Friday, August 08, 2008

Birds ID'ed as plate number and bird number?

This week-old "New York Times" article reveals a birding guide in Costa Rica who calls out a bird's identity by citing the page on which it appears in a certain field guide and the bird's number on that plate.

Have you birded with someone who does that? What if there's more than one field guide available? You just make sure beforehand that everyone uses the same book edition?

During the Birder of the Year trip in Costa Rica last month, we used a field guide by Richard Garrigues, whom we also met before leaving San Jose. Perhaps the birding guide in the NYT article will have to memorize another book's plates.

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Blogger Rick said...

That's a great story--thanks for pointing it out! What's really interesting (beside the guide's admirable accomplishments) is that the writer of the article never mentions that the names of birds are every bit as arbitrary as their numbers.


August 09, 2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Susan Gets Native said...

I guess in a place where field guides are a luxury and everyone just has ONE, it would be no biggie.
But with trips I have been on, it would be:
Peterson blah blah, or
Sibley blah blah, or
McCormac blah blah, or
Stokes blah blah......
I would have to admire a guide's ability to memorize every single bird and what page it's freakin' on!

August 21, 2008 6:16 PM  

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