Day 37 - 1/10th of the Way There

Saturday, February 06, 2016 0 Comments A+ a-

February has started off slow as I predicted.  Several factors have played into this--mainly the fact I haven't ventured out to chase anything (not much new to chase), and there aren't too many freebies close enough to try right yet.  It's not hurting my year so I'm not worried.  I have now spanned 8 days without a new year bird though.  The first long drought of the year.  Today marks the 1/10th mark for the year-- 1/10th of the way done with 2016.  I wish I had only seen 1/10th of the birds by now, but alas there aren't 1,500 species in Narnia, or even the lower 48 so I'll have to live with what I can muster up.

I've had a few comments asking to identify some birds as well since I mentioned I would earlier in the year.  I am also working on the ability to let you guys guess who I am--with a caveat.  Each person will get just 2 guesses this year.  You will be able to guess once at any point starting some time this month, up until Thanksgiving.  After Thanksgiving you can have one more shot at it.  All guesses will require your name, and email, as well as how you think you figured out my identity.  Any guesses that don't appear to be from real names and emails will be ignored :)

So let's start with a few bird names.  I will tell you the fake name, the real name and how I came up with it.  I am only going to share 3 birds, all three were names using different plans for naming.  I've done this to make sure I don't use just one pattern and give away all the birds too easy.

Ginger = Redhead

This is the most straightforward type of naming convention.  Literally using just another name that means the exact same thing.  You may from time to time hear the phrase ginger related to someone with red hair.  So a ginger is a Redhead. That's the easy one.

Medium Vigilante = Cooper's Hawk

Since I got both the common vigilante's out of the way early and several people wagered guesses this is an easy share.  Vigilante could mean any number of things, and it just sounds like a predator.  Combine that with the fact I had a smallish and a medium vigilante and we are guessing these are hawks, it should be easy to eliminate all the other genera in favor of species that are general referred to as a small accipiter and a medium sized accipiter. So if/when I get a goshawk this year, it might be called Largish Vigilante?  But maybe not--nowhere did I say I was using the same family name for all birds across a family :)

Clairvoyant = Merlin

I alluded to a relation to another bird earlier, which if you're playing along you should now know Kestrel and Merlin.  For this one I separated the bird from its fake name in a simple but useful manner.  Merlin in popular fiction was a wizard.  Another name for a wizard? Clairvoyant.  This was another straightforward approach, but not as obvious.  There are many things a Clairvoyant could've been.  But I liked the name and thought it was fitting.

So there are the obvious straight translations.  The almost obvious word association translations. And the more cloaked multi possibility translations. I didn't include the real confusers though.  There are some names which I just through in to confuse.  It's hard to come up with names for some 400+ species and not give away too many patterns.  So there are a few that make no real sense--but just sounded real fun.

As for the guessing who I am part.  Give me a couple days and hopefully I can get something up and the guesses can begin--although I would suggest saving you guess since you only get one shot int he next 10 months...

New birds today: 0
Year List: 145


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I'm on a mission to see as many birds as I can in 2016... within the borders of my home state. The only catch is I'm not telling anyone that I'm doing a Big Year...