What makes a bird Spectacular?

Many would say- different strokes for different okes! Brightly coloured plumage certainly helps. But there is a lot more involved. I like birds with personalities; I like bizarre looking birds- from Frogmouths and Potoos to Hoatzins and Wattled Umbrellabirds. I like weird hairdos – from the Northern Bald Ibis punk hairdo to the crest when raised on a Hoopoe a Greater Roadrunner or even a Little Green Heron.
Does the power and grace of our raptors count for nought- of course not, add to that the elegance of our Cranes, the hunting ability of our Herons and Storks, the stunning beauty of our waders in full breeding plumage- something we see so little of here in the Southern Hemisphere and the list seems to be endless. People ignore the LBJ’s , but look at them closely and they too have subtly attractive plumages.
So to some of the birds i have chosen. Unfortunately you have to have photographed them first. I am still waiting to see and photograph a Steller’s Fish Eagle, a Snowy Owl, a Red-breasted Goose or a King Eider- all candidates for my top 100 birds in the world.
My favourite bird family is the Macaw’s. Large showy birds, stunningly beautiful with loads of personality. South America has more spectacular birds than any other continent in the world. From Macaw’s, Curassows, Parakeets, and Hummingbirds to Quetzals, Trogons, and Motmots,. And how could you omit to mention the most beautiful family group in the passerines- the Tanagers. Throw in the Manakins, Euphonias and the Cock of the Rock and the amazing South American Jays and South America has to be no 1 objective for any serious birder.
Unfortunately you can’t stop there. Australian Parrots are more attractive than South American Parrots. Their Fairy-Wrens are some of the most beautiful little birds in the world. How can you not go to Papua New Guinea to see the Birds of Paradise (photographing them is a different story). The Pheasants of Asia are another must see. The Tragopans must rank in the top five of the world’s most beautiful birds.
And what about seabirds? The amazing grace and gliding skills of the Albatross. The uncomplicated beauty of an Ivory Gull or Snow Petrel. The unsurpassed underwater skills of the Penguins- never has the choice been more difficult.
In my portfolio you will find many South American birds- the bizarre- from Frogmouths to the Hoatzin to the Umbrellabird. The Powerful Harpy Eagle and the fast flying Eleonora’s Falcon. Seabirds cover the Albatross, Penguins and the consummate pirate of the seas- The Magnificant Frigatebird. Enjoy them all and if you think there are serious omissions – let me know and I will include them if I have a photograph.