Saturday Evening Post #199 : A Name

The Grand Bard has his heroine, Juliet say,
And I have to add she was a somewhat wordy lass,

“‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself. (Romeo and Juliet: 2.2.38-49)

We’ve had a few days out this past week with several groups of birders. And when it comes to the id of birds it does get a bit Juliet wordy and complicated. For some its a matter of pedantic significance, for others a much more laid back and free approach.

I think, on pondering back over the discussions, and they were all good fun and in good humour, that I’m not a bird chaser. I find much more satisfaction from the Jon Young ‘Sit-Spot” technique of enjoying the surrounds and the few birds that might be in the area. An hour or so with a pair of Brown Falcons or some agile Superb Fairywrens makes me just as happy as traipsing through the bush. Perhaps I’m just getting old and enjoy the odd sit down more. 🙂

To that end, we tend to name birds that we can recognise. Many will have followed the progess of Belle and Bronson. Do they respond to those names. Not that I’ve ever noted.
or the female Brown Falcon, “Cassia of Cinnamon” and her unnamed partner.

Those that have travelled the blog for a few years might recall, Jack and Jill, the Eastern Yellow Robins, or Mr Mighty a Red-capped male.

The reason for naming has always been that moment, as the San Bushman says of,
“The stengthening of the thread of connection with the bird”.
A thread that is not always two-way. Sometimes the birds are unfazed by our presence, and others it more a tolerance.
I often say we are invited, by the bird, to enter into its close space. Birds that allow that closeness get names. It’s part of our connectedness.
Others, that show aggression or fear are best left alone. No picture is worth an upset bird.
Sometimes on approach, and I get scolded, or the bird takes off, I’m the one who is angry with myself, not just becasue a picture opporunity has been missed, but the chance to build awareness.

On the other hand, sometimes birds are just found. And as we walked the boat harbour area near home, we came across these two Little Cormorants and a sign that make a great connection.