The only blog I read faithfully every day, http://10000birds.com, just asked readers to identify our best bird of the year. For me, it's this hopping Hoopoe that paused for a blurry snapshot beside the road on our bicycle tour of Vietnam. The Common Hoopoe isn't rare; it's found all over Europe, Asia and Africa. But what a spectacular bird, especially when it displays its striped crest, zebra back, and long insect-eating bill. I'd always wanted to see a Common Hoopoe, and it wins my prize as best bird of the year!