8. The Dunlin - This bird is a widespread species of the sandpiper that inhabits a circumpolar region in the Arctic and Subarctic. Dunlins breed along the coastline of Alaska and northern Canada. During the winter, they're found along the more southern coastal regions. The species is quite diverse.
7. Coming in at #7 on the list is the Blue-footed Booby. Yep, that's his real name. This strange-looking bird is a cross between cute and awkward-looking. They have large, blue webbed feet, like a duck. They are a seabird and are rather clumsy when on the ground. The Blue-footed Booby belongs to the same group of birds as pelicans and tropicbirds. They call "the western coast of Central America and South America and various coastal islands in that region, including the Galapagos Islands, home."
6. Costa's Hummingbird - By virtue of their tiny size, I think all hummingbirds are adorable and the Costa's Hummingbird is no exception. They are found in the deserts of the American Southwest and Mexico. They are "nearly as light as a postage stamp with an average mass of one-tenth of an ounce." They feed on the nectar of desert honeysuckle and saguaro cactus. (For those of you not familiar with saguaros, they are the tall 3-prong cactus you see in all the old western movies.)
5. The Adelie Penguin - This penguin shares its cuteness and toughness with the smaller black-capped chickadee. They "inhabit a circumpolar region along the coastline of Antarctica. Adelie penguins are the classic penguins, with black plumage on their back, head, and the top side of their wings and white plumage on their belly and the underside of their wings."
4. The Northern Saw-Whet Owl is found from coast to coast in North America. These are small owls that have a round facial disk and large golden eyes. "Like many owls, northern saw-whet owls are secretive, nocturnal birds that hunt small mammals such as deer mice and white-footed mice."
3. The Black-capped Chickadee - Often found at bird feeders in many North American backyards (aka gardens) they are hardy little birds that remain in their region even during the coldest winters. To cope with the extreme winter temperatures, these birds lower their body temperature at night, entering into a state of regulated hypothermia. This saves them lots of energy.
2. The Atlantic Puffin comes in at number 2 on our list. He's a charming seabird that nests in large and friendly colonies along the coastline of the North Atlantic. When it's not breeding season, the puffin flies out over open water hunting for fish. The Atlantic puffin owes its cuteness to its small, rotund stature and distinct coloration.
And topping our cute bird list is...
1. The Eurasian Wren. A charismatic little bird that is so small he can fit into a teacup. Often referred to as "the little brown bird" they are found in Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. So why do they make our cute list? Mostly it's due to their tiny size and plumb body which is emphasized when they puff up their feathers. "Eurasian wrens weigh a mere one-quarter to one-half an ounce and full-grown birds are just 3 to 5 inches long, from bill to tail."
Every area of the world has lots to offer the bird-watching enthusiast. They aren't all tiny or adorable. But all birds have their own unique beauty. If you don't have any other plans for this weekend, perhaps you can spend some time observing the birds right in your own backyard! But whatever you decide to do, please have some fun and do stay safe. I invite you all back here on Monday for another week of interesting (I hope!) blogs and advice. Until then, I wish everyone