How Well Do You Know Your Birder Lingo?

Quiz yourself with some of these common nicknames and phrases.

This audio story is brought to you by BirdNote, a partner of The National Audubon Society. BirdNote episodes air daily on public radio stations nationwide. 

This is BirdNote.

Birds communicate with each other in the most enchanting ways.

Birdwatchers also have their own way of saying things. Say you’re birding and you hear this,

A birder might say, “Aww, another LBB.” That’s short for “little brown bird.” It’s a bird that’s small, brown, and common… and sometimes… impossible to figure out. 

Ah, of course! It’s a lovely little House Wren.

What do you think a birder might say when she hears this? 

If it’s a first-in-a-lifetime sighting, you might call this Snowy Owl a lifer.

And if you saw it in a field in New Jersey—it’d be a vagrant - someone who doesn’t belong ‘round these parts.

There’s also slang for different species. Peeps? Sandpipers. 

Can you guess what a “butterbutt” is?

It’s a Yellow-rumped Warbler! The “butterbutt” is for the bright yellow patch above its tail feathers.

Birders love to share, so don’t feel like you have to know everything. Just ask somebody with binoculars! There’s always more to learn about birds.

Until next time, I’m Mary McCann.



Written by Monica Gokey

Producer: John Kessler

Managing Producer: Jason Saul

Editor: Ashley Ahearn

Associate Producer: Ellen Blackstone

Assistant Producer: Mark Bramhill

Narrator: Mary McCann

Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. House Wren ML 210537 recorded by B Rideout; Snowy Owl ML 137339 by P Taylor; Yellow-rumped Warbler ML 129418 by G Keller.
BirdNote’s theme was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

© 2019 BirdNote   June 2019

ID#  birding-27-2019-06-10  birding-27

“The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.”