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Birders and botanists

  • February 17, 2024
  • Birders love birds; botanists love plants. They both like to identify the “object of their affection.” Birders seem to like common names for birds, although a bird may be identified by genus, species, and family. For example, the American bittern or “plumgudgeon,” is Botaurus lentiginosus in the family Ardeidae.

    Botanists favor scientific names because common names may be misleading or inaccurate. For example, blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium bellum, family Iridaceae) is neither blue-eyed nor a grass.

    Birders and botanists both like abbreviations when identifying difficult species. Birders say they are looking at a “LBJ,” a little brown job. Botanists say about the large and difficult Aster family that they are looking at a “DYC,” darned yellow comp.

  • Katie Martin