September 6th, 2014

foxy

linguistic notes from the raptor center

There's an osprey at the raptor center. It is eating, which is a very good sign, since most injured ospreys just don't. They have to be tease-fed or force-fed. It came in with a spinal injury, so its prospects for release are not great.

Do you say ospree or ospray? I have always heard ospree, but everyone at the raptor center says ospray. I wonder whether they are influenced by the 'prey' in Birds of Prey.

As I was cleaning a Great Horned Owl (GHOW) cage, I kept referring to the bird as "she" even though I don't know her sex. I couldn't figure it out from her case file, either. I did figure out that the gender neutral pronoun people use for birds is "bird". They'll often leave out the pronoun and write sentences like, "Bird was on A-frame when I entered the cage. Watched calmly while I cleaned," but when they need a pronoun they usually don't use "it" or "he" or "she", they write, "When I moved too close, bird flew to SE corner, missed the perch, stayed on the ground the rest of the time I was in the cage."

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