As I understand it, in the world of hard-core birders, a person's "nemesis bird" is one that remains out of reach, or at least UNSEEN, yet is highly sought after.
Here's how Merriam-Webster defines NEMESIS:
1 capitalized : the Greek goddess of retributive justice
2 plural nem·e·ses \-ˌsēz\
a : one that inflicts retribution or vengeance
b : a formidable and usually victorious rival or opponent
For a casual birdwatcher who sees the majority of birds at the birdfeeding stations, I offer up this definition of a "nemesis bird": a bird that everyone else has at their feeders and you don't.
So if I were to post my nemesis birds on a hard-core birding site, I'd be laughed out of cyberspace. Why? Because my nemesis birds (and I do have a few) are as common as the Northern Cardinal, the Red-bellied Woodpecker, and the Carolina Wren.
I've SEEN them all and have had 2 of the 3 at my feeders more than once. But they are not regulars, they don't nest in the my yard, and all of them are becoming more common in the Capital District of upstate New York.
Cardinals do visit my yard. Sometimes. Not always. And just 1 at a time, 2 max; not 8, or 10 or a dozen like some of our customers in suburban areas get. They don't nest nearby so I don't see the cardinal young being raised by their attentive parents.
Red-bellied Woodpeckers have also visited - twice! It was my first bird of the year in 2009 - helping herself to a WBU Supreme Fare Seed Cylinder on New Years Day. And then again 18 months later in the summer of 2010. And not since. Many of our customers have them as regulars at their feeders as red-bellieds expand more and more into our area. Cornell Lab of Ornithology cites maturation of forests, the increasing popularity of birdfeeders, and milder winters to this expansion. (Source: Winter Bird Highlights from Project FeederWatch 2009-10)
Another bird that more customers are welcoming into their yard is the Carolina Wren. This species has never even stopped by for a quick visit in my yard. I've had House Wrens and even Winter Wrens, but this handsome bird who is also expanding its range has not paid me a visit yet.
Oh, I know part of has to do with location. I live at a higher elevation than many of our WBU customers (1300 ft in the foothills of the Adirondacks). And many customers of our customers live in suburban settings, at lower elevations, or closer to the river, or have some other geographic advantage to attract these birds. But it doesn't keep me from longing to have them become regulars at my feeders!
Now, time to share! What is your nemesis bird or birds, from a birdfeeding perspective?