March. To much of the country it’s a massive basketball tournament, but to bird watchers it’s an equally frenzied run-up to spring. Right now, the first birds are dribbling back in to their summer ranges—grackles, blackbirds, phoebes, and swallows—but soon it’ll be a full court press of warblers, thrushes, shorebirds, orioles, and more.
We think the bird world’s ready for a little March migration madness of its own.
So we put together a tournament of 16 bird species and we’re asking you to vote for your favorites in head-to-head matchups. We’ll follow their progress as we move through the Tweet 16, the Airborne 8, and the Feathered 4 to the finals. Go here to vote (you will need to be a fan of our Facebook page to vote).
To narrow our list to 16 we chose the top 12 most popular species on our All About Birds species guide, and then we added 4 wild cards chosen by members of our web team. (We removed Bald Eagle from the running because we didn’t want anyone to be conflicted about voting for or against our national symbol.)
The Top Seeds
- Red-tailed Hawk
- Northern Cardinal
- Black-capped Chickadee
- Cooper’s Hawk
- American Goldfinch
- Downy Woodpecker
- Peregrine Falcon
- Dark-eyed Junco
- Blue Jay
- Northern Flicker
- American Robin
- White-breasted Nuthatch
The Wild Cards:
- Cedar Waxwing (chosen by me)
- Lucifer Hummingbird (chosen by Syed Rahman)
- House Wren (chosen by Scott Haber)
- Wood Duck (chosen by Jessie Barry)
Which species is going to go all the way? Head over to Facebook and help decide!