Saturday, March 21, 2009

BIRDWATCHERS WANT TO KNOW!


We’re all getting anxious for the annual spring migration here in the North – a happy time of adding to one’s Life List, of pishing in every kind of habitat imaginable. Who needs Twitter when you've got the real thing! Alas, it also brings up those tough perennial bird-related questions that even the experts don’t have answers for. Obviously, much more research is needed…


· Are Mute Swans critical of Wandering Tattlers? Or, for that matter, of their own Whistling, Trumpeting and Whooping cousins?

· Can you have a flock of Solitary Sandpipers?

· If Sapsuckers suck sap and Gnatcatchers catch gnats, what do Bananaquits do? How about a Killdeer?

· Do Worm-eating Warblers resent getting stuck with that name, when so many other birds with pretty names eat worms, too?

· Do Mockingbirds make fun of Hook-billed Kites and Broad-bellied Hummingbirds behind their backs?

· If you cross a Spoonbill with a Fork-tailed Kite, and their offspring with a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, and theirs with a Crossbill, would you end up with a Swiss Army bird?

· Isn’t a Greater-yellowlegs just a Lesser-yellowlegs with a pair of Stilts?

· Are Red-breasted Nuthatches, Pectoral Sandpipers, Titmice, and Boobies suitable for viewing by minors?

· What would happen if you put a Razorbill and a Red-whiskered Bulbul in a room together? What about a Bristle-thighed Curlew? (Hmm…is that where Beardless-Tyrannulets come from?)

· Do Hermit Thrushes and Monk Parakeets understand each other?

· How long is a Stint?

· What is the cutest bird name? (Hint: Dovekie) And the uncutest? (Hint: Smew)


* Photo of male Smew - which I am hereby unofficially renaming the "Gel-crested Panda Duck" - at www.birdform.net/opus/Smew

17 comments:

bobbie said...

You are too much! You certainly have a way with words. Love it!

Dianne said...

this is priceless!! wonderful

and I love the photo, what a funky fellow he is - a rock star even

Sylvia K said...

I can only echo Bobbie and Dianne! You do have a way with words and I do love this photo! His "hat" is too much! By the way, who names these critters anyway??? Do you think they might have some mental or emotional problems? both?

Beth P. said...

Dear Deborah--
It's quite a mind that has come up with these questions...to say nothing of whatever answers might arise!

Very cute! Thanks for the photo of that guy. He's pretty handsome. Wonder if he's single and available?

Lin said...

wow you know a lot about birds...cute photo

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Cute, Deb.... I haven't heard any of these before... Guess the 'official' birders need to do much more research... HA... I still wonder where in the world the Titmouse got its name...

Have a great day.
Hugs,
Betsy

Kallen305 said...

LOL!!! That was great! Wonderful picture too.

Annie said...

Lots of fun reading this. I was wondering what that bird was and there it is, right at the end. I like your rechristening name better too.

SandyCarlson said...

That's a marvelous photo. And I love the questions!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

These are all questions that will be answered over time with research - HA! Isn't it the case that even with the real questions, research raises more questions than answers (often not as funny though ...)

Cloudia said...

A brilliant post, Deborah!
LOL!

hitch writer said...

wow that is a wonderful photo... how you got so close ??

we have lots of migratory birds coming to my town in winters... we go for bird watching... but its really difficult to get near...

we took this big lens the last time but in the boat to get a steady shot is almost impossible...

he really looks like a rock star !!!! :)

Indrani said...

How you think and how you make us think! I am absolutely clueless of the answers. :)
Awesome collection of names.

Ruth said...

You really have to wonder how some birds got their names! Clever post.

Rose said...

Oh my goodness! This was great! My favorite was the one that ended with being a Swiss Army Knife...

Shellmo said...

All questions that birders should be asking themselves.... :-)

Squirrel said...

gorgeous bird!