Daily Archives: June 27, 2012

Colloquial Bird Names

How many of you out there still call an American Woodcock a Timberdoodle or Labrador Twister? Or how about Butter-butt for a Yellow-rumped Warbler? Why, it only seems like yesterday if you opened any field guide Oldsquaw was what we all called a Long-tailed Duck. Have you ever heard it refered to as Old Wife, Butterfly Coot, Cockawee, or South Southerly?

It was a real treat the other day to be reading the recent ABA Blog and finding this post, The Top 10: Best Colloquial Bird Names. And if having the top 10 isn’t enough for all your birding trivia needs they add a heaping portion of “honorable mentions”.

Being a more straight forward kind of birder, I go for more of the official name. Not the Latin name, just the regular name you’ll find in every bird guide. Now every once in a while “Butter-butt” will slip out, but not often. When I really started into memorizing the birds name to  their picture you get into the habit of identifying them the way you learn them.  However if I grew up in the part of the country where a “Squeaker” was a Harlequin Duck, my reaction to that name might be the same in the reverse for a Midwesterner like myself.

So click on the link above and enjoy a very enjoyable little read which might bring a smile to your face. And remember if you spot a “Bog Bull” let me know.