When I tell people that I fold origami and show them what I fold (and usually it's something geometric or modular) they often reference having tried origami at some point earlier in their lives and usually they had tried the classic crane.  Admittedly that was one of the first things that I learned, though it's a model that doesn't interest me a great deal (since it seems to be so common).  Most of the time I prefer to fold something geometric, but there are a few animal models that I enjoy folding.  There seems to be a very large variety of origami bird models.  Here are a few of my favorites:

This model is titled 'Congratulations Crane'.  I found it in Steve and Megumi Biddle's Essential Origami book.  The model's author is unknown so it's considered a traditional model.
A collection of the Congratulations Cranes that I've folded recently.
I love this particular model folded from this brown and yellow corner radiation origami paper; by folding it this way I think it looks like a turkey :)
Also a traditional model and also found in Steve and Megumi Biddle's Essential Origami book this model is titled 'Sisters'.  It's folded from one sheet of paper that is 2:1 ratio.  Since you have to make one slight cut in the paper, it technically breaks one of the rules of "traditional" origami.  In order to really appreciate this model it needs to be folded from paper that is a different color on each side.
This Bald Eagle model is from John Montroll's North American Animals in Origami book.  One of my favorite bird models, though a little on the difficult side to fold the first few times (probably not something for a beginner).  I was silly enough to purchase the book (after seeing the cover and loving this model) and trying to learn this model first.  I was still barely learning origami and as a result the final model looked little like this :)
There are a couple of other birds that I love to fold, but sadly don't have any pictures of them at the present; a simpler eagle and a celebration crane.  Since it is getting close to being Thanksgiving as the end of November approaches I think that the model that catches my eye the most is the brown and yellow Congratulations Crane; it would be a fun decoration to put on the table during Thanksgiving dinner.  I'll have to do another post about some of the other animals that I enjoy folding and include the missing birds.

Here is the links to the books that I referenced :

Essential Origami by Steve and Megumi

North American Animals in Origami by John Montroll

Both goods books. Essential Origami is more for beginners and takes it very step-by-step in the instructions, whereas North American Animals in Origami goes with the assumption that you already know how to read origami diagrams and much more difficult as a whole (although it does have a page at the front of the book describing all of the symbols as almost all origami books do). 

Try some of these out.  Feel free to contact me with any comments or questions; I'm considering doing a tutorial post one of these days (any input on what to do is welcomed :)  Enjoy!

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