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VTBIRD  October 2020

VTBIRD October 2020

Subject:

Re: October 2, 2020: Coyote Hollow, Thetford Center

From:

David Guertin <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 2 Oct 2020 11:34:39 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (63 lines)

Thanks, Ted.

Regarding the Lincoln's Sparrow, it wasn't actually named after the U.S. 
President, but Audubon's friend Thomas Lincoln. From 
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Lincolns_Sparrow:

"John James Audubon named the Lincoln's Sparrow after his travel 
companion Thomas Lincoln, who accompanied him on an expedition to the 
coast of Labrador. The expedition found the sparrow in a valley in 
Natashquan, Quebec, and Mr. Lincoln was the only person who managed to 
bring back a specimen for study."

Wikipedia adds that Audubon dubbed the bird "Tom's Finch" in his 
friend's honor.

I just learned all this last week when I looked it up after spotting a 
Lincoln's Sparrow in the yard for the first time.

Dave G.

On 10/2/20 11:11 AM, Ted Levin wrote:
> 7:03 a.m. 46 degrees, wind W 0 mph; steady rain, good morning to stay in
> bed, but Shadowfax had diarrhea while the sun was somewhere above the
> western Atlantic. Sky: twin ribbons of ground fog above both branches of
> the Ompompanoosuc, fogless elsewhere; three black crows, silent, beneath a
> gray, leaky sky. Permanent streams: forty-eight hours out from the deluge;
> much-reduced flow. Wetlands: color saturation on the theme of brown, hints
> of green; red and orange across the marsh, last embers of autumn. Pond:
> concentric circles and coruscating sparkles; leaves and pine needles pile
> into the southeast cove. Thronged with expanding and interlocking ripples,
> the surface of the pond reminds me, one more time, *Inclement weather bears
> unexpected gifts.*
>
> *Color *short-lived, more memory than substance, six weeks squeezed into
> two. Brown, the new orange. Some maples, a blend of both brown and orange,
> like a vestment of monarch butterflies, shed leaves, shed color, shed
> water, shed the condensation of a season.
>
> In the alders, a fleeting glimpse of a Lincoln sparrow, a sulky bird with a
> finely streaked buffy breast, named for the president who preserved the
> union and abolished slavery. The name *Lincoln sparrow* is not likely to
> change, ever. In August, the American Ornithological Union (AOU) renamed
> McCown's longspur, a plain-colored, grassland relative of the cedar
> waxwing, *thick-billed longspur*. The AOU acknowledged that John P. McCown,
> a bird collector and amateur ornithologist, had also been a Confederate
> general.
>
> Publicly, the National Audubon Society, the American Museum of Natural
> History, and the Sierra Club grapple with the gloom of their own respective
> heroes: John James Audubon, Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir. If they were
> alive today and behaved as they did in their own lifetimes, Audubon,
> Roosevelt, and Muir would questionably be labeled *white supremacists*.
> They were men of their times, not ours. We're products of our times, not
> theirs.
>
> I certainly don't condone their anti-social behavior and wretched beliefs .
> . . but, as a lifelong naturalist, whose boyhood was unburdened by things
> that hopped and crawled and flew, I can't forget their contributions to the
> understanding, the interpretation, the protection of the land that I love.
> If Roosevelt had not acceded to the White House, in 1901, we wouldn't be
> rallying against President Trump's endorsement of industrial tourism in
> Grand Canyon National Park . . . there would be *no* Grand Canyon.

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