Some may remember my second contribution to Birding Is Fun that dealt with some of the odd names given to bird species. This month I bring you the sequel, where we’ll dig a little deeper into the sometimes wacky world of names given to birds, plus we'll look at the "the long and short if it." Last time we stayed in the western hemisphere, but this time we’ll also take a more global perspective – odd names are to be found around the planet.
|American Three-toed Woodpecker|
And, finally, to wrap up the name game, a short selection of odd names – a list that would certainly include the aforementioned Magellanic Flightless Steamer Duck. Obviously named for their vocalizations, we have the Northern, Southern, and Horned Screamers, South American birds that look like they’d be related to chickens but are actually related to ducks, geese, and swans. Then we have Noisy Friarbird of New Guinea and eastern Australia – guess they vocalize a lot, too, eh? In New Zealand there is a small bird called Rifleman that gets its name because the plumage is similar in color and pattern to the uniform worn by a New Zealand colonial military regiment. Last, but not least, one of the strangest names of all has to be South America’s Firewood-gatherer. It’s gathering up all those sticks to build a rather elaborate nest, but there are no field reports of those nests including a fireplace or wood burning stove . . .