100 Birds and How They Got Their Names

By Diana Wells

How did cranes come to represent matrimonial happiness? Why have been magpies the one creatures that may now not cross within Noah's Ark? Birds and poultry imagery are imperative elements of our language and tradition. along with her impressive skill to dig up curious and appealing evidence, Diana Wells hatches a deal with for energetic birders and armchair lovers alike. Meet the intrepid adventurers and naturalists who risked their lives to explain and identify new birds. examine the legendary tales of the gods and goddess linked to chicken names. discover the avian logos utilized by our best writers--from Coleridge's albatross in "The historical Mariner" to Poe's raven.

A sampling of the poultry lore you will find inside:

Benjamin Franklin didn't wish the bald eagle on our nationwide Seal due to its "bad ethical character," (it steals from different birds); he lobbied for the turkey instead.

Chaffinches, whose Latin identify skill "unmarried," are known as "bachelor birds" simply because they congregate in flocks of 1 gender.

due to the fact that mockingbirds mimic speech, a few local American tribes fed mockingbird hearts to their young children, believing it helped them research language.

a bunch of starlings is termed a murmuration simply because they chatter so after they roost within the thousands.

geared up alphabetically, each one of those poultry stories is observed through a two-color line drawing. Dip into a hundred Birds and you can by no means examine a sparrow, an ostrich, or a wren in relatively an analogous way.

Show description

Preview of 100 Birds and How They Got Their Names PDF

Best Nature books

British Tits (Collins New Naturalist)

, 304 pages together with bibliography and index at rear, 19 pages of black & white photographic plates, with diagrams and illustrations within the textual content

Dragonflies (Collins New Naturalist)

Dragonflies are one of the so much historical of residing creatures - few insect teams fascinate as a lot or are extra instantly recognisable. during this seminal new paintings, Philip Corbet and Stephen Brooks learn the behaviour, ecology and distribution of dragonflies in Britain and eire, putting emphasis at the bugs' habitats and on measures had to preserve them.

The Kingdom of Plants: The Diversity of Plants in Kew Gardens. Foreword by David Attenborough

This publication accompanies the landmark tv sequence country of crops 3D: With David Attenborough. within the final 500 million years, crops have undertaken an epic trip that has not just spanned the a while yet has altered the very makeup of the planet. It was once a trip that all started in a dismal and barren international, and has culminated in a planet that's draped in wealthy shades, and overflowing with a variety of mystifying orchids, exploding seed pods and snapping carnivorous vegetation.

Deep Country

Deep kingdom is Neil Ansell's account of 5 years spent on my own in a hillside cottage in Wales. 'I lived by myself during this cottage for 5 years, summer time and iciness, with out delivery, no telephone. this can be the tale of these 5 years, the place I lived and the way I lived. it's the tale of what it capacity to dwell in a spot so distant that you could be no longer see one other soul for weeks on finish.

Additional resources for 100 Birds and How They Got Their Names

Show sample text content

Their vestigial nostrils are completely closed, and above water they breathe via their mouths. grownup cormorants are in part or completely black, with a smooth plumage which may mirror many colorings. Their universal identify comes from the Latin corvus marinus, or “raven of the ocean. ” Their family members is the Phalacrocoracidae, from the Greek phalakros, “bald,” and korax, “raven. ” They don’t have bald heads, even supposing a few have white on their heads or faces, which most likely gave them this identify. a few cormorants are known as shags (from the Icelandic skegg, “beard”) and feature shaggy tufts of nuptial head plumes. The names are frequently used interchangeably. even though the Australian expression “like a shag on a rock” capacity being in an remoted place, cormorants are in most cases particularly gregarious. In Scotland they have been also referred to as scarts, or scarfs, from the outdated Norse skarfr, imitative in their harsh cry. Cormorants have all 4 ft webbed, a attribute referred to as totipalmate. They use their huge ft to maintain their eggs hot, simply because they've got no naked brood patch at the stomach, as so much birds do. They fly good, with the exception of the flightless Galápagos cormorant, Phalacrocorax harrisi, named after Charles Harris, a nineteenth-century naturalist within the Galápagos, who shouldn't be pressured with Audubon’s good friend Edward Harris (see Hawk). Its former identify (still occasionally used) used to be Nannopterum harrisi, from the Greek nanos, “dwarf,” and pterum, “wing. ” This cormorant doesn’t also have the keeled breastbone of such a lot birds, that is the place the flight muscle mass are hooked up. devil, in Milton’s Paradise misplaced, “sat like a cormorant” at the Tree of existence, staring at Adam and Eve and “devising dying. ” In Asia, tame cormorants were expert for hundreds of years to seek fish. a hoop or wire round the neck prevents them from swallowing their capture. In Britain, the Stuart king James followed this custom, and in 1611 paid John wooden, grasp of cormorants, thirty kilos for education “certain fowls referred to as cormorants” and “making them healthy for using fishing. ” extra lately, in 1979, a research of fishermen’s cormorants at the Li-chiang River defined a convention of loosening the hoop round the bird’s neck after seven fish so it may well capture the 8th for itself. it appears the cormorants always stopped fishing after the 7th fish—suggesting that they can continue numerical count number in their trap! COWBIRD William Swainson, who contributed a lot to ornithology yet was once no longer a pupil, named the brown-headed cowbird Molothrus ater, considering he used to be calling it via the Greek for “parasite,” molobrus. according to the advanced ideas of nomenclature, this error continues to be everlasting. Ater skill “black. ” Swainson used to be Audubon’s buddy yet misjudgedly refused to collaborate at the Birds of the United States simply because, he stated, Audubon meant to “conceal my name—and move my reputation in your papers and popularity. ” His “fame” was once no longer durable, nor was once the common method he championed, which shaped curious organic connections, resembling touching on penguins to turtles.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.75 of 5 – based on 43 votes