Peter Barry. 210 pages, hard cover.
Have you ever looked through the names in a bird book and thought “It’s all Greek to me!”? This entertaining and informative guide to bird names explains the meanings behind the names, many of which have fascinating origins and stories behind them.
The universal system of `scientific’ names, based largely on Greek and Latin, is used in all good bird books and assists birdwatchers around the world in figuring out exactly what they are looking at. While some of the names are fairly self explanatory – such as Troglodytes for the wrens, meaning `cave-dweller’ – others are more mysterious. For example, did you know that the scientific name for the Ruff compares the bird to a jousting horseman – a reference to its spectacular display in the breeding season. Covering 600 bird species from around the world, Birds: What’s In A Name? includes explanations for names for everything.