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WHAT’S IN A BIRD’S NAME? (When Honorifics Were Bestowed)

by Ariana Remmel in Audubon Magazine

A Bird by Any Other Name…

More than 100 North American birds carry the names of people, some of whom were enslavers, supremacists, or grave robbers. A growing movement aims to do away with honorifics all together and bestow monikers that reflect each species’ unique qualities.

There is something remarkable about looking for birds at last light. When pandemic lockdowns began, I took daily walks around a placid lagoon in a park in downtown Santa Cruz, California. The verdant reeds and towering silver-barked trees glowed in the hours just before sunset. I didn’t know what these plants were called, but I carefully and meticulously learned the names of all the birds I saw and heard. FOR MORE


*Featured picture named by Steve Hampton

conservation education, ecology, social justice

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