Skip to main content

Lanius Shrikes

The genus name Lanius found its description in Carl Linnaeus (as Caroli Linnæi), Systema naturæ per regna tria naturæ, secundum […]

Falco falcons

In the English language a distinction is made within the Falco genus between kestrels, hobbies, merlins and falcons. Etymologically, falcon […]

Old World Sparrows (1)

Elegant yet dumpy, conspicuous yet dull, sophisticated yet streetwise, widespread yet local, sparrows are blessed with all these properties. Since […]

Garrulus Jays

Garrulus jays were first mentioned quite clearly (as κίττα, kitta = jay) in Aristotle‘s Natural History, in J.A. Smith and […]

Corvidae (Crows 2)

The name of the crow family as Corvidae was mentioned by English zoologist William Elford Leach (as Corvidæ, which was […]

Buzzard 1: Buteo

Buteo was first mentioned by Pliny the Elder in his Naturalis Historiæ, trans. H. Rackham (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press […]

Wren 1

During a long stretch of the twentieth century the widespread, Holarctic, (Winter) Wren was considered to be one species comprising […]


Six species of kinglets occupy the northern hemisphere. The name kinglet is related to a story told in Pliny the […]


The recent irruption of Waxwings triggered my curiosity of the names of these tufted berry gobblers. The three species of […]