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Re: House Sparrow origin quote
The thing that intrigues me about the introductions of House Sparrows,
and makes me wish I knew more about it, is this: Although there may not
be uniform agreement, I think most current birders feel that bird
abundance has declined within their lifetimes. And we look back
longingly at times just a few decades further back; going still further
back it seems almost unimaginable what birding could have been like 150
years ago when Passenger Pigeons and Eskimo Curlews still filled the
air. And so it's hard to understand what attitudes people of the time
could have held that made them feel that there was a shortcoming of the
avifauna that needed to be filled. It would be interesting to go back
and read some of Brewer's arguments.
> I assume the Dr. Brewer, with whom Coues had a series of public debates,
> is the namesake of Brewer's Sparrow and Brewer's Blackbird. Funny how an
> advocate of such a dumb idea gets birds named in his honor, plus a mole
> and a sedge, while the apparently much wiser Coues gets, as far as I
> know, only a Rice Rat and subspecies of deer and Cactus Wren...
He had a flycatcher, but the AOU turned it into Greater Pewee.
near Chapel Hill, NC