Monday, November 19, 2007

Everything is Rare, Somewhere

One of the most abundant birds in Ohio and much of North America is the Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura. Hardly a soul over here would walk two steps out of their way to admire one. Not across the pond, though - read the following BBC blurb kindly sent along by Kathy Mock. DEFINITION: "Twitchers" is Brit-speak for rabid listers. You know, the type that would appear at Conneaut Harbor within two hours should a rarity like Horned Puffin appear there.

American dove attracts twitchers

The American mourning dove has caused a stir

A dove spotted only a handful of times in the British Isles has drawn dozens of bird watchers to North Uist.
The American mourning dove was first seen by Brian Rabbitts about three miles (4km) from where he previously saw one in 1999.
Wildlife guide Stephen Duffield said more than 100 twitchers had flocked to the Western Isles to see the bird.
The British Birds Rarities Committee said it was aware of the sighting and was awaiting a recording.

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1 comment:

Andy said...

I just finished the book "Birders: Tales of a Tribe" which is a good overview of British birding culture and recent history. Apparently the term "twitching" comes from the actions of a British birder in the 1950s who was known to chase rarities as a passenger in a motorcycle side car and when he'd arrive at the site of the bird, he'd be shivering from the exposure. The story of his "twitching" and chasing rarities merged together so that the word became synonymous with chasing rare birds.