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Bird Naming Brouhahas, Buggy Burritos, and a Goat Milking Gathering


Utah lawmakers have passed a bill that would ban the state Division of Wildlife Resources from using names for birds other than the “original” assigned “English language name.” The Salt Lake Tribune reported. If signed into law by Republican Gov. Spencer Cox, the measure would effectively make it illegal, or should we say, “ill eagle,” for the agency to revise bird names in accordance with the American’s pledge Ornithological Society to change the English names. of species named after people. Some critics think House Bill 382 is a bird-brained idea, just birdseed to feed the culture war vultures. But Utah lawmakers don’t seem to have any egrets. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Casey Snider, R-Paradise, said he supports longstanding traditions, even if the birds in question are named after racists or other historical figures with public records of poultry, a practice that the advocacy group Bird Names for Birds compares to erecting ‘verbal statues’. “We’re going to maintain that scientific integrity by freezing the naming conventions in time,” he said.

Meanwhile, ornithologists believe it’s time to stop naming non-human critters after humans. Forbes so to speak, “focus on the unique features and beauty of the birds themselves.” For example, the Scott’s oriole is named after General Winfield Scott, who helped oversee the forced removal of the Cherokee people from their homeland in the Trail of Tears, while the Audubon’s oriole honors John James Audubon, a slave owner and adversary of abolition. and Townsend’s warbler and solitaire are named after John Kirk Townsend, who stole skulls from Native American graves.

But does anyone have a spokesperson for the Aves community their opinion? According to @SBoojum, posted on the social platform X, “Cooper’s Hawks actually refer themselves to ‘Scree!’ Scree! Erk!’ and we must respect that.”


If it takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes, how many villagers does it take to milk several dozen goats? Jose Garcia and his uncle, Bartolo Garcia, the suppliers of a dairy farm in Merced County, California, just found out. They were driving a load of 50 newly purchased goats from Minnesota to California—a 2,000-mile trip—when they became stranded amid standstill traffic in the middle of a snowstorm. The Washington Post reported. The mother goats became desperate; they need to be milked every 12 hours or their udders will become painfully swollen and possibly infected. Garcia, who said the goats had been going for 12 hours, was ready to milk them in the trailer when traffic finally started moving. Fortunately, there is a livestock store in nearby Stansbury Park, Utah, and when the dairy farmers got there, calls went out for emergency goat assistance. Within 30 minutes, about 40 people showed up, some with pots and bottles, even though most of them had never milked goats before. One should never under-
treasure the milk of kindness from man to goat.


Alaska’s legendary Iditarod dog sled race covers 1,000 miles of icy terrain from Anchorage to Nome. This year, Dallas Seavey won, his sixth win, but not without a few hiccups – and some messy moose guts – along the way. The New York Times reported. In rural Alaska, where you’re bound to encounter some wildlife, the Iditarod has rules at hand. So when Seavey and his dog team became “entangled” in a menacing moose, and one of the dogs, Faloo, was seriously injured, Seavey shot and killed the moose. But Rule 34 requires mushers to make every effort to salvage the meat of animals killed during the race. Seavey told Iditarod Insider that he did his best to tackle the moose, but that ‘it was ugly’. Some participants complained that their sleds had to run over a significant carcass in the middle of the course. Seavey was given a two-hour penalty, but despite the setback he still won the race, completing it in nine days, two hours and 16 minutes. And his dog, Faloo, underwent two surgeries and is recovering at home.


Are you craving protein, but tired of getting it from your fellow mammals? How about tasting some spooky cuisine? La Diabla Pozole y Mezcal, a restaurant in downtown Denver, is serving scorpion tamales, red worm tostadas, bone marrow grasshoppers and ant larvae tacos, reports. Jose Avila, a James-Beard nominated chef, is eager to introduce guests to these Aztec-influenced dishes. But don’t worry: the restaurant, that enjoy your meal Listed as one of America’s best, it also has a full – and delicious – menu of completely bug-free dishes.

Tiffany Midge is a citizen of the Standing Rock Nation and was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. Her book, Bury my heart at Chuck E. Cheese’s (Bison Books, 2019), was nominated for the Washington State Book Award. She lives in north-central Idaho, near the Columbia River Plateau, the homeland of the Nimiipuu.

Tips about Western idiosyncrasies are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected], or send a letter to the editor.

This article appeared in the May 2024 print edition of the magazine with the headline “Heard in the West.”

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