Having just returned from a two week holiday on the other side of the world I was astounded at the number of birds that I encountered. Birding is one of my true passions and often a good barometer as to my enjoyment of a destination. It stands to reason that I am thus not much of a city traveller but rather into destinations far more exotic, removed, natural and scenic. Beside from the numbers of birds I saw, what caught my attention was seeing flocks of Cattle Egrets!
Cattle Egrets, you may say are very ordinary looking white birds. Nothing too striking on the eye. It was not the plumage, however which caught my eye, but rather the fact that this is the exact same bird that we see 5400 miles away (8577 km) at Londolozi. It got me thinking about which birds are the most widely spread across planet earth. The word ubiquitous came to mind. A wonderful word full of passion and mystery.
The English Oxford Dictionary defines ubiquitous as: present, appearing, or found everywhere.
It seems like this was a fun word to try describe bird species by. As for the origins of this unusually encountered word: well in the mid 19th century the latin ‘ubique’ meant ‘everywhere’ so it appears that it may have stemmed from there.
I decided to research which were the world’s most ubiquitous birds…not necessarily the most abundant birds but those whose distribution is widest globally.
This is what I was able to come up with (in no order)
-Rock Dove (Common Pigeon) – although is this human assisted distribution?
-Chicken – not sure this counts
-Arctic Skua (Parasitic Jaeger) – however this is a seabird
-Arctic Tern – also a seabird
and of course the Cattle Egret
I would like to now open it up to all our bird lovers to add (or subtract) to this list and debate which is the most Ubiquitous bird in the World – my vote goes with the Peregrine Falcon
Written by Adam Bannister