My grandfather and dad are the editors of a newspaper called the Maine Sportsman. It's a fantastic publication, covering outdoor issues all over the state. Want to know which lakes near Sebago are good for smallmouth? Want to learn about riding snowmobiles in Aroostook County? Where to find the best spots for stripers? It's all in the Sportsman.
It's a labor of love for them, and I know my family and the rest of the staff bust their butts all month putting together each issue. As careful as they are, though, mistakes are sometimes made. It's that way in every publication. However, looking through the Sportsman's April issue, which arrived in my inbox today, I found a mistake that is, frankly, inexcusable. It came in the "Maine Wildlife Quiz" section, purportedly about Maine's state bird, the black-capped chickadee.
Do you see it? The photo accompanying the article isn't a black-capped chickadee at all, but a European great tit.
My own flesh and blood! What betrayal!
Of course I immediately called my dad to express my outrage. He hemmed and hawed and eventually said that it was part of an elaborate April Fool's plan to get the two of us to have a conversation about great tits. Well, as an ad-lib that's pretty funny, but it's also a sign of great disrespect of one of Maine's iconic symbols. If I can't win a battle for State Bird respect against my own family, who can I win it against?