Wednesday, July 24, 2013

What's news?

In this undated image provided by the American Birding Association, a Rufous-necked wood-rail walks along the edge of a marsh at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge near San Antonio, N.M. Experts say this is the first time the species has been spotted in the United States. The bird is typically found along the coasts and in tropical forests in Central and South America. (AP Photo/American Birding Association, Jeffrey Gordon)
This comes under the heading of "I knew I was a geek when I got excited over the Rufous-necked Wood-rail showing up in New Mexico."

As a confirmed bird-watching nerd, I want to meet the reporter (Susan Montoya Bryan) who pitched this story and the AP editors who recognized it was every bit as, if not more, interesting as a royal baby -- to some of us anyway. Thank you; all of you. I've been disgusted about most of what you've deigned to pass onto us these days, but this almost makes up for the media's current absorption in the royal after-birth (wait...that didn't come out quite right...).

And, by the way, Ms. Montoya gets extra points for mentioning one of my favorite movies, "The Big Year," though the fact that she had to explain the movie is kind of a let down. I mean, when when making pop culture references you never have to explain why you just compared someone to The Dude. It was probably inserted in there by an editor, who was obviously not a birder and had to Google the movie title to find out what it was about.

Really, though, considering the rarity of this occurrence -- a shy, reclusive bird showing up thousands of miles from its usual habitat -- should be major news above what to name one of the hundreds of thousands of babies born on July 22. And who cares what they name the baby, since it will have 15 names anyway, one of which will probably be Fortescue (I don't know this for sure, but it sounds like it should be).

So I pass this along for my fellow birders because the story disappeared very quickly from Yahoo feed to make way for this inane announcement: Royal Couple Begin Parenting.

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