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November 20, 2008


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I thought I was the only person who called sparrows "little brown jobs" -- actually, in my family, they are LBJs for short.

Maybe those scientists should have reported a BDJ until they were sure of its affiliation.

Susan McCarthy

I think many birdwatchers say LBJs for those furtive little land birds. On the beach the almost-identical little brown jobs with white bellies seem to get called peeps.

Maybe it's one of those genius things thought up simultaneously in several places. You know, like natural selection.

Somewhere thousands of miles away someone is calling in a BDJ....

Susan McCarthy

I've just learned that the fungal equivalents of LBJs are the LBMs, the Little Brown Mushrooms. David Arora, author of the renowned Mushrooms Demystified, compassionately tells beginners that LBMs “are so overwhelmingly abundant and uncompromisingly undistinguished that it is more than just futile for the beginner to attempt to identify them—it is downright foolish.” By “abundant,” he means that nearly half the mushrooms out there are LBMs. He views them as a full-employment scheme for mycologists.

Mushrooms don't even have characteristic call notes to help you out. Back to birding!

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