As always, the “Just for Fun Avian ID Quiz” is brought to you by Jory Langner, our esteemed Avian Quizmaster.
Boy oh boy, what a quiz. As soon as I sent it to Corey for processing (thanks Corey!), out comes an email from the CayugaBirds listserv with the same exact question. I guess Cayugans read the NY Times as well as my family does. Hopefully this didn’t spoil any fun you might have had.
To recap, I was looking for a word, a date and a rumor. Here are the clues for those of you who forgotten already!
- Yes, it is an avian topic.
- Potentially it relates to all bird species, although I suspect that it has been limited to just certain species.
- An event has been in the US news recently which relates to this term. This event could happen most places in the world.
- This has nothing to do with the US presidential inauguration, the Illinois governor or any US Senate seats.
- It is one word.
- It is sometimes created in the air.
- I’ve read that the Smithsonian Institution receives about a dozen packages of this each day.
- If known by 10,000 Birds bloggers Corey, Mike and Charlie, I suspect they would have used it in a blog post. But I couldn’t find it.
- Death and heroism.
The answers are:
THE WORD: Snarge
Snarge is the goo left over when an airplane collides with a bird. Not a word to discuss over breakfast.
THE DATE of the recent news event: January 15, 2009.
The date is of the wonderful landing in the Hudson River after the plane took off from La Guardia Airport and then hit a bird. Last I looked, the bird species was not yet identified from the DNA or the feathers of the snarge. Some birders have speculated that it was Brant.
THE RUMOR: the wet trail a snail leaves behind. Special thanks to Patrick, who gets bonus points for providing, ahem, yet an additional definition to the word “snarge”. This being a family-oriented website, I won’t divulge that other definition [ed. note: the alternate definition is hilarious!].
One additional “fact” that I discovered while writing this post … Microsoft Word does not recognize the word “snarge”. It prefers “snare”.