Showing posts from July, 2012

The new AOU Check-list supplement: more work for you speakers of Latin

A male Purple Finch pauses in mid-crunch to ask himself, "How do you pronounce Haemorhous , anyway?" From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes:   Every year now, birders in North America eagerly await the annual publication of the American Ornithologists' Union's Committee on Classification and Nomenclature - better known as the AOU Check-list Committee.  This is the committee of experts that makes the decisions about how our birds are classified, what is a full species and what is merely a subspecies, and what their official names should be.  Birders usually love it when a species is "split" (it could make our lists larger!) and hate it when two species are "lumped" (which could have the opposite effect).  And although the committee is not secretive about their deliberations, we never know for sure how things are going to turn out until the annual supplement in published, in the July issue of the AOU's journal, The Auk. The supplement for 2012

The Next Birding Movie

From Oak Harbor, Ohio, Kenn writes:   Almost a year ago, I was contacted by a young filmmaker named Rob Meyer.  He said he was working on a feature-length film that would involve birding, and he wanted my feedback on the draft of the screenplay.  Naturally I was interested.  At that time, we were all looking forward nervously to the release of the film of "The Big Year," wondering if it would simply insult birders (it didn't) or if it would become a smash box-office hit (it didn't do that, either).  The buzz about "The Big Year" had been going on for months, and birders were already starting to talk about the possibility that Hollywood might wake up and discover that we're out here.  So I started corresponding with Rob Meyer.  Turns out, Meyer has a lot of experience, having worked on award-winning documentaries at PBS and National Geographic.  His independent short film "Aquarium" won awards at film festivals around the world.  But even so