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  #1  
Old 07-08-2012, 09:49 AM
jeanbean jeanbean is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Default Old-timey names of local birds

A while back, on www.archives.org I ran across a county history book published in the 1880's for some county in Illinois. (Don't ask me to remember which county or the title of the book! My memory's not that good.) The fascinating bit was that there was a chapter on the local flora and fauna, with a page or two dedicated to avian fauna. It was interesting to see what names the locals were using for the birds in their area. A lot of them were recognizable to me, others I could guess at ("bluebill" for Ruddy Duck???), and others were utterly mysterious.

So now I'm curious: what local historic names of bird species in Texas, Oklahoma and Lousiana have you encountered?

Jean
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  #2  
Old 07-08-2012, 03:36 PM
bitternuthin bitternuthin is offline
 
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Location: Arlington/Lubbock
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

Bluebill is a term for Scaup. There are many old names for birds, as well as colloquial names. Blue Quail or Cottontops come to mind for Scaled Quail.

C
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  #3  
Old 07-08-2012, 05:09 PM
betsy betsy is offline
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

I commonly hear locals say redbird for Northern Cardinal.

btw, Jean, if you have or can get hold of John K. Terres's The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds you'll find any number of colloquial names and earlier common names for each species listed in the Other Names section of each species writeup. Bluebill is one of the alternate names for both species of scaup (per a photo caption, because they're hard to tell apart in the field) and Ruddy Duck as well. Thus, for examples:

for Lesser Scaup: blackhead, blackjack, creek broadbill, river bluebill, river broadbill, bullhead.

for Greater Scaup: American scaup duck, big blackhead, big bluebill, blackhead, black-neck, bluebill, blue-billed wigeon, broadbill, bullhead, common scaup, floating fowl (!), flock duck, grayback, greater bluebill, greenhead, musselduck, raft duck, shuffler, troop-fowl.

Ruddy Duck has a slew of colloquial names! More than I want to type here because the book is rather heavy, but a few are blatherskite, bluebill (no surprise there), booby coot, bristle-tail, brown diving teal, bumblebee duck, butterball, butter duck , dumb bird, dumpling duck, dun-diver, fool duck, hard-headed broadbill, hickory-head, light-wood knot, little soldier, mud-dipper (I think I actually heard that one once at Sunset Bay), paddy-whack, roody, rudder bird, sleepyhead, stub-and-twist, tough-head, water partridge, wigeon-coot.
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  #4  
Old 07-08-2012, 05:44 PM
lulubelle lulubelle is offline
 
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

Specklebelly goose -Greater White-fronted Goose

Calico Heron - Little Blue Heron
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2012, 09:45 PM
Song Song is offline
 
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Location: Carrollton / Santa Barbara
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

One of my favorites is Anhinga...or Water Turkey!
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2012, 10:49 PM
bitternuthin bitternuthin is offline
 
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

Speckle belly is common. Many hunters don't know Greater White-fronted Goose as any other name.

Water turkey can refer to both Anhinga and either species of cormorant.

Northern Shoveler can be referred to as spoonbill.

There are a lot out there and sometimes they can represent several different species.

C
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  #7  
Old 07-11-2012, 06:36 AM
jeanbean jeanbean is offline
 
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

Thanks for the pointer, Betsy. I need to get that book!

Now I'm thinking. :-) How about skinny stabber for a Great Blue Heron, greentoe for coots, .....
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2012, 01:07 PM
Sheryll Sheryll is offline
 
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Posts: 387
Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

When I moved to Texas, I had to re-learn "butter butt"

In most of the world, a "butter butt" is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.

With some of the people from whom I learned birding in NM, "butter butt" was a Green-winged Teal.

Sheryll
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2012, 02:18 PM
Cal396 Cal396 is offline
 
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Location: Richardson, TX
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

Many of the hawks had names based on their diets/habitats. For example:

American Kestrel = Sparrow Hawk
Merlin = Pigeon Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk = Chicken Hawk
Peregrine Falcon = Duck Hawk
Northern Harrier = Marsh Hawk
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2012, 04:25 PM
jpeter jpeter is offline
 
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Default Re: Old-timey names of local birds

I heard somebody recently mention "Bulbat" for Common Nighthawk. I hadn't heard that in years.
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