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Avian misnomers (1 Viewer)

a_j_steele

Well-known member
Its a bit like Dunnock with regionally differences, over here there common garden birds yet in parts of spain there more mountain birds
 

Jeff Hopkins

Just another...observer
United States
Black-capped Chickadee...as opposed to four other chickadee species that breed in North America?

American Black Duck. It's brown.

Ancient Murrelet. It's not that old.

Hairy Woodpecker. They're feathers, not hair.

American Pipit.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Black-capped Chickadee...as opposed to four other chickadee species that breed in North America?

American Black Duck. It's brown.

Ancient Murrelet. It's not that old.

Hairy Woodpecker. They're feathers, not hair.

American Pipit.
I saw my first American Black Duck on ice next to Whooper Swans in flat light and at a distance: Black is accurate enough! Sooty would be even better....

Ancient Murrelet: look at the bushy, snowy eyebrows - could be a candidate for the White House! Completely accurate.

Speaking of Hairy, has Downy Woodpecker been mentioned? Only downy in early life....

What's wrong with American Pipit? Sooner or later someone will split japonicus. If you are going to nit-pick to that extent, then American Robin is not a Robin but a bad case of thrush!

John
 

Xenospiza

Distracted
Supporter
Sardinian Warbler - Marmora's Warbler should be carrying that name.

Bearded Tit - the male is (impressively) moustached (it's flamboyant enough to go for "moustachioed"). I know it isn't a tit either, but neither is Long-tailed Tit or Scrubtit, so it does not bother me.

Marsh Warbler - not a great name, as its favourite locations seem to be nettles near ditches, brooks and rivers. (To be honest, the Dutch name "Wood Reed Warbler" is definitely worse!)
 

MJB

Well-known member
It occured to me the other day that many of our feathered friends have either misleading or inaccurate English names. I thought it might be fun to see how many the members can come up with. Please no duplication.

I will start with one highlighted to me by my 8 year old grandson

#1 Black-headed Gull (it's brown)

cheers alan
In an attempt to steer this thread into a parallel track, The scientific name of of Black-headed Gull is Chroicocephalus ridibundus, which species name could translate as 'Laughing Gull', whose real-life namesake's scientific name is Leucophaeus atricilla, this species name translating as 'dark-hooded'. Re the comment that Black-headed Gull's head is brown, that takes us to Brown-headed Gull C. brunnicephalus, whose species name is the only one in this mish-mash that not a misnomer!
MJB
PS I omitted inclusion of Brown-hooded Gull C. maculipennis to avoid making brains hurt too much...
 

opisska

Jan Ebr
Czech Republic
In an attempt to steer this thread into a parallel track, The scientific name of of Black-headed Gull is Chroicocephalus ridibundus, which species name could translate as 'Laughing Gull', whose real-life namesake's scientific name is Leucophaeus atricilla, this species name translating as 'dark-hooded'. Re the comment that Black-headed Gull's head is brown, that takes us to Brown-headed Gull C. brunnicephalus, whose species name is the only one in this mish-mash that not a misnomer!
MJB
PS I omitted inclusion of Brown-hooded Gull C. maculipennis to avoid making brains hurt too much...

I think it's time for me to repeat my all-time favorite bird nomenclature anecdote.

Basically, knowing both Czech and English names of gulls will completely mess up with your head.

The Czech name for Lesser Black-Backed Gull translates to "yellow-legged gull",
the Czech name for Yellow-legged Gull translates to "mediterranean gull",
the Czech name for Mediterranean Gull translates to "black-headed gull",
the Czech name for Black-headed Gull translates to "laughing gull".

All the translations are straightforward and literal.
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
I think it's time for me to repeat my all-time favorite bird nomenclature anecdote.

Basically, knowing both Czech and English names of gulls will completely mess up with your head.

The Czech name for Lesser Black-Backed Gull translates to "yellow-legged gull",
the Czech name for Yellow-legged Gull translates to "mediterranean gull",
the Czech name for Mediterranean Gull translates to "black-headed gull",
the Czech name for Black-headed Gull translates to "laughing gull".

All the translations are straightforward and literal.
This is why I don't do gulls (or one of the reasons ;) )
 

alanc

Just an earthbound misfit
England
now standing at 31

MJB and Opisska. brilliant! We are all pursuing a hobby that will eventually turn sound-minded individuals into raving lunatics!

cheers alan
 

Th. Stegmann

Well-known member
Basically, knowing both Czech and English names of gulls will completely mess up with your head.

The Czech name for Lesser Black-Backed Gull translates to "yellow-legged gull",
the Czech name for Yellow-legged Gull translates to "mediterranean gull",
the Czech name for Mediterranean Gull translates to "black-headed gull",
the Czech name for Black-headed Gull translates to "laughing gull".

Oh, in German you can do even better :cool:

The German name for Yellow-legged Gull translates also to "Mediterranean Gull",
the German name for Mediterranean Gull translates also to "Black-headed Gull",
the German name for Black-headed Gull translates also to "Laughing Gull",
the German name for Lesser Black-backed Gull on the other hand translates to "Herring Gull",
an finally the German name for Herring Gull translates to "Silver Gull" (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae).
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Otherwise I am still looking for the "buttons" on Buttonquails and the "boots" on Booted Warblers and haven't found them yet.
I know photographers who can see Booted Warblers. Also Booted Eagles, Booted Rock Thrushes, Booted Robins.... ;)

(To be strictly fair, I know ordinary birders (very ordinary birders) with similar skills.)

John
 

coal

Member
United Kingdom
23 (I think its 23) Blackbird, because the mail is generally black not the females, but sometimes the male has white on it, there was one in my garden yesterday mostly black with some white on its wings
 

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