Monday, July 16, 2012

Birds At Large: The New York Times

The most shamefully-satisfying quirk of birders is pointing out bird-related mistakes in popular culture or media.  We take a perverse pride in our mock-outrage when - for example - we see movie's shot of a bald eagle accompanied by the screaming call of a red-tailed hawk.  It's a phenomenon I like to point out from time to time in these Birds At Large posts.

While the targets of these posts are frequently hurried advertisers or unconcerned sound-effects men, no one is immune.  Not even the New York Times, that pillar of "respectable journalism."  Reprinted below is a screencap from a July 13, 2012 story the Times did on a new HBO movie called Birders: The Central Park Effect.  Notice anything amiss (click to enlarge)?

Yup, the bird in the lower left isn't the Northern mockingbird as identified in the caption, but a gray catbird. 

I don't know what lesson to take from this: I could bemoan the quality of journalism in the world today; I could offer an electronic clap-on-the-back to beleagured ad-men out there and tell them they're not alone in their bird-identification-related challenges; or I could just offer-up a high five to the blogosphere (likely half-swung and mistimed, because we're uncoordinated nerds) for pointing out an error in the great and mighty Times. 

Or I could just get back work.

UPDATE: The caption has been corrected.  I should also point out that the documentary has been getting great reviews, so go check it out.


Uncle Jas said...

not to mention the list in the caption is out of order (going clockwise as they say)...

NickL said...

Good call, Uncle Jas! I mentioned the out-of-orderness in the online Correction form at NYTimes.

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