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Friday Trivia #3: Latin redux – CBC edition

December 14, 2007
by

First things first. New I and the Bird #64 at the Iowa Voice.

Tomorrow initiates Christmas Bird Count season across the world. Due to the vagaries of my schedule which requires Saturday work (boo!), I’m only able to do three this year, two in North Carolina and possibly a third when I go to Missouri next week. Sunday is my first time doing the Durham Bird Count. I’ve got a nice little spot with a couple smallish lakes that ought to turn up some waterfowl, well, assuming there’s any water left in them. There will of course, be a full report. Someday perhaps, wireless will be so pervasive as to allow live-blogging of a CBC, but not yet. That would be awesome though.

Anyway, with CBC mania reaching a fever pitch and with the wild success of my first latin name quiz, here’s a special CBC edition packed with some birds you might get on your CBC if you’re lucky, and a couple that I might get further south. In any case, they’re all birds I associate largely with winter. The rules again for those who weren’t here before; I’ve given you the translations of the scientific names for 15 birds. You give me the common name. So without further ado…

  1. Icy Foul-Gull
  2. Silly Scot
  3. Grasscolored Grassdweller
  4. Butcher-Guard
  5. Chattering Silktail
  6. Winter Reed-Bunting
  7. White Icelover
  8. Larksong King
  9. Verysoft Bodywool
  10. Sand Messenger
  11. Red Flamecarrier
  12. Lid-nosed Dungchaser
  13. Crowned Treedweller
  14. Wintry Whistlewings
  15. Twilight Kernal-shatterer

As before, answers in the comments, I’ll post as they show up.

Good luck!

Answers
1. Fulmarus glacialis, Northern Fulmar (Mike) – Fulmarus comes from the old Norse meaning foul mew, like the Mew Gull, called Common Gull overseas. Glacialis is easy enough, icy as in glaciers.

2. Morus bassanus, Northern Gannet (Patrick Belardo) – Morus is from the greek moros, meaning foolish. Bassanus is a reference to Bass Rock in Scotland, where thousands upon thousands of Gannets nest.

3. Pooecetes gramineus, Vesper Sparrow (slybird) – Pooecetes is from poe meaning grass and oiktos meaning to live in. Gramineus is from the latin for olive-green colored. Seems as though this could be a proper name for nearly any sparrow though…

4. Lanius exubitor, Northern Shrike (slybird) – Lanius is from the Latin lanus for butcher, appropriate for butcher-birds. Exubitor means a guard or sentinal, as shrikes used be considered sentinals for falconers.

5. Bombycilla garralus, Bohemian Waxwing (Mike) – Bombycilla comes from the Greek bombux meaning silk and cillus meaning tail. It’s a reference to the terminal band on the tip of the waxwing’s tail. Garralus is from the Latin meaning to chatter, as in waxwing’s gregarious nature. The word garralous is still used to refer to someone who talks excessively.

6. Junco hyemnalis, Dark-eyed Junco ( John) – The Latin word iunco refers to a particular variety of reed and specifically the European Reed-Buntings, it’s been changed to Junco. Hyemnalis comes from the latin term meaning coming from winter.

7. Pagophila eburnea, Ivory Gull (slybird) – Pagos means ice, and phila means to be partial to. Eburnea refers to the color ivory, as something made of ivory is described as eburnean.

8. Regulus calendula, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Patrick Belardo) – Regulus forms the root of regal, often used to describe a king (particularly a little king or “kinglet” as John points out in the comments). Appropriate with the Kinglet’s tiny crown. Calendula is a reference to the Calandra Lark and its elaborate song, which the Ruby-crowned Kinglet apparently reminded someone of.

9. Somateria mollissima, Common Eider (John) – I think this one is kinda cool. Somos is from the Greek for body, erion for wool. Mollissima is from the Latin for exceptionally soft, which the Common Eider’s down undoubtedly is. The name refers to the old practice of using down collected from Eider nests to stuff pillows, blankets, and coats.

10. Arenaria interpres, Ruddy Turnstone (John) – Arenaria is from the Latin word for sand, arena. Used now to describe sports facilities previously covered with the stuff. Interpres means messenger, as in someone who has to interpret things.

11. Selasphorus rufus, Rufous Hummingbird (Patrick Belardo) – I didn’t mean for everything to be birds you guys get, I had to include at least one unique to my count. Selasphorus comes from selas meaning bright flame or lightning, and phorus, to carry. Rufus is, of course, the color. I can’t think of a much better name for these little guys.

12. Stercorarius pomarinus, Pomarine Jaeger (Mike) – This one is really interesting. Stercorarius comes from the Latin stercus, or dung. The story goes that folks once thought birds harrassed by skuas and jaegers were emptying something other than their crops if you catch my drift. And the jaegers scooped it right up. Turns out the observers were wrong, but the name stuck anyway. Also, you may think Pomarinus has something to do with marine, but it’s actually from the Greek poma, meaning lid, and rhis, meaning nostrils. Jaegers have a sheath of skin, like a cere, over their nostrils.

13. Dendroica coronata, Yellow-rumped Warbler (John) – A pretty easy one. Dendron is from the Greek for tree, and oiktos for to dwell in. Coronata is to be crowned, as in a coronation.

14. Clangula hyemnalis, Long-tailed Duck (John) – Clangula is from clangere, Latin for to resound, as in clangour. It refers to the whistle heard in Long-tailed Ducks in flight. Interestingly, it’s also used in the scientific name of the Common Goldeneye (B. clangula), another loud flyer. Hyemnalis is from the Latin for of the winter.

15. Coccothraustes vespertinus, Evening Grosbeak (slybird) – One of my favorites cause Kernal-shatterer sounds so cool, like a Norse God or something. Kokkos is Greek for kernal or seed and thrauso means to shatter. Vespertinus means anything having to do with twilight or evening.

All done, and faster than last time. Thanks for playing!

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14 Comments
  1. slybird permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:21 am

    3. Pooecetes gramineus
    4. Lanius excubitor
    7. PAGOPHILA EBURNEA
    15. Coccothraustes vespertinus

    That’s all for now. 🙂

  2. Patrick Belardo permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:33 am

    YEAH!
    8. RC Kinglet

    Ok who’s the wise guy giving scientific names? 🙂

    I’ll play more. I have an interview to conduct for work.

  3. Patrick Belardo permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:39 am

    11. Common Redpoll

  4. John permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:47 am

    9. Common Eider
    10. Ruddy Turnstone
    13. Yellow-rumped Warbler
    14. Long-tailed Duck

  5. John permalink
    December 14, 2007 11:58 am

    6. Dark-eyed Junco

  6. December 14, 2007 12:00 pm

    Geez, I need to make these harder.

    Everyone is right except for Common Redpoll. Sorry, Patrick.

    I’ll get them up as soon as I get a break from chasing school groups around the Planetarium…

  7. noflickster permalink
    December 14, 2007 2:22 pm

    Man, wish I’d seen your quiz earlier, but here are a couple shots at what’s remaining:

    1. Northern Fulmar
    5. Bohemian Waxwing

    Thanks for the distraction, hope I break away again to check out the rest!
    Mike

  8. December 14, 2007 2:42 pm

    Got them both. Nicely done Mike.

  9. John permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:21 pm

    Regulus is the diminutive of rex, so it actually does mean “little king” or “kinglet.” As such it could be used as a put-down in certain contexts (cf. Romulus Augustulus).

  10. Patrick Belardo permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:41 pm

    11. Rufous Hummingbird?

  11. noflickster permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:52 pm

    Cool, there are a couple still open. I’m with Patrick on the “Red Flamecarrier,” and I’ll try out:

    12. Pomarine Jaeger?
    Mike

  12. Patrick Belardo permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:56 pm

    I’m going with Northern Gannet for 2.

  13. Patrick Belardo permalink
    December 14, 2007 3:58 pm

    12 looks good Mike! I knew it was some kind of seabird. I didn’t look at the jaegers.

  14. December 14, 2007 4:06 pm

    Yes, yes, and yes, way to clean it up guys!

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