The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds – #11 The Blackcap

I’m currently reading the third volume of the Ladybird Book of British Birds and their nests from the 1950s.

The Third Ladybird Book of British Birds-7476

Times have changed:

Blackcap - Ladybird Book of British Birds

“The Blackcap is really a summer visitor, but if the weather is mild, it sometimes stays in England throughout the winter.”

The RSPB say: “Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK.” Well, nothing’s changed there, then, unless the numbers have gone up considerably.

The only sex with the black cap is the male. Female Blackcaps have brown caps. The naming is a standard part of the sexism inherent in birding. Male birds are named first, drawn first, described first and put first. Sometimes the females aren’t mentioned at all. It’s the male which is ‘the bird’ and the female is an extra or an adjunct. Interestingly, when sexism in birding is mentioned, it’s normally all men who complain that it’s nonsense, which does demonstrate some of the problem. Here’s the male, with its black cap:

Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And here’s the female with its brown cap:

Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the)

And yes, I did put them in that order, didn’t I?

More Blackcaps

Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey Blackcap There's a beautiful song coming from the bush in front of me. It's the 'Northern Nightingale', the Blackcap: Blackcaps practice… read more
Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Blackcap in the trees Walking around RSPB Ham Wall Nature Reserve in Somerset I can hear singing. It must be a warbler of some… read more
Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) A Blackcap like a fine wine I'm tickled by this description of a Blackcap's song: "The Blackcap's song lacks the Blackbird or Thrush-like phrases of the… read more
Blackcap - The Hall of Einar - photograph (c) David Bailey (not the) Leap-frogging Blackcaps There's a Blackcap in the tree. I can hear its alarm call and then I see it; it's a female.… read more

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