Skip to main content

Not intermediate, but cattle?


I've just found the Editors' Notebook from a 2004 issue of North American Birds, where Edward S. Brinkley writes:
We intend to revisit an older article on Intermediate Egret on Midway Atoll, Hawaii (N. A. B. 53: 441-443), which may pertain to an "Eastern Cattle-Egret" rather than an Intermediate Egret (have we piqued the reader's interest?).

As the author of the article in question, I am eager to see the clarification, which is apparently approaching a draft stage now. Ever since I was informed that the American Ornithologists' Union check-list committee passed over the "intermediate" egret report in its 45th supplement, I have hoped to read a well documented alternative view. I expect to be presumed mistaken and am comfortable with that. It's just hard to be wrong so publicly.

It happens, though; I am not alone. After recounting a handful of other questioned identifications recorded in NAB, Brinkley goes on to write:

It is remarkable, and very humbling to one's own grasp of bird identification, to receive opposing opinions from experts in their fields!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Distance Record on AO-92

On 2019-02-20 at 13:08Z, EB1AO and I completed a 4,936-km QSO between IN52pe and FN43rg, setting a distance record for the U/v repeater on AO-92. It was a -11° pass — Celsius (12°F… brrr). Really, it was a 1° pass — maximum elevation at my end. Jose's map tells the story, though the time reported is his AOS , not QSO time. We both recorded the contact. Mine is in Dropbox: eb1ao_AO-92.wav . Thanks EB1AO. Thanks AMSAT-NA . UPDATE: Our record was surpassed by F4DXV and VE1VOX, who added 75 km to the distance, in August 2020. Page reviewed December 2020.

Bird of the Year Poses Typographical Challenge

The American Birding Association's selection of the ʻiʻiwi as its 2018 Bird of the Year poses a typographical challenge: What to do about the ʻokina? That "single quote" at its start, and right between the i's, is one of two Hawaiian diacritical marks . It denotes a glottal stop, a quick throat-catch like that in uh-oh, so ʻiʻiwi is pronounced ee-EEvee . The ʻokina appears once in the main heading of the Bird of the Year page, but is omitted throughout Nate Swick's explanation of why the honeycreeper was chosen. This inconsistency is avoidable and the omission is undesirable. The ʻokina is not optional punctuation but a purposeful letter. The ABA isn't awkward alone. The Birds of North America account at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology spells ʻiʻiwi three ways (unique treatments in heading and citation, main text, and image caption). The American Bird Conservancy gives this bird two marks but resorts to the straight quote (prime) rather than employing

One White Heron

A 2-ounce packet of an organic black tea, Dubliner's Breakfast, from White Heron Tea of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, found its way into my Christmas stocking. Santa knows. I inferred this would be a hearty, rich brew, that would brace me for morning. Dubliners are Irish, no? Instead, I tasted a nuanced, fruity cup with less kick than anticipated or desired. The packet went into the afternoon collection, taking an honored place in the rotation especially when the mood was more cerebral than kinetic. Three and a half stars.