On Sat, 11 Mar 2023 14:27:50 -0800 (PST), Jerry Friedman
>On Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 3:15:27?PM UTC-7, bil...@shaw.ca
>> On Monday, March 6, 2023 at 7:51:06?AM UTC-8, Jerry Friedman wrote:
>> > My English-usage question is whether you can say "pigeons can find
>> > their cote" or have to say "pigeons can find their dovecote".
>> When I was editing newspaper copy, I'd avoid such conundrums by
>> saying something like "pigeons can find their way home".
>There are various Google hits for "their cote" referring to pigeons.
>> When I was a kid in the Netherlands in the 1950s, many people,
>> including my father, raced pigeons. Participants would put their pigeons
>> in a carrier, release them an agreed-upon distance from home and record
>> their return to the home cote. I have no idea how cheating by recording false
>> times was kept out of pigeon racing.
>There's also competitive birdwatching, where people report what
>they've seen. Possibly dealing with birds makes people completely
When we were staying in the lodge at Lake Baringo (Kenya) there was a
large group of bird watchers from the UK and Europe there. I chatted
with some and found them both quite interesting and the damndest group
of gossips I've ever been around.
All carried books in which they checked off their spots. The gossip
aspect was the many references to individual "twitchers" who recorded
dubious sightings. The ones there were honest recorders (according to
their own account), but all knew and spoke of someone who wasn't.
My interest in the group was, as you can imagine, was the photographic
equipment. I was hesitant to even carry my camera around them. Mine,
by their standards, was kindergarten kit. What was of interest to
them was my Zeiss binoculars*. Members of the group would see my
binoculars and stop to examine them and compare them to their
binoculars. (Unfavorably because mine were chosen for wide-field
One pair went out on the lake in a small boat, but with a huge tripod
and long-lens-mounted camera to get from lake-to-shore photos. The
Kenyan boat operator brought them back in quickly when some hippos got
close to the boat. Hippos think it's great fun to go under a boat,
rise up, and tip over the occupants.
*I'm not if it should be "...were my Zeiss binoculars." or "...was my
Zeiss binoculars." It's a plural form of a singular item.
>> I was a kid and didn't have to worry
>> about that kind of thing.
>When I was a kid I worried a lot about cheating, though mostly in
>reference to my opponents in whatever game it was.
>> Similarly, what if a hawk ate your pigeon? Tough luck?
>I imagine so. Racing pigeons are probably not the easiest prey,
Tony Cooper - Orlando,Florida