What Kinds of Birds Are

What Kinds of Birds Are

Alisa Opar
Published: 10/22/2010

I’ve been rather slow to realize that angry birds are taking over the nation. In retrospect, the signs were there—snatches of overheard conversations about strategy on the sidewalk, subway riders stealing glances at other passengers’ smartphones. Finally some friends explained it to me: Angry Birds is a video game. And a highly addictive one, judging from the number of downloads (18 million in 60 countries) and the passion with which people talk about it—a coworker who shall remain nameless said yesterday, “It’s the best game ever. Ever. Ever.”  
 
For those of you who have also been living under a rock: Five birds are trying to retrieve the eggs evil green pigs stole from them. Players launch the birds from a slingshot into structures that the pigs have built, causing them to collapse on top of the thieves. (Watch the video above.)
 
These birds look somewhat familiar, but I’m no expert when it comes to identifying avian species. So I turned to legendary birder and field guide author Kenn Kaufman. Here are his suggestion:
 
Mountain bluebird. Photo: USFWS
The little blue one: The color is sort of like Mountain Bluebird or Indigo Bunting, but the slight crested look and yellow bill wouldn't fit.  Could be a Blue Finch, from Brazil.  
 
Northern cardinal. Photo: USFWS
The red one looks like it's based on Northern Cardinal. Not quite the right pattern, but close.
 
Greater Antillean bullfinch. Photo: South Florida Birding
The black one with gray trim is a toughie.  With those chestnut-orange eyebrows, it might be a Greater Antillean Bullfinch.
 
Yellow warbler. Photo: USFWS
The yellow one with sort of a triangular shape looks like a Yellow Warbler that fell off of its diet.  Or maybe it's just building up fat reserves for its fall migration.
 
Snow bunting. Photo: USFWS
The whitish one is more straightforward—got to be a Snow Bunting. Those tan-colored patches on the face would clinch the I.D. 
 
“Of course, this is all going on colors and markings,” says Kaufman. “Their behavior suggests that they could be something else entirely!”
 
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