Monday, 15 July 2013

Parrots and a Macaw

Below are some images from recent trips.  The Scarlet Macaw of Kirby Stephen and the Puffin or Sea Parrot, of the Farne Islands.

The logic behind the naming of birds is not always easy to follow.  The Puffin of course gets its vernacular name of Sea Parrot from the nature of its bill.  It’s common English naming and scientific naming is a little more difficult to understand.  I took the following information from Wikipedia……….

‘’The scientific name Fratercula comes from the Medieval Latin fratercula, friar, a reference to the black and white plumage which resembles monastic robes. The specific name arctica refers to the northerly distribution of the bird, being derived from the Greek ‘arktos’, the bear, referring to the northerly constellation, the Great Bear.  The vernacular name puffin – puffed in the sense of swollen – was originally applied to the fatty, salted meat of young birds of the unrelated species Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) which in 1652 was known as the ‘Manks Puffin’.  It is an Anglo-Norman word used for cured carcasses.  The Atlantic Puffin aquired the name at a much later stage, possibly because of its similar nesting habits, and it was formally applied to Fratercula arctica by Pennant in 1768’’

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