Today I walked over to the bathroom in the late afternoon after hiking the birding trail in Catalina State Park. A man was sitting on a lawn chair, wiping down his shiny car with a sponge. An hour later, when I went back for a shower, he was polishing the door with a chamois. I don’t know what he was thinking about, but I’m sure it wasn’t about Northern Beardless-Tyrannulets.
I wonder who thinks up bird names? Take Northern Beardless-Tyrannulet. Northern? It is only found in extreme southern Arizona and Texas and points south. Beardless? Apparently it lacks the sprouting feathers around its beak of other flycatchers which makes it beardless – although you need powerful optics to tell the difference. Tyrannulet? No comment.
I don’t approve of the habit of naming birds after people. Who was Wilson anyway? Did a warbler, storm-petrel, phalarope, plover and snipe all have to be named after Wilson? Instead of Wilson’s Warbler, we could call in Black-crowned Warbler. Although maybe that wouldn’t work since its black crown is clearly visible. Has anyone seen the orange crown on an Orange-crowned Warbler?
I like the name Thrasher. I walk carefully in the desert when there could be thrashers around. I don’t like tangling with a cactus, and I certainly wouldn’t take on a thrasher. For my spiritual needs, I always turn to Godwits. A higher being with a sense of humor.