Monday 14 February 2011

Pity the Gull

I have a new post up at 10,000 Birds (well, it's been up since the 10th, which means I am slow on my own blog) about the ways gulls confuse me.

Having had all weekend to reflect on what I wrote, I realized how utterly unjust my post is. After all, my confusion points* were not so much about the gulls themselves but about the ways in which we abuse them, namely their taxonomy and the confusion arising out of a comparison between their English and ill-translated German names.

I felt bad. But then I glanced at a few pictures I took on our Christmas Holiday at the in-laws in Stralsund at the end of 2010 and realized that gull must be so thick-skinned they likely didn't even notice my picking on them.

After all, they share their living space with Coots.
And Coots loathe gulls.
They loathe everything.
They thrive on loathing.
For the sake of loathing.

And I may be bad, but I am no Coot.

The cast in alphabetical order:
Common Gull, Larus canus - Sturmmöwe - Storm Gull
Eurasian Coot, Fulica atra - Bläßhuhn - Blaze Chicken

* "Confusion Points" - watch out for my up-coming book on how I got misunderestimated by everyone, right on the heels of George Walker's account on how he got misunderestimated by everyone.


John B. said...

Coots loathe gulls for a good reason. Gulls like to kill and snack on coots.

Nicole said...

Well, you should post and pick about humans not being able to pick the correct names.

Btw. Bläß translated to blaze?
Not sure on that :)

And don't the German names derive from the Latin names? So, their translation would be the one closer to home, no?

Unknown said...

Guess you must be busy as heck?!

Gareth Hazell said...

Jochen, just to whet your appetite for SA. The Melodius Larks are calling at their usual spot!!

Gareth Hazell said...

By the way, should the translation for the coot not be Bald Chicken? In Afrikaans it is called a Bleshoender which directly translated means "bald Chicken"..

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