Sunday, February 19, 2017

LEARNING SOMETHING NEW IS A CHALLENGE FOR THIS OLD GUY

   Most of you know that I'm a bird person and lead groups of bird watchers.

   Most of you know that I'm not very organized and describe myself as random chaotic. I get many things done. I just keep at it.

    Well I had to learn something new this week.

    I counted the species of birds my bird group saw from Sept. 1 to Dec. 15 , 2016. I was surprised that they had found 45 species. I was impressed.

   So the next innocent thing I thought was that I should report this to our newsletter. This is where things went off the rails.

   I wrote out all the bird names and submitted them to the writer of the newsletter. Now I've known the newsletter writer for a long long time. She's good. She's damn good. She's written six books and I know that it's hard work. We are fortunate to have her write our newsletter.

  Our awesome newsletter writer asked me if I could organize my bird list according to the AOU. Could I use capitals and dashes where required? Now this is asking a lot of somebody who is well ,sloppy. Besides , I'd never heard of AOU. I had a suspicion of what it was . I didn't want to display my ignorance and ask newsletter writer. 

   So I hit the Internet and found out AOU means American Organization of Ornithologists. Cool! Now what are they telling me. The ornithologists have a system of writing bird names that they have agreed to and it's very strict. I had given my list of birds to the newsletter in the order we saw them.

    To reorganize a list is tough. To reorganize to a system you don't know is a challenge. First, I used an old list. Then I found an up to date list . I finally got my list done and sent it off. Well wouldn't you know. In a list, the bird name does not start with a capital unless it's proper noun like "American"!

   What I had was a pattern to follow and none of the other rules.

   Well, I learned how to do a bird list properly. I'll know better next time.

   Since it's Canada's 150th birthday this year, we will try to find 150 species of birds. There are about 260- 170 species in this area so we should be able to get 150 species for Canada's birthday.

     cackling geese...not Canada geese.  Cackling geese look exactly like Canada geese but they are only about 1/4 the weight.


34 comments:

  1. That is a new one for e that the Crackling Goose even existed.

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    1. Canada geese may be divided into 5 or 6 different species. Cackling geese is one they've decided on.

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  2. You are never too old to learn something new...glad you got it all straightened out! 150 birds is a good goal! :)

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    1. There will be quite a few in on the 150 species.

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  3. So many birds and differences...

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    1. Many of the sparrows are very similar and you can't get a good look at them so they're hard to identify.

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  4. Glad to know that even if it was hard to do, you learned something new and got it done. :-)

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    1. I'm going to have to remember to use this system from now on.

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  5. Oh, my. You do find work to do, don't you?!

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    1. I do happen to blunder into things.

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  6. Are you serious about cackling geese? Is that a kind of goose, or are they merely laughing loudly?

    I should have known there would be an "official" way to catalogue birds. Bird-watchers tend to be very precise! Even if they reach their ultimate precision through random chaos. :)

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    1. Yes, cackling geese. They may divide Canada geese into 5 0or 6 different species. Cackling geese is one they've decided on . An adult cackling goose weighs about a 1/4 as much as the canada goose.

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  7. Audubon has instituted a new controversy last year. They are capitalizing the common names of birds. I.E. American Blue Bird to distinguish it from birds that are blue!Red-wing Blackbird to distinguish it from black birds. There are supporters and those who do not like it.

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    1. Birders are a meticulous group and are always designing something new that they think will be better.

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  8. I have no doubt that you will reach your goal of 150 different species of birds. Good luck.

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    1. This will be composed of many groups.

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  9. Tough when you have been calling something and need to change to a different term.

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    1. It's just that we have to use the proper terms. The names will be the same. For exampl it's black-billed magpie and don't you dare miss the hyphen

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  10. Your never too old to learn Red. Can you teach and old dog new tricks?
    Can you teach a old man and old lady to learn other things.

    Ask Red. Haha. He will tell you the answer. Enjoyed your blog.

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    1. I guess learning knew things helps to keep us healthy.

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  11. Replies
    1. We should have no trouble finding them Quite a few people will be in on the search.

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  12. It was tough but you managed. I really like your determination! I didn't even know about the cackling geese! You learn something new every day.

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    1. They are talking about dividing Canada geese into 5 or 6 different species. Cackling geese is one that's decided on. An adult cackling goose weighs about 1/4 the weight of a Canada goose.

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  13. Learning something new can be frustrating but ultimately quite rewarding. Just keep telling yourself "this is GOOD for me! this is GOOD for me!"

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  14. So who knew there was a proper way to do a bird list? Not I. Good work researching and persisting and getting the job done correctly.

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  15. As we say over here in England - you can't teach an old dog new tricks. But apparently you can teach an old dog how to make a proper bird sightings list! Well done Red!

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  16. Turning something that should be fun into something less as advocated by the nitpicker society. Plan B next time you as for a stack of the "official proper listing" of all the accredited bird in your area with little boxes for you to check off as you send in your count....:)

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  17. I never knew of such a thing, and now I know :). A big pat on the back for you Red.

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  18. It is true "You learn something new everyday" I had no idea. Cackling Geese eh? Thanks for that. B

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  19. That's very interesting...and I'm sure you're going to gain much pleaasure from doing this. Good on yu! :)

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  20. Hi Red, Time seems to go by faster and faster. While I wasn’t paying much attention to my blogs you posted several times. I am sorry to be so slow on my comments and will try to get caught up! I enjoyed this post and it does sound like something that would happen to me. You know, I love the little birds and spotting them and taking pictures. However, when it comes to all the identification and scientific names … that’s where I’m lost. Congrats on doing a good job!

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