Confirmed: Awkbird actually exists!
Perhaps a direct comparison of real Awkbird to Rob Nagy’s theoretical Awkbird is necessary to understand the species confirmation process:
The Awkbird species matches the conceptual body color, frowning beak, circular dot eye with distinctive nervous stare, wings hidden or potentially non-existent, awkward demeanor, oh and spiffy party hat with tassels.
Interestingly, this might also qualify as preliminary evidence for the Mother Awkbird phenomenon since there are three young birds following around the Awkbird and regularly begging for food with open beak. Unfortunately no rainbow spew was sighted. Perhaps the rainbow spew is only fed to baby Awkbirds and not the juvenile stage Awkbirds depicted here. It is suspected that they are too cool for rainbows and they appear to be embracing a Gothic attire at this stage in life. They have also opted out of wearing the blue iridescent head coloring of their parents; clearly an attempt to avoid being conformists.
Well I wasn’t planning on repeating this topic but it was just too perfect! I looked out the window one day in June and saw an adult grackle with a few juvenile grackles. They certainly weren’t babies and were only a little bit smaller than an adult grackel, but they haven’t yet developed the iridescent blue head coloring. They also haven’t given up the practice of begging for food because anytime a parent was around they would stretch their necks and point their open beaks in the air at the parent hoping for a hand-out… or… a beak-out, I guess. Often the parent would grant the request and drop a seed in the juvenile’s mouth, even though it was perfectly capable of feeding itself. I thought it was a funny to see nearly full sized birds still acting like mooching baby birds, so I grabbed my camera, took a picture, and then laughed when I saw Awkbird appear on my screen.
Also, please excuse the mediocre photo quality. The picture was taken with a somewhat old digital camera from about 7 meters away, fully zoomed in, and through two layers of dirty window glass.