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