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Friday, June 29, 2007

Bird Names

Northern Cardinal

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Palm Warbler, FL in winter

Someone just asked us how a bird got its name. Birds were named by the first early naturalist to discover them. Sometimes they were named because of where the naturalist saw them, even though it might be a habitat the bird was rarely found in. For example, the Palm Warbler breeds in northern spruce bogs and winters in the South where it feeds in grassy areas. Palms are not its preferred habitat, yet it was named the Palm Warbler.
Other birds are named after something that makes sense about them, such as the Yellow-rumped Warbler, with its obvious "butter butt."
The Cardinal was named for its red color, similar to the red color of the Cardinal, church official's robes. For more about bird names go here.

Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2007


Tom Pirro said...

I think the last warbler maybe mis-labeled. Best regards...

Tom Pirro said...

Is the 3rd photograph a quiz?
Best regards,

Lillian Stokes said...

Thanks Tom, had a brain cramp moment. It is now correctly labeled Palm Warbler, as we were talking about in our post. The photo was taken in winter in Sanibel, FL. It is of the western subspecies of the Palm Warbler, Dendroica palmarum palmarum, which has little yellow on its breast and belly compared to the eastern subspecies of Palm Warbler, Dendroica palmarum hypocrysea, which has dull yellow throughout its underparts in winter. The "Western" Palm Warbler subspecies is quite dull in winter but can be told by its most colorful area, the yellow undertail coverts. In breeding plumage,it has a rufous crown and yellow chin and undertail coverts and variable pale yellow on belly. See page 88 of our Stokes Field Guide To Warblers.

Tom Pirro said...

For some reason I did not think my first post made it through, I did not mean to be redundant with the 2nd post.
Best regards