What’s in a name?

For the last four years in the early spring, we’ve all waited with baited breath for the return of the Manton Bay Female. That’s a bit of a pain to type out over and over again – ‘Manton Bay Female’. Repeatedly.

As you all know, we’ve never named the Rutland Water Ospreys as first and foremost, this was and is a science-led conservation initiative and we didn’t agree with making the birds feel like pets. We’ve always been keen to emphasise that they’re wild animals, subject to the same trials, tribulations and successes as other species, as has been shown this year by the continued absence of 5R – whilst it’s a great shame, and he will be missed, he serves as an important reminder that these are not ‘our birds’, and that migration, however necessary, is a dangerous journey. On the positive side though, from the perspective of the ecosystem and the Osprey population at Rutland Water, we are all delighted that 28(10) has moved in to take his place.

But, regardless of that, we have determined (after many, many days deliberation) that the Manton Bay Female needs a nickname – not only will this save us the arduous task of re-writing her name continuously, it will hopefully serve as an excellent engagement tool, especially with children. We were gently chastised recently at one school, who chose to give one of the Rutland Water birds their own personal nickname – a ‘friendlier name’ as they called it – to help them engage their classmates in the story of the Osprey in Britain. They had a point.

We’ve narrowed down the names to three of our favourites and we’d like you to vote for the one that you like the best. You can do so by clicking on the poll at the bottom. Voting ends at midday on the 8th April!

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HERA (pronounced Heer-ah)

In Greek mythology, Hera was the supreme goddess, goddess of marriage and childbirth and takes special care of married women; she was the wife (and sister!) of Zeus. Like our Manton Bay Female dominates the southern arm of the reservoir, so Hera dominated the Greek gods, including at times her husband. It is written that she once drugged him, and revolted against him as punishment for his many infidelities.

MAYA (pronounced Miy-ah)

Maya is a name with multiple meanings across multiple religions and countries – like the Osprey, she’s completely multi-cultural. In Hindi, for example, it is the phenomenal world of separate objects and people, but it is also a modern Hebrew name, probably also a variant of Greek Maia, but maybe related to Maayan (spring) and to the Aramaic word for “water”. It is even related to Buddhism. We’ve chosen this name as one of our top three, though, as it is made up of the first and last letters of ‘Manton Bay’.

HALI (pronounced Hah-lee)

Hali was chosen simply as an abbreviated version of the Ospreys Latin name: Pandion haliaetus. We went through lots of shortened versions of the name, but in the end this was our favourite.

What do you think? Vote here…

online poll by Opinion Stage

8 responses to “What’s in a name?”

  1. Patricia

    I like the idea of Maya because of its multi-culture element but to me she will always be Mrs 5R in memory of so reliable partner

  2. Lorraine Johnson

    I think she ought to be called Edith after Edith Weston & its a Scottish name

    1. David Benbow

      Excellent idea! I’ll willingly second that! What a shame you didn’t suggest it before they drew up a short-list. db

  3. oli

    What about typing MBF!

    i have voted though

  4. Wendy Bartter

    With regard to 3rd of your choices, just so pleased you didn’t choose Panda!!

  5. Lizzie Manson

    I like maya 🙂

  6. Pat Kelsall

    We have enjoyed calling her Mrs 5R and as time passed and no 5R we changed her name to Mrs MB. One idea was Mary Bell (MB) but too late as short list had been drawn up. Looking forward to seeing what her new name will be.

  7. Sue Attenborough

    So pleased you decided to give her a name – I’ve chosen Maya. I find it much easier to remember names rather than numbers, so if you want to name all of the Rutland Water Ospreys, I won’t mind. 🙂