White "Rump"

14 December 2014 Written by  

I was on a field trip with a group of birders today, and I mentioned something that has irked me since I was much younger (I don't want to say how many years - hah). Anyway, I'm being dramatic and am half kidding, This tidbit doesn't truly irk me, but I have fun pointing it out. EVERYONE refers to the white uppertail coverts on the Northern Harrier as the "white rump".....and that will never change, nor do I want it to. I mean..."white uppertail coverts" just doesnt roll off the tounge as easily as "white rump" when you are pointing out a Harrier in the field. Besides, everyone knows what is meant when it is said. It's like correcting someone on the meaning of "juvenal" vs. "juvenile," or correcting someone on the exact meaning of "juvenile" vs. immature." The term "flight feathers" has been misused forever, but I have never corrected someone on it...it's irrelevant! Anyway, check out this photo of an adult male Harrier and notice the rump feathers are grayish and the uppertail coverts are white. BUT, don't start correcting people in the field on this (please).

The actual point of this post though, is to ask if you have any pet peeves about anything birding related? Let me know, I'd love to hear some other pet peeves, but be fun about it...I don't want to turn this post into a rant or issue of any sort. Let's save that for a more serious post down the road. A few quick ones on my part. I cringe when I hear people say the word covert as 'coe-vert', the coverts job are to cover the base of other  feathers (such as the tail), so I like the pronunciation 'cuh-vert' because they cover. How about the word buteo, is it 'booty-o' or 'beauty-o'?

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