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Old Friday 17th May 2019, 09:06   #3
Björn Bergenholtz
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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I´m still kind of fond of my old theory on the possible origin of the name "Mango Bird" and the subsequent Mango Hummingbird/s ...

Note that Olson & Levy (2013) wrote:
Albin claimed, for example, that he had been in Jamaica in 1701 and had observed both of the species he discussed. We know of no evidence from Albin’s ornithological writings or other sources that would corroborate his ever having been to Jamaica. [on p.432]
Maybe they simply missed that Eleazar Albin, in his early years, seems to have been Eleazar Weiss* [possibly of German origin, some claim he was born in Cologne (Köln)]. He apparently changed his surname in 1707, when he moved to England (Weiss, meaning; white, as in albus, Albin, albino, etc.). If Olson & Levy tried to find an "Eleazar Albin" visiting Jamaica in 1701 they would have little chance of finding such a person.

At the very end of their paper (on p.343) Olson & Levy conclude:
There is no other known connection between the hummingbird and anything to do with mangos or any other word that sounds like “mango”. Thus, the long use of “mango” to denote an entire genus of hummingbirds and its more recent use to designate a significant subgroup of the family Trochilidae, appears to have been based on a historical blunder that never had any etymological justification.
Apparently they'd never heard of (or simply missed) the Jamaican "God-Birds" ... as in a possible, thinkable (Man) "God-Bird" ... !?

In my mind we´ll never know the true origin, not for sure.


*Donald Heald Rare Books ; A Selection of Rare Books (Fall 2015):
ALBIN, Eleazar (c.1680-c.1742).
Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux

Eleazar Albin came to England from Germany in about 1707, changing his surname from Weiss. “To earn a living he made watercolour drawings of objects of natural history in the cabinets of wealthy collectors, such as Sir Hans Sloane, who became his patrons. When he decided to publish his drawings, these patrons subscribed to his books ... He etched some of his 306 copperplates for A Natural history of birds ... These were issued in three volumes between 1731 and 1738 ... With the publication of this book, Albin became the instigator or very early exponent of the many facets of the zoological illustrated book in England. This was the first English bird book with hand-coloured illustrations etched in part by the author himself. Albin established the tradition of an illustration of the bird and branch kind” (Jackson, Dictionary of Bird Artists)."

[unpaginated pdf, here; Search for: "Albin"]
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