A few days ago I wrote some things about the recent AOS decision to change bird names. It was a struggle, because the situation is big and complex and difficult to distill down to a few digestible paragraphs. I tried my best, but I never know when to stop talking, so here are five additional…Continue readingFive More Random Thoughts About the AOS Changing Bird Names
As usual it’s been a minute since I’ve made internet words, but you had to know that if anything was going to bring me out of my hiatus it would be last Wednesday’s shock announcement by the American Ornithological Society that they’re poised to change a whole bunch of bird names. My three favourite things…Continue readingBird Names Are Changing. Here’s Why You Should Care (and Why You Shouldn’t).
Recently – and this will come as a shock to those of you who know me well – I have been reading a book. It’s not something I make a habit of. In fact I can’t off-hand remember the last one I saw through to the end. But you know self improvement is all the…Continue readingThe State of Birding, and the Weirdos Who Do It
Well here we are folks, new year, new blog. Story of my life. What can I say? I am a walking identity crisis. The reasons for the change are manyfold, and I won’t bore-slash-horrify you with a peek into the inner workings of my brain. Maybe I’m just past the stage of my life in…Continue readingSeagull Is Not a Dirty Word
I recently saw an Instagram post about the Powerful Woodpecker and – as happens every time I hear that spectacular name – a little tingle went down my spine. If you love a good bird name like I do, you simply must agree that this one really has it all. It’s simple, truthful, and evocative.…Continue readingPowerful Woodpecker, and the Other Best Bird Names in the World.
A warning. This is my longest, and probably most fatuous post to date. For ease of digestion I have broken it into three short chapters. Still kinda long. You have been warned. Chapter 1 – The Problem with Experts I’ve always admired people who are singular of focus…those who have a defining passion which they…Continue readingOf White Geese and Expert Birders
I’ve been thinking a lot about comfort recently. Not about simply having it, per se, but about how the pursuit of comfort – or perhaps the avoidance of discomfort – informs the ways people speak and act. I think one could easily argue that comfort is among the largest influences on human behaviour, full stop. The…Continue readingGetting Uncomfortable: Leaning In When Things Feel Icky
There’s something about owls that makes people absolutely lose their minds. I’m not kidding, and I’m not exaggerating. In my day-job I have the great fortune to work with – and teach people about – these enigmatic birds, and I’ve seen it time and time again. Owls bring different things out of different people, from…Continue readingBirders Behaving Badly: Celebrity Owl Edition
Birding is like a drug. Maybe you try it once with a friend, and you’re unconvinced. It’s confusing, you don’t really understand what’s happening, and in the end you just don’t really get the appeal. But then a week later you’re at a party and somebody’s like “hey, wanna do birding?” and you’re all “I…Continue readingThumb-birding: a Birder Identifies Bird Emojis