LIVE from the Nature Blog Network Pavilion deep in the heart of the internets, it’s the NBN Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence! Featuring all your favorite bird themed blogs, tonight, on one stage, performing together for the first time since that awkward Yoko Ono induced breakup because, let’s face it, they could really use the money. Plus special guests, blogging luminaries, and because he just shows up to stuff like this, Ashton Kutcher (no Ashton, twitter is not a blog)…
And now, your host, a man we weren’t even sure knew how to use a computer….N8!
Ah, Thanks so much. Welcome folks, to the 100th edition of I and the Bird!
*pause for applause*
Thank you, thank you, you’re too kind. And what a magical night we have for you all. It’s truly an honor to be your host this evening and it’s simply breathtaking to have everybody here, and I mean that literally. Once I began to process the torrential flood of posts from tonight’s stellar contributors, I nearly passed out. No seriously, it’s a good thing my wife is Red Cross certified.
*pause for raucous laughter*
You know, Webster’s Dictionary defines “centenary” as something or other to do with 100… I think, I didn’t have time to check, and it really couldn’t be more accurate. 100 editions of anything is no small feat, and something many magazines couldn’t even lay claim to. It’s a testimony to the institution that is I and the Bird.
Why, from the first IATB, hewn upon granite tablets chiseled from the very mountains them…wait, hold on…I’m getting word from Mike that the first IATB was not, in fact, hewn upon stone tablets. Um, hewn, rather, upon the very, in a way, “stone”-ish servers of the primitive internet itself, in binary code no less…no?…, ok, not binary code… anyway, it’s become the go-to carnival for all things feathered, with the exception of dusters and boas, and that’s not a particularly hard or fast rule.
No, blog carnivals with the success and longevity of I and the Bird are a rare thing indeed, and wholly dependent on the quality of content submitted month in and month out. The contributors to IATB are among the best in the blogosphere. Which is why we’re here tonight, to honor all of them, and you… because them are you, or rather you are them.
Like most awards shows, this one is scheduled to go about three hours over schedule, but you’ll undoubtedly hold on till the end anyway, right? Now, on to the awards ceremony!
- First, the award for Most Sympathy induced for a Carrion Eater goes to… Elizabeth at Yips and Howls with White-rumped Vulture: Species of the Week. What a proud moment this must be. Sorry no time for speeches, we’ve got a lot of awards to hand out.
- For Best Prairie Presentation- Short Grass Division, and this was a nailbiter, the winner is… Away out on the Prairie from Birds O’ The Morning. It helps a bit that this award is sponsered by the Colorado Chamber of Commerce, no?
- Another obvious choice for one of the big categories, Bird Least Likely to Reproduce, goes to Birds, Words, and Websites, with their submission A Birder’s Tale: Spotting a Tricky Rare Hybrid. Congratulations to Laura, apologies to the genetic freakshow that is the bird.
- The award that goes hand in hand with the previous, its Bird MOST Likely to Reproduce. This year’s champion has to be the the randy roosters in Birdchick‘s Lesser Prairie Chicken aka Jets vs Sharks. but maybe it’s just me, I’m a sucker for inflatable neck pouches.
- This is usually an award we save for all those entertainment programs that stalk the red-carpet (you all saw the red-carpet out there, right?) but we decided to supercede them with our choice for Best Dressed Bird. It’s the plucky Red-cockaded Woodpecker in Birds with Bling from Florida Beach Basics. Lookin’ sharp there, cocky.
- The award for Best Nature Observed at a heart rate over 140 goes to the ringer of the bunch… Photography on the Run with Hawk, Bobcat, and Rabbit. I don’t know how he takes photos while running, he must have a fancy image stabilizer, but that’s why he’s a winner.
- The next award is for the kiddies, it’s the Awwwwwww Prize. This year’s choice was tough, but the judges are going with Goslings from Consworld. They may grow up to make a mess on your lawn, but darn it all, my heart’s not made of stone, you know?!
- This year’s nominees for the Hypno Bird Award were top-notch, and nearly all of them lulled our judges into a trance that took nearly three hours to get out of. But the deepest trance, by far, was instigated by the Spruce Grouse from Crane Lake Nature Blog. Careful there, that grouse will mess you up, you’ll never know here the time went.
- The honorary Questions to Ponder Award goes to the Pencil and Leaf Blog who asks the question Can Moorhens Count? If they can, then my Moorhen Ponzi scheme seems doomed to fail before it even gets off the ground.
- For the Most Urbane Bird award goes undoubtedly to Killdeer from Nuncketest for a wrenching portrayal of a bird that always looks exceptionally nervous despite it’s big-city, parking lot, lifestyle.
- A gripping tale of good and evil takes the Dichotomy Prize this year. Greg Laden‘s What Makes for a Good Bird immediately calls to mind that which all birders must wrestle with, the question of “good” birds versus “bad”. The answers may shock you.
- Duncan from the Ben Cruachan Blog brings us our Best use of Human / Tree Perspective in Bindi and Beyond. As you can imagine, the competition for this award was fierce. Better luck next time, also rans.
- We change gears now to the Best Use of Rotting Termite Mounds, which, if you know the award, you know it has to go this year to the Bird Ecology Study Group who brought us Nesting of the Banded Kingfisher. They were a runner-up for Best Use of Multi-hued Kingfishers as well.
- One of the biggies, Most Colorful Post goes to Reflections of Wings & Inspiration with a stunner Taman Negara Sungai Relau. It starts with Green Broadbill and doesn’t let up until the thrilling conclusion which, spoiler alert, is Black-naped Monarch.
- The award for Most Impressive Birding on a Holiday goes to Birds & Nature Photography Blog in which Tabib picks up five lifers during his Birding on Pahang Hari Hol at Bukit Rengit. Which, I’ll be honest, I know what very little of that means. “Birding” and “lifers” is enough, though.
- Tales of the Nishiki is the proud winner of the “You got migrants in my snowdrifts, you got snowdrifts in my migrants” Award. maybe I’m biased since I’m from the south, but all that snow doesn’t look like Spring to me. Decide for yourself at Revisiting Algonquin.
- The Whale is not a Bird Award goes to Amila from Gallicissa. His Bagging the Blue Whale is light on avians but long on adventure. But he’s got a couple Brown Hawk Owls in his garden that bring it right round on point, though.
- The award for Best Photograph of a Bird named for an Article of Clothing goes to… Listening Earth Blog for their post A Plump Quail is a Happy Quail. The Button Quail is the winner today, better luck next time Cummerbund Stork.
- Prior host of IATB Migrations brings home the Political Action Award for his work breaking down the Cyprus Report from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter. It totally knocks the socks off the report from the Committee FOR Bird Slaughter.
- Birding in Maine brings home the Please please please to meetcha Award for his post BPW: Chestnut-sided Warbler. Careful he doesn’t get it confused with the The red, the red T-shirt award. I sometimes get those mixed up.
- The award for Best example of Raptor Reality is bestowed upon Ella Bay Forever for the post The Grey Goshawk: Ella Bay’s Deadly Forest Assassin. As Freddy Mercury once said, “She’s a killer Queeeeeeeeeen”.
- DDolan, New Birder (though he may be advised to update his name these days) wins the Neotropic Diversity Award for a recent trip depicted in High Island Week 4 Day 2. A renowned migratory hotspot and an eye for photography makes a fine combination.
- Priscilla at This Lively Earth runs away with the Best Impression of an Eagle Whisperer in Deliver me in a black-winged Bird. I wonder if her seemingly magical influence extends to Cerulean Warblers? If so, I’d like to go birding with Priscilla.
- The Yard List Award goes to Neighborhood Nature for the post Front Stoop Birding for her impressive tally of birds seen from her front porch. Any time a Cape May Warbler’s in the neighborhood is a good day indeed.
- You know a blog named Costa Rica Living and Birding has the goods to clean up on Best Example of a Envy Inducing Feeding Station with Costa Rica Feeder Birds, and that’s before you get the Crimson-collared Tanagers.
- The honor of Most Unusual characteristic of a Common Species goes to Red-tailed Hawk Nictitating Membrane by Birding Girl. Birds have at once bizarre and amazing physical characteristics, definitely award worthy.
- The Save the Trees (the dead ones at least) Award goes to Treeblogs‘s Buzzard Tree, a testimony to the protection of snags for their use by birds and other taxa. So keep ‘em around, unless you hate birds, and you don’t right?
- The Award for the Giving out of Awards goes to the folks at 10,000 Birds for Puerto Rico: Birds Birds Birds. Not only will you become entranced by the island’s avifauna, but you may just win a trip there. Avoid at your own risk.
- Vagrants, Vagabonds, and migrant Visitors wins the Best Birding Origin Story involving a Hawaiian Owl. A surprisingly well contested category, Pueo Hawaiian Owl Inspires Passion takes the top prize.
- The Red-winged Blackbird Appreciation Award is presented to The Dispersal of Darwin for the post A little birding this morning. Who appreciated blackbirds more than he who sees them as a sign of spring’s return?
- The award for Most apt Description of a Carolina Wren is dutifully awarded to Outside In for the appropriately named high energy bird. It’s a good thing that the Carolina Wren was chosen, the award for House Wren was discontinued this year.
- Marcia Bonta takes home the award for Best use of the word Enigmatic for her post An Enigmatic Warbler, speaking of that sky-blue jewel of my dreams the Cerulean Warbler. Wait, enigmatic means invisible, right? Because that’s how I feel about this bird.
- The award for Most Misleading Post goes to Discovering Alpine Birds where Dale combines a request for the Greatest Warbler Song with a stunning photo of an Ibisbill. Very tricksy, Dale! I, of course, have a favorite warbler song, and it’s the Ibisbill. So there!
- The Most Clever Coots award is dutifully handed off to Counting Coots for the post Didn’t they do well? The “they” means the coots. The “well” means they made a nest in a shopping cart. So yes, I guess.
- The Tanager that’s not a Tanager Award goes to Pacific Backyard Birder for In the Woods… Western Tanager, the story of a beautiful bird who’s DNA tells us it’s not quite what we’ve always thought it was.
- Liberating Wings is the recipient of the Fire, Bad! (Frankenstein Memorial) Award with the story of a group of dedicated people doing their best to mitigate the effects of a potentially disastrous forest fire in Bearing Fire in Love.
- Noonanthome of Wisdom of WIldlife compares seeing a rare bird with winning a prestigious prize. Well, she’d know as the newest recipient of the Most Pink-necked Pigeon Award. How prestigious. The post in question is A different citiwalk, a birdwalk.
- The Behind the Great Wall Prize is proudly given to Christian Artuso with his fine photo essay of Thrushes, robins, and redstarts. Lovely stuff, and it’ll certainly make you want to come back 20 minutes later.
- Picus Blog is the recipient of the Definitely not about Woodpeckers Award with his impressive tally of Colorful New England Birds. There’s not a tree tapper among them, but with some oh-so-tantalizingly close to perfect Oriole shots, I suppose we can forgive him.
- Larry of the Birder’s Report is the winner of our Laying out the Red Carpet Award for the swanky digs he’s set up for his yard birds in A Birdhouse, A Bird Feeder, and a Fresh Water Source. Sounds good to me Larry, how much is rent?
- The Lazy Lizard’s Tales walks away with the Sympathy for the Devil Award for the fascinating story of how the rise of the parasitic Asian Koel in Singapore is intricately tied to the spread of it’s target, the introduced House Crow, in Call of the Koel.
- Choosing the award for Sharpest-tailed Grouse was a tough one, but Birds in the Pan from Voyages Around My Camera came out on top from all the submissions with grouse whose tails were just not sharp enough. We have standards here, folks.
- The award for Best example of Bad Behavior Among Gulls (the coveted BEBBAG Award) this year goes to Wanderin’ Weeta and Does not Share Well With Others. Those who have experience watching gulls realize was a full category this one likely was.
- Science Why Not takes home the Almost Birds, but Not Quite Prize for his post on flying pterosaurs in Did Pterodactyls Really Fly? We’re not really sure if they have feathers or not, but they get a prize since they almost certainly have teeth.
- The Giant Violet Swallow Award goes to My Purple Martin Blog who checks the nests one last time in Last Check for Awhile. Here’s hoping for another year of baby Martins and a pox on Starlings and House Sparrow.
- The Life, Death, and Black Oil Sunflower Seeds Award is hereby presented to Melange for the post Birds at My Feeder 3: Drama In the Sky, and harrowing tale of a Red-winged Blackbird meeting its fate in the talons of an Accipiter.
- Gwenz WIldlife Weblog is awarded the Greater Crested Grebe Award for Piggybacking. One only hopes that she can get the photo of the babies perched aback so she can go indtead for the Greatest Crested Grebe Prize next time.
- The Andre the Giant Memorial Award for Wildlife Wrestling is presented with aplomb to Rick of Aimophila Adventures for his post, Turkey Tussle, in which two of the great gobblers duke it out for supremacy. Are you ready to ruuuuuumbblllle? Well, they are.
- Best Impersonation of a Kiwi by an Irish blog goes to Peregrine’s Bird Blog for a look at the problematic Parrot of story and song, the Kea, in Kea at Arthur’s Pass. I only hope it didn’t rip up his rental car, as they’re known to do.
- Kelly from the Red and the Peanut will be taking home the We told you so Award for Outstanding Obliviousness in the Face of Extraordinary Discovery for her work in I almost missed this gorgeous Red-bellied Woodpecker, his mate, and their nesting cavity because I was in the grip of warbler mania…. But don’t feel too bad, Kelly, we’ve all been there.
- For the post Flying Crows, the Wild About Nature Blog will be taking home the Award for Outstanding Corvid Appreciation. Please accept it knowing that the crows are onto us, they’re much smarter than you think.
- Nature Geek Northwest will be taking home the Singing Savannah Sparrow Award for, appropriately enough, Savannah Sparrow Discovery Park, South Meadow. It’s very well and good, but to be eligible for next years award we’re going ot need photos of every subspecies of Savannah Sparrow. Sorry, but them’s the breaks.
- Most Appropriate Use of a Nyjer Sock goes to Coyote Mercury and his post American Goldfinch. For the record, other appropriate uses include hacky sack and filling it with nickels to use as a weapon if you’re ever in an street fight. You’ll thank me one of these days.
- The House and other Arctic Musings joins us all the way from the far north, and we’ll hopefully make the trip worth while by presenting him with the Super Incredible Dream Bird Award (also known as the Gryfalcon Award) for his post One Snow Bunting Does not make a Spring…
- The Apricot Head Award for Acheivement in Avocet Photography is presented to A Misty Midnight’s Avalance of Tornadic Madness for the post Baylands I. With such fine Avocet work, can a stellar Stilt be far behind?
- Naturefinder takes hope top prize for Progress in Human/Albatross Relations. This crucial work is noted in the post Habitat Restoration is “For the Birds” at Midway Atoll.
- Conversely, Tai-Haiku of Earth, Wind, and Water is on the front lines of the breakdown between Owl/Iguana relations in Bad Day to be an Iguana. Join us as we present the Award for Excellence in interspecies Conflict Reporting. Truly an honor.
- The Green with Envy Award goes to Gunnar of A birding blog from Peru who reviews the new book about that birder so many listers envy, Phoebe Snetsinger in Book Review: Life List By Oliva Gentile. That we could all gro our life lists beyond 8000.
- Birdfreak takes home the Worth Two in the Bush Award for their dazzling presentation on bird banding in Banding Birds at Birdfest 2009. Come for the Baltimore Oriole, stay for the Henslow’s Sparrow.
- With the post The Black-winged Stilts at Pallikarani, Madras Wanderings has done enough to bring home the Best Excuse to save an Indian Wetland Award. If the post is any indication, there’s no shortage of Indian wetlands that could use saving. Perhaps they should get some Black-winged Stilts.
- The Most Red Bird Award is presented to Tyto Tony with the help of a gorgeous Crimson Finch. The post Crimson beats the grey may be true enough, but the little gray birds aren’t so bad themselves, either.
- Sketching in Nature is the favorite to take home the Best Pen and Ink depiction of a Woodpecker for the pretty picid on display at Pileated Woodpecker. From pounding wood to pounding paper in one elegant step.
- Seabrooke from the Marvelous in Nature is no stranger to the nature blogging set. She’s here now to accept the award for Quickest Hummingbird Feeder Setup if her post, Today at Kingsford – Ruby-throated Hummingbird is to be believed. And why not, who doesn’t want to help these little guys on their way with sweet sweet sugar water?
- My colleague here at the NBN, Wren of Wrennaisance Reflections is the pround recipient of the Bird as Sky Award for her photo of blue-gray sky and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher at New River Birding Skywatch. Congratulations, Wren!
- My other collegue John Ruitta of Born Again Bird Watcher takes home the I Spy Award for his charming and brutal takedown of an illadviced advertisement in Hubris or Ignorance? Neither is particularly encouraging for the ad agency, however, who gets no award from us this evening.
- The Working Hard for a Competition you don’t even Compete in Award goes to Mike of The Feather and the Flower for his post I came, I saw, I scouted – Wrapping up the World Series. His work for the Cornell Sapsucker Team was not for naught, as they made the podium, but unfortunately the top spot was out of reach yet again.
And at long last, our NBN lifetime achievement award goes to our carnival ringleader, the compiler of our rowdy bunch, the lead goose in our v-shaped migratory flock heading north to riches and glory… Mike Bergin!
Mike Bergin is not able to receive the award. Accepting for Mr. Bergin will be N8.
Oh, what a surprise! I am both delighted and honored to receive this cherished award…er, for Mike, obviously.
First I’d like to thank my agent, my parents for letting me dream, my baby’s momma (payday’s coming baby!), my bookie, my student loan officer, the guy who bagged my groceries the other day..
What, you’re playing me off? Stop it, I’m still thanking people! Hey, what’s the deal with that hook? Why do you have that chloroform?
The next I and the Bird will be held at Living the Scientific Life on May 28. Deadline is the evening of Tuesday May 26.