Exploring Nature: 100 Birds

The bee hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, weighing in at a mere 1/15 of an ounce – or less than a dime. FREE USE PHOTO

There is a book titled “100 Birds To See Before You Die,” and I was a little disappointed at the first bird listed – ivory-billed woodpecker.

This would indeed be a bird worth seeing, but unfortunately it has been extinct for over 60 years.

However, the other 99 birds in the book are still available and I have seen 32 of them. Some of these are quite rare, such as the resplendent quetzal, which I saw in Peru, and the bee hummingbird, which I saw in Cuba. But others are available right here in Texas, including the greater roadrunner and scissor-tailed flycatcher.

Others on the must-see list, which I have been lucky enough to see, are marvelous spatuletail, kakapo, kiwi, ribbon-tailed astrapia, helmet vanga, oilbird, i’iwi, shoebill, wandering albatross, Andean cock-of-therock, helmeted hornbill, southern cassowary, hoatzin, Ross’s gull, carmine bee-eater, blue-and-yellow macaw, gyrfalcon, ostrich, bohemian waxwing, harlequin duck, greater flamingo, roseate spoonbill, rock ptarmigan, magnificent frigatebird, vermillion flycatcher, western grebe, dipper and Arctic tern.

Among these birds is the largest in the world – the ostrich – and the smallest in the world – the bee hummingbird. Also, in my opinion, they include one of the most beautiful, the resplendent quetzal, and one of the ugliest, the shoebill, also known as the whale-headed stork.

I still have 68 birds to see before I die – so I’d better get busy.

San Marcos Daily Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666