What’s in a name?

The infamous hatbirder, with a beetle on his hand. Wait, that  can’t be right!

I’ve been uncomfortable with my twitter tag hatbirder for a while. It’s limiting. I’m not solely a birder, not even primarily a birder. I don’t know what kind of image it projects. On the other hand people seem to like it, some good friends and colleagues use it as an affectionate (I hope!) nickname and I’d be sad to see hatbirder die altogether.


After attending the RES conference in Dublin last year I asked for more suitable suggestions and the only one I got, from entomology professor Simon Leather, had the word ento in it. I think it was ‘entohat’. That doesn’t quite feel right either: as much as I don’t want to be pigeonholed as a birder (nobody ever calls me an ornithologist!) I don’t want to be beetleholed as an entomologist either, though I’m happy and proud to be known as both.

Lately I’ve been tossing ideas around again and checking availability on twitter. Some clearly won’t work. Nature’s Hat becomes natureshat, which would be a bad choice for fairly obvious reasons, and hatinthewild looks like ‘hating the wild’. Nope, that’s not going to work!

But what about these four? One slightly daft and three that incorporate my name and the word nature, much as this blog’s title does.





The trouble is I’m still not that comfortable with overly overt self promotion and the word nature comes with a lot of baggage. But then so does any word. Does it matter? hatnature is also available. Or hatwild. Or how about naturewtf…….somehow I think the Hat Birder will be around for a while yet!




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