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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

World Bird Wednesday LXI


The Name Game


   I wrote last WBW about how Mid-Michigan is inundated with eagles and as if to prove a point, scattered over this page you'll find five different Bald eagles. A flock of eagles is called a convocation, a word normally used to describe an assemblage of learned people summoned together to decree honors and privileges. The word has a ayre of religiosity and academic stuffiness to it. Grant it, Bald eagles in their various phases are grand birds and never fail to grasp your full attention with their noble presence. Still, I think our ornithological forefathers missed it on this one, instead of convocation, I might have suggested a Rumble of Eagles. Something with a bit of rough and tumble 1950's violence associated with it and rolling thunder to boot. All in all the standard terms are quite imaginative. I don't think your going to top a Murder of crows no mater what you come up with. A parliament of owls would be a tough one to beat too. When a nye of pheasants are flushed it is called a bouquet. They got it right when they named a flock of larks an exaltation. A siege of herons sounds like something a fisherman came up with. You must admit, a charm of finches is a little to cutesy-pie. A muster of storks seems perfect though I couldn't tell you why, and I wish someone could explain the expression, an unkindness of ravens! There is so much here to ponder... 
        ...and then, the question begs to be asked, what should a group of bird watchers be called? The English term Twitchers jumps to mind, a sixty year old expression describing the nervous demeanor of the high strung, obsessive, and ostentatiously learned UK birder of that era, Howard Medhurst. So would that make it, a twitch of birders?  A classic of course but could we do better? 
   Surely we, the bird photographers of today, deserve a descriptive word to better describe our own peculiar quirks when time and chance permits us to indulge in our own herd mentality.

  


This happy under aged Baldy with a tattered fish in his talons was fleeing a convocation of four older eagles!  



After giving it some serious thought my best suggestion would be a clique of bird photographers. Get it? A clique is a group of extremely cool people...check. And our camera's click more then a roomful of beatniks at a poetry reading. This is really to much fun and the opportunities to establish new lexiconic frontiers is exciting. I like it that these inventions barely make sense in conventional terms but relies more on a form of free associative logic. That is right up my alley. Would a cluster of dietitians be a glut or a crowd of firemen a splash?  The little Downy woodpecker to your right, in concert with others of it's kind, is properly called a descent. I would rename it a poke. We can be proud that birders invented this tradition of giving distinct and picturesque names to its flocks. There is plenty of room here for the rest of non-birding humanity to join in and create these snappy little catchalls though maybe we should keep this spirited word game to ourselves, you know how a good free thinking idea like this gets turned on it's head and takes on a vindictive tone by a boil of mean spirited bullies. Slurs, as we're all to aware, are the currency of jerks! Word up.   



Be at peace, it is still a flock of seagulls. In this case though, a lonely Ring-bill.
P.S.
On a bright note; two new countries visited World Bird Wednesday for the first time last week: Mongolia and Fiji. Awesome!

 


This is the home of World Bird Wednesday. A place for bird photographers from around the world to gather and share their photographs and experiences as they pursue Natures most beautiful treasurers, the birds.
You don't have to be a Bird Watcher or expert photographer to join in, just enjoy sharing what you bring back from your explorations and adventures into nature!

World Bird Wednesday will be open for posting at 12 noon Tuesday EST North America through midnight on Wednesday.


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#1. Simply copy the above picture onto your W.B.W. blog entry, it contains a link for your readers to share in the fun. Or, you can copy this link on to your blog page to share WBW. http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/

#2. Come to The Pine River Review on Tuesday Noon EST North America through Wednesday midnight and submit your blog entry with InLinkz.
#3. Check back in during the course of the next day and explore these excellent photoblogs!

The idea of a meme is that you will visit each others blogs and perhaps leave a comment to encourage your compatriots!

Come on it's your turn!



43 comments:

  1. once again, you entertain. :) besides the 'murder of crows', my next favorite is the 'murmuration of starlings'. :) like the 'clique/click' moniker. i'd have to throw in a suggestion of 'a chuckle of bloggers'. :)

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  2. p.s. your link is not showing this week. :)

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  3. A group of librarians is called a catalogue, says Wikipedia. But I think I prefer collection or Sammelband.

    German is fairly boring in that respect, we have very few cool collective nouns and certainly nothing as brilliant as a murder of crows or a murmuration of starlings.

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  4. You crack me up! Like the clique name. And that's an awesome woodpecker shot.

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  5. love the close up of the woodpecker, they have been entertaining me all winter!!

    they don't seem as skiddesh as the other birds!!

    i always enjoy joining in here, you have a great group of people!!

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  6. Beautiful shots of the eagles!

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  7. Beautiful shots and great post, Springman. It is always amusing to read through what a group of animals is called -- as you say, so much to ponder with some of those names!

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  8. Gorgeous shots! And, I think we should definitely go with "clique!"

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  9. the second shot is great with the fish in his talons. :) I had to look that word up to be sure. I should need to learn more about the meaning of words.

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  10. Always love your beautiful birds and your humor! The first shot is particularly beautiful, but they're all terrific! Enjoy your day!

    Sylvia

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  11. I'm very jealous of your abundance of eagles (and, no, that's not a play on words)! Your shots are fantastic! The gull photo is beautiful. The Downy is a regular for us this winter.

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  12. I had one in mind but your clique trumped mine. Wonderful images all but I am partial to that header shot. Well done and another entertaining read Springman.

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  13. Awesome shots wonderful read!
    I think clique fits perfectly.

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  14. Awesome images as always Springman! And thoroughly enjoy your humour.
    That Bald Eagle is fantastic. I would love to get the chance to photograph such a majestic bird.
    And the woodpecker... WOW! Brilliant shot and such vivid colours.
    Another great post from possibly my favourite link ups of the week.
    Thanks for hosting.

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  15. Springman, thank you! I look forward to your prose! And of course to you exceptional images! Both are outstanding this week!
    Cheers to you!

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  16. got to come back a little later to read over your post Springman. Love the woodpecker and the ringbill seagull here in passing.

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  17. Another interesting post Springman. I'm not sure that too many UK birders would want to be associated with a 'Twitch' .. but that's another lengthy story!
    How about a 'Perspective' or 'Focus' of Photoraphers?

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  18. The eagles are magnificent and your association of ideas is very interesting - funny too. I'm not sure I want to be put under any collective term for birding! I prefer my birding to be quiet and solitary!

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  19. Exaltation of Larks is always my fav... and clique of photogs is my new fav, which beats my suggestion (pardon the french here) which has always been a shitload of photags.....

    A poke of wooodpeckers? Perfect.

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  20. Love your blog and couldn't wait to finally participate in WBW. Looking forward to reading more of your previous post and looking at the fantastic photography!

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  21. Hi, I'm joining in for the first time, I had some kookaburra photos that I wanted to share. You have some beautiful bird photos here!

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  22. convocation - I didn't know that word related to the eagles, and I didn't know most the others you mentioned. Who thinks these up?! Did they have a board-meeting, put names in a hat? Beatniks at a poetry reading ------ my Springman, you delve deep down into the archives; I'd almost forgotten the Beatniks! Fabulous photographs as always, especially the eagle with the battered fish in it's talons.

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  23. Hello Springman, awesome shots of the eagles, gull and woodpecker. I have to chime in and agree clique is perfect. Have a great evening.

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  24. another great post...with awesome photos....

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  25. Awesome pictures!! I just love eagles. Had one fly through my back yard 2 days ago. Got so excited I couldn't get my camera on!
    Stay safe.
    B.

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  26. Nice shots of the Eagles Dave but I really like that Downy! I think a clique is perfect.

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  27. I love the shot of the immature eagle!!

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  28. Hi Springman, I also prefer a convocation of Bald Eagles. I only know the collective noun for owls. As I'm not a twitcher (rather I'm a keen birder, lol!) I prefer the clique of birders. Oh yeah! Your photos are stunning. I keep scrolling back to look at them. Have a great day. Greetings from Jo

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  29. Loved going through your photos and the collective nouns. I've always felt that these nouns used for birds are the most beautiful. The other day I looked up the net to describe a flock of pelicans...and the word was "scoop". I'll go with clique...very apt for birders!

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  30. Oh, I love your shots as usually:)

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  31. A fun read, Springman, about the colorful collective nouns used for birds. Great photos too!

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  32. Your photos are awesome as usual!
    I'm not too fond of the word 'Twitcher' nor do I do 'Ticks'.
    *shudder*
    A 'clique' ain't bad, I actually like that :-0
    'Birdclique' :-)

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  33. Your shots are unbelievable! I almost never even try to photograph birds because it almost never works out for me, but my little guy was flitting about my yard rather insistently, so I gave it a try. Yours are majestic!

    I also like your naming topic, very charming, I find coming up with names or titles to be quite a challenge :).

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  34. I beg to differ with a clique of birders, though the pun is fun. A clique to me brings to mind the blue rinse set in twinset and pearls looking down at the rest of humanity. How about a lumber of birders? It adds a n air of gravity as we lumber about weighed down by all our necessary or un- gear.

    In English it was always a parliament of crows, in Australian it is a mob, I can only suppose that a 'murder' is an American expression lifted from the prohibition era and St. Valentine's Day.

    Great photos as always, the young eagle is downright cute and the ring-billed gull so aptly named.

    Cheers . . . Arija

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  35. I always look forward to your photos as well as your humor,it is awesome that so many people are coming here now,great job of maintaining this site,thanks,phyllis

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  36. Just noticed how fantastic your header photo is!!! Yoiks!!

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  37. Just noticed how fantastic your header photo is!!! Yoiks!!

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  38. You have certainly entertained, but also educated me, for I did not know much beyond murmurations, flocks, gatherings of, and well, you get the idea...how cool are some of these groupings of like birds...termed! So then we are not Birders...I was not happy with that term anyway...Your images are all stunning...just to mention that btw~

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  39. Great post,such good photos,and I will certainly be trying to come up with words to describe the many
    different groupings of birds.It's
    fun!!!!

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  40. LOL, Springman! How about a covey of birders when a loose group, but a pod when tightly controlled by a guide and all wearing the same style outfits?

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  41. Hi there - I have just returned from the wild, woolly and less that wonderful world of wireless only internet - so now I'm catching up.

    I like a ‘spring’ of teal as well. The UK species takes off from the water almost vertically, hence the name.

    A ‘tick’ of birders perhaps? A ‘snap’ of photographers?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Australia

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  42. again a splendid read Springman.

    The bald eagle shot at your header is pure class, the other images within your post are brilliantly composed and delivered.... even a non birder must admire the ringed bill gull image as proffessionaly taken and presented.

    I havent been on a Twitch for a month or so... the last one was a 100 mile trip for a yellow browed warbler.... I dipped :(

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