Category Archives: names

Garrulus Jays

Garrulus jays were first mentioned quite clearly (as κίττα, kitta = jay) in Aristotle‘s Natural History, in J.A. Smith and W.D. Ross (eds.), The Works of Aristotle, iv: Historia animalium, trans. D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1910), 615b22–23, where … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Corvidae (Crows 2)

The name of the crow family as Corvidae was mentioned by English zoologist William Elford Leach (as Corvidæ, which was preference in those days), who used it first in 1820 in the Synopsis of the Contents of the British Museum … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Buzzard 1: Buteo

Buteo was first mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historiæ, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press and London: William Heinemann, 1952), bk. 10, ch. 9, referencing Greek priestess of Delphi Phemonoe, via Aristotle‘s Historia Animalium, published … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wren 1

During a long stretch of the twentieth century the widespread, Holarctic, (Winter) Wren was considered to be one species comprising various forms, collectively named Troglodytes troglodytes. An extensive species, it was divided into subgenera (such as Anorthura and Olbiorchilus) to … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Kinglets

Six species of kinglets occupy the northern hemisphere. The name kinglet is related to a story told in Pliny the Elder‘s Naturalis Historia in which a contest is held between birds where the one that could fly highest would be … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Waxwing

The recent irruption of Waxwings triggered my curiosity of the names of these tufted berry gobblers. The three species of waxwing are gathered under the genus Bombycilla; the name is a combination of Latin bombyx from Greek bombux = silk, … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged | Leave a comment

Nuthatches 1

Wondering where the nuthatch winters Wings a mile long Just carried the bird away Eyes of the World by Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter © Ice Nine Publishing True Nuthatches can be found in three ecozones, Indomalaya, Palearctic and Nearctic, … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nightingales

The three species within the Luscinia genus in the Western Palearctic represent only one third of its total number worldwide; the remaining Luscinia species occupy the Eastern Palearctic region. Luscinia members are quite diverse and (up till now) closely related … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Crows 1

There are currently 46 species of Corvus crows on the IOC World Bird List. Of these only 8 species show any amount of white or off-white coloration in their plumage. This leaves us with 38 different black crows, 38 shades … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gulls 3

For non-birders, the fact that there is no such a bird as a sea-gull is sometimes hard to comprehend. Looking at the scientific names, Sea Gull is in fact Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus, from Latin mare = sea). However, … Continue reading

Posted in names | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment