Posts Tagged ‘Steve N.G. Howell’

What’s in a (Bird) Name part 3: Grammartifices and What Part of “English” Names do I not Understand?

The English name Bermuda Petrel probably conveys some information to most people, birders at least – it’s a petrel that occurs (breeds?) in Bermuda. The local island name of Cahow has been used by some as the “proper” English name, but is essentially meaningless to almost every speaker of the English language. However, at least Cahow is an English name, unlike all those unpronounceable Hawaiian (= Polynesian) names. Off Hatteras, North Carolina, May 2009. © Steve N. G. Howell

In the third and final part of the “What’s in a (Bird) Name?” series, Leica Birding Team member Steve N.G. Howell takes on grammatical inconsistencies in English bird nomenclature in typical “Steve” fashion. Enjoy!

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Leica Stories: Keith Hansen

Keith Hansen demonstrates the set-up in the field

As Steve Howell notes, one of the nice things about living in the small town on Bolinas is that it is also home to birder and bird artist extraordinaire Keith Hansen, whose gallery-studio downtown is the hub of the local birding scene. Keith has a well-worn Lecia scope, and has self-built a wonderful rig on which he mounts a video camera to capture any and all ornithological moments. Visitors to his gallery can view real-time video of birds outside the window, as the video-scope setup is linked to a large screen. This also means that if a rare bird pops in (and they do a lot!), Keith can switch to record mode and “nail that puppy” as he says. For example, he has documented 3 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at his feeder, of about only 14 recorded in the state of California. The rest of us would still be fumbling for a camera and the bird would have got away! At Keith’s gallery the other day I asked him about his Leica scope.

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What’s in a (Bird) Name? Part 2: Embrace Hypocrisy and Promote Ambiguity

You might logically call this a Western Winter Wren or, if you don’t know that the Pacific is a bloody great ocean, how about Pacific Wren? Marin County, California, Nov 2012. © Steve N. G. Howell.

In part 2 of the “What’s in a (Bird) Name?” series, Leica Birding Team member Steve N.G. Howell takes on ambiguity in the bird naming process. Of course, no one tackles their subject quite like Mr. Howell, so read on and prepare yourself for a good laugh.

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