Contempt for bird-aware Australians

To: "'Geoffrey Dabb'" <>, <>
Subject: Contempt for bird-aware Australians
From: "Philip Veerman" <>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2010 22:28:45 +1000
Not as big a problem as the National Council for Community Controlled Aboriginal Health Organisations choosing the (American) Bald Eagle as their emblem, until I informed them that this was dumb and they replaced it with the W-t Eagle.
-----Original Message-----
From: Geoffrey Dabb [
Sent: Friday, 30 April 2010 10:38 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Contempt for bird-aware Australians

Having suffered box-collapse more than once at the Fyshwick markets, I now insist on a stout container for bearing away the week’s fruit and vegetables.  This week’s box was labelled as below.  It was certainly strong enough;   it was designed to carry navels 12,000km across the Pacific, aided by the following precautions:


bj o_4912.jpg


Food-miles, organic purists, and destitute Mildurans apart, my main point here concerns the label.  The Blue Jay is a bird of eastern North America.   It was virtually unknown in California until its relatively recent spread to the north of the state, making it, as Wikipedia notes: ‘now a rare but regularly-seen winter visitor along the northern US and southern Canada Pacific coast’.  Its association with the east is shown by the selection of it, from 4,000 entries in a ‘name the team’ competition, to be the symbol of the Toronto Blue Jays when they secured their baseball franchise in 1976. Its association with the orange groves of California is tenuous at best.  There are several other deserving resident Californian jays that could have been chosen as a name for their oranges if they really needed a (frankly irrelevant) bird for that purpose.  Perhaps ‘California Scrub Jay Oranges’ did not have quite the ring that the marketers were looking for.


My irritation with the label arises from the suspicion that the Blue Jay was chosen as a handsome bird with a pleasing and not unfamiliar name that would encourage foreign consumers to try a few of the freshness-enhanced Californian oranges.  “They won’t know we don’t have any Blue Jays in our orange groves”, they must have said to themselves.  This, in my view, shows contempt for bird-aware, orange-eating Australians.


bj o_4910.jpg



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