Take a look at this bird:
Beautiful, isn’t it? It’s got blue-gray back and wings, almost purplish, and stark black trimming. Collar and a framed face. Such expression. What crazy plumage, too. The males have these great crests on their heads like little curlicues. It’s unmistakable with features like those. What’s it called, you ask? Why, that’s the White-Throated Magpie-Jay.
Seriously? White-Throated Magpie-Jay? White-Throated? This bird looks like Liberace on his way to a carnival and you call it white throated? With all those features to name it after you go with its white throat? Fuck you. What kind of a name is that? Who was so unimaginative as to go with White-Throated Magpie-Jay? Who was the lame, neckbearded, vest-wearing, binocular-bearing, Audobon chuckledumpster who saw this flying real life Dr. Seuss creature and decided that its most distinctive mark was a white throat?
And this continues. For example, this thing? A popular, very distinctive tropical bird? It’s the Keel-Billed Toucan.
This thing looks like it just flew face-first into a bowl of rainbow sherbert. Like it just hardcore made out with a clown. This is the bird they use to sell multi-colored, fruit-themed cereal. And someone dared to call it Keel-Billed.
But I can’t come down too hard on all ornithologists. After all, one of them did give us the alltime, best animal name ever: the Violet Sabrewing.
Just say that out loud. Violet Sabrewing. Violet Freaking Sabrewing. That is the most badass, jaw-droppingly, gut-punchingly cool name I have ever heard and will ever hear. Violet Sabrewing. That sounds like an upcoming model of hip car that runs off pure attitude. Violet Sabrewing. That sounds like a character from a 90’s anime cartoon. Violet Sabrewing. I’m pretty sure Luke Skywalker flew one of those at some point.
Bird names can be hit or miss. It’s just that many have gone really far in either direction. I suppose when your taxa of choice shows a lot of physical diversity, you can get a little strapped for descriptive names. I can’t get too angry over a few lame examples—
Oh god dammit.