I’ve been an avid birdwatcher for over ten years now, I like all wildlife but birds are the ones that grab my attention. When I get asked why I like birds so much it’s a tough question to answer, but put simply I think it’s just because they are cool. (All pics by me)
Bird behaviour is pretty cool for starters; migration, flocking, feeding etc. All done differently by different species but all in their own interesting way. Flocking can be the most spectacular bird behaviour leading to some draw dropping moments and leading me to take probably the best photo I think I’ve ever taken, while I was walking along a sea wall I heard a rushing noise behind me, I turned around to see a huge flock of Golden Plover flying low towards me and then rising over my head, banking into the sun which happened to be bursting through the clouds at that time, and allowing me to capture this shot.
An LBJ… a Meadow Pipit collecting food for its chicks.
And the variety, so many cool colours and shapes. Even the little brown jobs can be pleasing to see, sometimes.
But there are the birds that stand out more than others because of the way they look or sound.
I’m always cheered up by the unmistakable blue flash of a Kingfisher flying down river, only left frustrated when it doesn’t stop and disappears out of sight.
And since I moved to Ireland I miss hearing the encapsulating song of a Nightingale buried in the foliage, a bird I hardly ever saw but always went out to listen to when they arrived.
I’m not going to pretend that some birds aren’t cooler than others, and the coolest birds in my eyes are birds of prey. Their abilities, presence in the air and relative scarcity compared to other types of birds make it noteworthy every time I see one.
A Kestrel hovering by the roadside or a Buzzard circling hundreds of feet in the sky are the most common raptor sights I see but they still haven’t gotten old.
My favourite bird is a bird of prey too, the Hen Harrier, in particular, the male which is a stunning grey colour and seriously cool when you see one for real, it feels pretty special and makes a winter’s day birdwatching worthwhile.
I also think the unpredictability of birds adds to their appeal and can reaffirm their coolness. Theoretically, you could open your curtains and find nearly anything waiting for you, it’s usually just a Starling but I’m still waiting for the day I see a Hoopoe outside.
These are my reasons why I think birds are cool. You probably have your own but there’s no disputing the fact that they are cool.