Subject: Bird of the Year award
Date: Jan 1 10:17:01 2000
From: Christine Vadai - christinevadai at

Hi tweets,

WARNING: This is one of those goofy messages just for fun, but I'll only be inspired to do this only about once every thousand years anyway.

The envelope, please...

Despite fierce competition, Bird of the Year goes to the SCALY-BREASTED LORIKEET of Australia. Someone almost stole my camera bag when I put it down to go running after this one. (Tom chased the guy away, thank goodness!) He was feeding with a flock of much more common Rainbow Lorikeets, at the botanical gardens in Brisbane.

The Runners-up:

The GYRFALCON, that just seemed to be sitting there waiting for us near the church in Edison yesterday.

The GOLDEN EAGLE of Wednesday was also a real treat for the area at this time of year, scaring up a comparatively-dainty harrier as it landed, and then sitting there chewing on a snow goose that had been left by a group of hunters.

I had never gotten even a remotely decent photo of a BAND-TAILED PIGEON, until one graciously showed up in my backyard this summer, and allowed me to take this one. I was quite appreciative.

The MAJOR MITCHELL'S COCKATOO, that I had been searching for in Australia for a week without success. As we pulled into the campground in Wyperfeld National Park, I noticed two of them sitting on a branch of a tree opposite the car! One of those same gorgeous creatures is on:

Bird of the Millenium was an easy call. That has got to be the RESPLENDANT QUETZAL Tom and I saw in Costa Rica in 1997. That's been my favorite bird since 1977, when I read about it, and then saw a male in a bird park in Germany. I spent many a school day sketching them on textbooks in lieu of learning grammar (which is self-evident, I'm sure). The sighting in Monteverde was just about the pinnacle of my birding experience.

I'd love to hear about anyone else's BIRD OF THE YEAR!!

Happy new year, happy new (or last year of the ) millenium, and good birding!!

Christine Vadai
Mill Creek, WA
christinevadai at