Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#79 What's in a Name: Kiskadee

I recently visited the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, where I was delighted to become reacquainted with beautiful birds that I don't see in SE Pennsylvania.  Several common species seen foraging around feeders have peculiar names related to sounds that the birds make!

The Great Kiskadee, distributed widely from southern Texas through South America, is named for its distinctive, three-syllable song, 'kis-ka-dee.'

The large and gregarious Plain Chachalacas are also named "onomatopoeically," meaning that their name imitates the four-noted cackle that it makes. Central American Indians gave them this name upon hearing the same loud, screechy sounds that birders do!
photo © adrian binns

No comments:

Post a Comment