2021—What’s in a Name?

Sometimes it’s hard to tell why a bird was so-named but it is clear in this photograph that the Curve-billed Thrasher was appropriately named. In South Texas near the Rio Grande where I took this photograph in May, there are Curve-billed Thrashers and Long-billed Thrashers. Most of the time, it was easier for me to tell the difference between these two species, both of which visited the water features there, by the distinctively different colorations on their breasts, not the differences in their bills. But in this photograph, to me, the curved bill is so obvious I wonder why that characteristic didn’t jump out at me when I was there. I guess the difference is that then, the birds came and went so quickly and erratically that identification of the more subtle characteristics like the curvature of the bill, was difficult for me and I paid attention to the more obvious differences.

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