An amusing bird story

Subject: An amusing bird story
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 1998 12:07:57 +1000
Hi all, I thought I'd pass on this cute bird story I read in New 
Scientist recently. Could fall under the title of Urban Myths, but 
who cares, its a funny story.  And just what is a"grizzled-looking 
cowpoke" anyway?

Lainie Berry, Monash University

On his first trip across the Atlantic, a British bird-watcher was 
observing a flock of western sandpipers feeding on a Californian 
coastal marsh. When a group of Audubon Society field-trippers 
arrived, he thought he'd do his bit for Anglo-American relations by 
explaining how rare these birds were in Britain and how to identify 

Getting carried away, he began giving the crowd a long lecture on 
sandpipers, explaining how western sandpipers could be distinguished 
from semipalmated sandpipers by "jizz", the phrase used by British 
bird-watchers to describe subtle indentification points and hints.

At that point the 20-strong group scurried away, raincoats billowing. 
The British twitcher's perplexed look was greeted with a calming arm 
around his shoulder and the comforting words of the group leader, a 
grizzled-looking cowpoke.

"You Brits sure know yer stuff" , he mused in pure Texan. "I've heard 
you can tell these damned peeps apart many ways, but that real beats 

Later that evening, a friend explained that in the US, jizz is slang 
for semen.

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