10. Raven. Beyond just the name for the professional American football team in Baltimore, Maryland, these elegant birds are intelligent and graceful. Native Americans honored them and they are described as a playful species. They are excellent hunters and can take out game too big for a single bird. After mating via chases, dives, and rolls, they build nests for females to lay three to seven eggs in. Baby ravens are dependent for a very long time, so both parents take care of them. They once were considered dangerous pests; however, their population is rising. I feel like these sleek black birds should be the official bird of Halloween. They fit in very well with the theme of the holiday!
9. Pigeon. There are only four words to describe pigeons: Colorful, complex, feathered brainiacs. Something very interesting about these birds is that they have a very keen sense of hearing. They detect low frequency sounds, and can hear storms brewing or volcanoes erupting. They also are speed demons of birds, flying at an average of nearly 78 miles an hour, with the record being over 92 miles an hour. I can basically describe pigeons as drivers in Texas and the sky as Texas freeways. As a Texan, I know that Texans love to drive fast, hence the higher speed limits on the freeways in that state. They also have a spiritual connections in some religions, and they also are clean animals, despite popular opinions. Fascinating things come in feathery packages, I guess.
8. Great Horned Owl. These graceful avians get their name from their horn-shaped feathers. They have a fascinating mating and parenting style, where the females lay eggs in stumps, caves, tree holes, and even nests abandoned by other birds. Great Horned Owls are very defensive, and will do whatever it takes to protect their young. They also have quite the appetite, they will eat a large majority of creatures, from raccoons to skunks! It would be really interesting to see a YouTube channel where owls show off their game and eat it in front of a feathered audience. In addition, with their powerful hunting skills, if there were an Avian Olympics, Great Horned Owls would win the nighttime hunting gold medal and it’s not even close.
7. Mallard Duck. I have seen many a Mallard Duck during my lifetime. I remember seeing a Mallard Drake (male duck) just sit nonchalantly on my backyard lawn. I also took a photo of a Mallard Hen (female duck) relaxing on the fence separating my back yard from my next-door neighbors’ backyard. I am stricken by the drakes’ handsome green heads and the hens’ purple wing feathers. I remember seeing on my local human society’s website that there was a duck for adoption named Duck Norris. That is an absolutely genius name. I hope to become a duck mom one day. If I do, I will ensure to feed them plants, grains, and seafood, the basis of the Mallard diet.
6. Red Cardinal. These beautiful birds are so Christmassy! What’s really interesting is that color can make or break their mating chances. It reminds me so much of the book Diary of a Wimpy Kid, where in elementary school, girls liked the boys who were the fastest runners. It’s the same here, the tan and gray females love the males who have the most piercing bright red feathers. They also are musical birds with a portfolio of melodies. There should be a bird version of American Idol called Avian Idol. Cardinal birds would win, time after time. They also are aggressive and territorial, and will even fight themselves if they see themselves in a reflection. Imagine if these birds played professional football or professional boxing or wrestling. It would be a very messy bird sport.
5. American Robin. I have mistaken them for orioles more time than I would like to admit. In my defense, they do look like the oriole. Their colors range from jet black to gray with burgundy or orange bellies. What’s really fascinating is that they have seven different subspecies: taiga, migratorius, caurinus, propinquuis, nigrideus, and achrusteurus. They are very elegant birds. They are talented songbirds and are okay with living in human-dominated habitats. It would be fascinating to see a song collaboration between a human and a robin. It would be a wonderful project. It could even draw people into learning more about birds, and it even could be a way to raise money for bird-themed charities!
4. American Goldfinch. These birds and their piercing yellow feathers! You can hear these elegant creatures in flight, giving distinctive flight calls. With that in mind, I would consider these birds to be excellent candidates for commercial flight pilots. Avian Airways. An airline by birds for birds. These birds will be excellent at keeping in touch with birds at air traffic control. Their yellow bodies with their black heads and black and white wings make them such stunning feathered friends. They remind me of one of my favorite baseball teams: the Pittsburgh Pirates. Their color scheme matches the team’s colors very well. If I ever get to go to PNC Park, I will bring not only a toy parrot with me, but also a toy goldfinch. I might ask for a stuffed goldfinch for Christmas.
3. Elf Owl. During the wintertime, I made a pact with the Colorado Rockies to post a victory owl whenever they won. Elf owls look quite similar to the victory owl I share on social media after a Rockies win. They are small, lightweight owls. They also are an introvert’s best friend, as they prefer to stay in the trees. I am partially introverted yet extroverted simultaneously. Sometimes I like being with other people, but sometimes I really prefer my alone time, mostly because of my mental health. They also are collaborative, since both males and females take care of their young. I relate to that very much, as all my family help take care of my cat. I am in charge of her food and water, and we all make sure her fur is brushed and she gets love. My sister and I also worked together to give the kitty her prescriptions. These owls are highly relatable and a mood.
2. Baltimore Oriole. Not only are these elegant animals the namesake of the Baltimore Baseball Team, but the Maryland state bird since 1947. Maryland kept protecting the birds for a long time, a good idea since such an elegant bird deserves wonderful protection. They also have a sweet tooth (beak would make more sense in this situation in my opinion). They like oranges, sweet fruit, hummingbird feeders, and grape jelly. I relate so hard to these birdies. I suffer from a chronic hormonal disorder that leaves me craving ice cream, cheesecake, and peanut butter cups all the time. I will probably also request a stuffed oriole for Christmas, just like a stuffed finch. I remember back in 2016, during the end of the spring college semester, I posted a photo of an Oriole on Facebook as a way to cheer people up during the stressful time.
1. Blue Jay. Oh, yes, the super handsome bird that the professional baseball team in Toronto, Ontario, Canada is named after. This blue beautiful birdies are mostly vegetarian, and that’s no surprise to me. I’ve noticed them being extra active during this summer, coming to my backyard to snack on the currants. In addition, they are smart birds. The reason why they’re called blue jays is because of their “Jay!” call. Something very fascinating about these birds is that they migrate one year but might not do it the next. It’s not sure why. I relate to that. Sometimes I want to go hiking and paddle boarding and sometimes I don’t. I’m unsure why I want to do both in one trip.. It’s as mysterious to me as blue jays’ migration habits are to bird experts. I will always get giddy whenever I see a blue jay. Their handsome blue feathers are just so elegant and they are just so incredible to look at. They will be my favorite bird forever. Shout out to Canada’s baseball team for making me fall in love with the birds.
HONORABLE MENTION: Snowy Owl. These birds and their fluffy white feathers. Males become whiter as they grow older, but females never become completely white. What’s fascinating is that they consume literally thousands of lemmings a year and their migration habits depend on lemming presence. I relate to that. I don’t even want to know how many French fries or servings of ice cream I consume in a single year (shout out to hormone disorder cravings!). I plan shopping trips, dining trips, and meals around my biggest cravings. I feel good knowing I can relate to owls.
HONORABLE METION: Barn Owl. Screeching and hissing noises in addition to food begging noises are the signature sounds of the barn owl. They are absolutely on my spirit animal list. Whenever I’m having an anxiety attack, mental breakdown, or am having a bad day, I will screech and hiss to release all my stress. I relate to the food begging thing because I have a cat who’s a flame point Siamese mix, so she’s constantly meowing and begging for food, water, and pets. They also seem to have natural night-vision goggles, since they can see movement in very little light. For some strange reason, I keep on thinking about the song “See The Light” by Green Day as a result of this fact.
What’s your favorite kind of bird and why? Let me know in the comments below.