sandhill crane takes flight. Photo: Steve Emmons of Pacific Southwest Region U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

As Birding the Net’s race to 34 birds comes to a close, The Perch is spotlighting four of our favorites from the competition’s species list.

With only a few hours to go before the last birds are spotted, eager e-birders are seeking out that elusive yellow-billed magpie and other species left on their lists. Now’s also a great time to learn more about these virtual avian ambassadors, like where to spot the real thing and what makes them so special. We’ve picked four below but hope you’ll let us know in the comments about your favorite Birding the Net birds!


Blue Beauties
Popular here on The Perch, the blue-footed booby is a seabird found on islands and coasts along the Pacific from southern California to Peru. In addition to some fantastic dance moves, their amazing blue feet are impossible to forget. As The Perch reports, those feet are meant to be eye-catching: They’re informative cues for females, both to a male’s age and sexual history. Talk about putting your best foot forward!


Precious Plovers
Delicate little two-ounce puff balls, the leggy skittering of a snowy plover along the shore is a site to behold. Unfortunately, habitat destruction has knocked their numbers and these birds were among those hard hit by the BP oil spill. To learn more about the snowy plover, their habitat along the Gulf and Pacific Coasts, and why we need to share our shores, check out the video below.


Crane Calling
Audubon magazine's March-April 2010 issue takes us on a trip to the Nebraska Sandhills to encounter hundreds of thousands of sandhill cranes. Their soothing, beautiful calls and graceful wingy dance are just part of what makes these elegant birds so entrancing. Found across North America, they breed up north in Canada and Alaska then migrate south across the country to winter over in sunny spots such as Florida andTexas.


Beach Buds
The brown pelican is another much loved seabird and one of conservation’s success stories. The magazine’s feature story, Coast Guard (July-August 2010), shares the inside scoop on the pelican's protectors. You can spot the brown pelican skimming over the water in search of fish along the southern Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coastlines.

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