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Tuesday, May 2, 2023

Bird vocabulary

Birds are a part of our everyday environment, while at the same time carrying portentous meanings. The mostly commonly seen birds will be known to virtually everyone. For a birder, a bird seen several times over the course of several years will not be "rare," simply uncommon. Birds seen every day or week or month form the basic vocabulary, expanded from there into more species. Being able to rapidly identify a common bird is helpful, because it serves a point of comparison. 

Literally too, our visual vocabulary corresponds to a nomenclature. We have extra adjectives or descriptors to distinguish species, instead of just duck, goose, sparrow.  


I guess I'm looking for a pretentious way to express a rather dumb and basic idea: we see common birds commonly, and know the words for them. Birding is [simply] an extension of that.   

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