[Tweeters] Re: Of identification and preconceived notions

mechejmch at aol.com mechejmch at aol.com
Sat Dec 22 09:53:28 PST 2007

I'd like to have a dollar for every "Blue Jay" that's been?reported to our local sightings page or mentioned in casual conversations over the years here in the Pacific Northwest. It requires a good helping of "friendly dissuasion" to?inform/enlighten the observers about Steller's Jays.??

What's in a?(bird) name?

Holiday cheers,
Joe Meche

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim McCoy <jfmccoy at hotmail.com>
To: tweeters at u.washington.edu
Sent: Sat, 22 Dec 2007 8:39 am
Subject: [Tweeters] Re: Of identification and preconceived notions

Like Martin, and I suspect many others on this list, I've gently attempted to convince people that they were seeing Great Blue Herons and not cranes.? Part of the problem is that "crane" is a time-honored vernacular term for Great Blue Herons, and many an amateur naturalist has learned that term at the foot of another, sometimes?quite knowledgeable, senior amateur naturalist.? Such people are never easily dissuaded.? The point to remember is that they're not really wrong; it's just that they're working with fuzzy terminology.? So I always just explain the difference to them, and let them know that they're right, but put them wise to the "correct" term in current usage among birders and ornithologists.
Jim McCoy
Marblehead, MA
jfmccoy at hotmail.com

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