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Renaming is for the Birds!

The American Ornithological Society is attempting to remove human names from such birds as the Cooper's Hawk and Steller's Jay.

You can read about the story here.

It all makes a certain kind of sense, in that the animals existed long before they were "discovered" by someone who chose a name for them. And those names don't really convey as much about the birds as they do about the people who named them. David Douglas, a botanist who traveled around the West in the 1820s has over 80 plants and animals named after him, including the Douglas fir and the Douglas squirrel, both native to the Sierra.

Still, the Douglas fir isn't really a Douglas fir. The scientific name for that tree is Pseudotsuga menziesii. Menzies was actually a botanist who lived about the same time as Douglas. Go figure.

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