The Atlantic

The Least Popular Birds in the U.S. Deserve Some Love

They may be small, drab, and shy, but somebody’s got to stand up for them.
Source: Agami / Diana Carpenter / Eric Isselee / Pan Xunbin / Shutterstock / The Atlantic

When I was in sixth grade, the cool girls at my school drew up a document they called the popularity pyramid. Everyone was sorted into a handful of social categories; suffice it to say, I, along with the plurality of the class, was relegated to the lowest tranche and designated a Loser Beyond Belief.

Now a pair of scientists are doing something similar with the birds of the United States. In a published Monday in the , they ranked 621 avian species by their popularity. But unlike the pyramid of my past, this list isn’t

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