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View Diary: Toosdai Critters: The Truth about Mei (138 comments)

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  •  When I first started birding they were (9+ / 0-)

    all called Rufous Sided Towhees.  Out here in the states west of the Rockies, the name changed to Spotted Towhee a few years ago.  

    The tradition amongst birders is to capitalize the common names of birds, like a proper noun, even if it sounds like a nickname.  For most other animals, only the Latin genus name is capitalized when identifying the animal.  So when you see an American Robin in your yard yanking an earthworm out of the ground, you could also call it a Turdus migratorius ("migrating thrush") pulling out a Lumbricus terrestris.  

    The Spotted Towhee is truly different than the Eastern Towhee.   Both species used to be considered two variations of ONE species (the Rufous Sided Towhee) but they were each given their own species designation.  This happens sometimes when ornithologists consider it unlikely that two populations will interbreed.  

    There.  Long Boring Pedantic Science Lesson for the day.  LOL.

    Spotted Towhee
    spotted towhee

    See all those spots on this little guy's wings which differentiate it from the Eastern Towhee?

    What can I say?  For me, this question was the perfect combination of almost all my passions: Birds, Biology, and Taxonomy.  This is what I do for fun with my friends.  I will control myself now!  Back to kitties...    

    "In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by koosah on Tue Jan 28, 2014 at 03:39:08 PM PST

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    •  I hate, loath, and despise the revisionistas... (0+ / 0-)

      who moved in on the piscean world some years back.

      Suddenly, the Pike of my youth (Esox lucius) became the Northern Pike (grrrrrrrrrrr)

      'Per Ardua Ad Astra'

      by shortfinals on Fri Jan 31, 2014 at 11:58:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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