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Full text of "A dictionary of English and folk-names of British birds; with their history, meaning, and first usage, and the folk-lore, weather-lore, legends, etc., relating to the more familiar species"











FOR THE PEOPLE 

FOK EDVCATION 

FOB. SCIENCE 


' 




LIBRARY 

OF 

THE AMERICAN MUSEUM 

OF 

NATURAL HISTORY 





A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH AND 
FOLK -NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS 



A DICTIONARY 

OF 

ENGLISH AND FOLK-NAMES 



OF 



BRITISH BIRDS 

With their History, Meaning and first usage: 

and the Folk-lore, Weather-lore, Legends, etc., 

relating to the more familiar species. 

BY 

H. KIRKE SWANN 



WITHERBY & CO. 
326 HIGH HOLBORN LONDON. W.C. 
19 13 



Yi,(iTrfi: 



/^/ ^/M^i^^^-^ 



PllEFArE. 



The idea and general scheme of this work were first entertained 
by me as far back as 1895, and from time to time since then 
I have worked at gathering up and piecing together the materials 
until during the past year the work had gro\\'n to such proportions 
and approached so nearly towards completion that I deemed 
it Avorthy of publication. To saj^ that even as now published 
it is complete, would be claiming too much for it, since with 
such a vast field open to research, both in literature and dialect, 
the possibilities of addition and correction are still very great. 

The first woi'k approaching the scheme of the present volume 
was Swainson's " Folklore and Provincial Names of British 
Birds," published in 1886, which contains nearly 2,000 local 
and other English names, but the author did not attempt to 
deal M-ith the important matter of book-names of species, and 
moreover the work, useful as it is, suffers somewhat from not 
being arranged in the form of a dictionary. Compared to 
Swainson's work, Newton's 'Dictionary of Birds" (1893-6) 
contains a great man\' less names, as might be expected from the 
scope of the book, which was too wide to allow the author to 
direct much of his great talent and research upon this limited 
subject. Mr. Hett, in 1898, issued a short list of names in his 
" Call Notes of Birds," and in 1902 he published a much more 
extended list, containing nearly 3,000 names, although it com- 
prises merelj^ a list of names A\ith the species they I'efer to and 
includes manj^ mere variations and mis-spellings. In the 
present " Dictionary " I have assembled, including variations of 
spelling, nearly 5,000 names. Of course there are also partial 
or local lists of names to be found in various ornithological 
works and periodicals of all kinds. The labour of collecting, 
collating and working up these names from a hundred or more 



VI. PREFACE. 

different sources, it may be judged, has been enormous, and 
carefully as it has been done, omissions have probably been 
made which I shall be glad to have pointed out to me. 

I have attempted to combine in this volume the English 
hook-n^mes from past authors, giving the history and first 
usage of the accepted names of species, and also the provincial, 
local and dialect names in use now or formerly in the British 
Islands, indicating the locality and meaning where possible. 
The Welsh, Gaelic, Cornish and some of the Irish names have 
been added, but in the case of the Irish names my available 
information is deficient. Under the accepted name generally 
have also been added what folk-lore, legends, weather -lore, etc., 
I have been able to collect regarding each species. 

A list of the principal works made use of has been prefixed, 
and it should be stated that the copy of Turner on Birds (1544) 
used, is the reprint edited by Mr. A. H. Evans. This Mork 
may be said to contain the earliest series of English names of 
British birds, an honour generally claimed for the list in Meriett's 
*' Pinax " (1666-7). The copy I have used of the latter work is 
the second edition of 1667, which, however, hardly differs in 
any respect in its contents from the 1666 edition. The copy of 
Willughby and Ray's i' Ornithology " (generally quoted as 
" Willughby ") used, is the English edition of 1678, as being 
not only the one more commonly in use, but also because o^\dng 
to its emendations and enlargement it is preferable to the 
Latin edition of 1676. This work forms the first great basis of 
modem British ornithology, and comparatively little advance 
was made after it, only three or four works of note appearing 
until the time of Pennant's "Zoology" (1766), after which date 
various books on British birds began by degrees to appear ; yet 
the English nomenclature, always confused and changing, 
through such popular works as those of Lemn, Bewick, Montagu, 
Latham, Donovan, Fleming, Selby, Macgillivray and others, 
resolved itself but little imtil the time of Yarrell (1st ed., 1843), 
who^'e English names have been followed, ^vith but few exceptions 



PREFACE. Vll. 

in the later editions of his work as well as by quite the majority 
of Avriters to the present day. Of the enormous mass of ornith- 
ological Uterature issued since Yarrell's day, I have availed myself 
by gleaning where anything may be gleaned for my purpose, 
and if sluj of the works thus consulted are not included in the 
Bibliography it is because I have felt it necessary to restrict 
the list to the principal and most interesting. 

In conclusion I have to thank a number of past and present 
correspondents and friends who have obliged me with names 
or information for this book, and to beg their indulgence for 
not detailing more specifically the help they have given me. 
I must also add a word of thanks to Mr. H. F. Witherby for 
his kindly suggestions, and the interest he has shown in the 
publication of the work. 

H. Kerke Swann. 



38, Great Queen Street, Kingsway, 
London W.C, 

December 12tk, 1912. 



BIBLIOGllAPHY 

Of principal works referred to, arranged chi'onologically. 



Chaucer's Works. Tyrwhitt's ed. 

Turner, W. "Avium Praecipuarum Historia" (1544), reprint 
ed., A. H. Evans, 1903. [Contains 132 species, nearly all 
British, of which 112 have the English names affixed.] 

Gesner, C. " Historise Animalium," liber m, qui est de Avium 
Natura, Tiguri, 1555. 

Caius, J. " Britanni, de Rariorum Animalium," etc. (1570), 
translated in part by A. H. Evans in App., " Turner on 
Birds," 1903. 

Aldrovandus, U. " Ornithologise, hoc est de Avibus historise," 
1599. 

Carew, R. " Survey of Cornwall," 1602. 

Drayton, M. " Polyolbion, or a Chorographical Description 
of Great Britain," 1613. 

Spenser's Works. Ed. 5 vols, 1845. 

Shakespeare's Works. Ed. Staunton. 

WiTHERiNGS, J. " Order, Lawes and Ancient Customes of 
Swannes," 1632. 

Browne, Sm Thomas, Notes and Letters on the Natm-al 
History of Norfolk (1662-8) ; ed. by T. Southwell, 1902. 

Merrett, C. " Pinax, reiiam Natm-alium Britannicarum," etc., 
1667. [This is the 2nd ed., the first being dated 1666, 
and it contains at pp. 170-84 what is usually cited as the 
earliest list of British Birds, comprising 170 species, for 
many of which, however, no English name is given.] 

Charleton, W. " Onomasticon Zoicon," 1668. 

Plot, R. " The Natvu-al History of Oxfordshire," 1677. 

WiLLUGHBY, r. " Ornithology, in Thi'ee Books, wherein 
all the Birds hitherto known, being reduced into a Method 
suitable to their natures, are accurately described, trans- 
lated into English, and enlarged, by John Ray," 1678. 
[Originally published in Latin in 1676, but the English 
ed. has been used for the present work.] 

SiBBALD, R. " Scotia Illustrata, sive Prodroraus Historiae 
Natiiralis," etc., 1684. 

Morton J. " Natural History of Northamptonshire," 1712. 

Ray, J. " S\'nopsis Methodica A\'ium et Piscium," 1713. 



X. BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Albin, E. "Natural History of Birds," 3 vols., 1738. '[The 
majority of the 308 plates are of British Birds, the Author 
stating that he has been particularly industrious to 
procure all the English birds he could.] 

EDWAED.S, G.' " Natural History of Uncommon Birds," etc., 
4 vols., 1743-51; id., "Gleanings of Natural History," 

3 vols., 1753-64. 

]VlAiiTm, M. " A Late Voyage to St. Kilda," 4th ed., 1753. 
BoRLASE, W. "Natural History of Cornwall," 1758. 
PENTfANT, T. "British Zoology," original fo. ed. (132 plates, 
1766) ; ib., 4th ed., 4 vols. 8vo, 1776-7 ; ib., new ed., 

4 vols. 8vo, 1812. 

Wallis, J. " Natural Historv and Antiquities of Northum- 
berland," 1769. 
TuNSTALL, M. " Ornithologia Britannica," original fo. ed., 

1771. 
Rutty, J. " An Essay toAvards a Natural History of Co. 

Dublin," 1772. 
Hayes, W. "Natural History of British Birds," 1775. 
Latham, J. " A General Synopsis of Birds," 3 vols, in 6, and 

two Supps., 1781-90. 
Pennaijt, T. "Arctic Zoology," vol. ii. (Birds), 1785. 
Walcott, J. " Synopsis of British Birds," 1789. 
White, G. " Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne," 

1st ed., 1789. 
Lord, T. " Entire New System of Ornithology, or (Ecumenical 

History of British Birds," 1791-6. 
Donovan, E. "Natural History of British Bird.," 10 vols., 

1794-1819. 
Lewin, W. "Birds of Great Britain," 8 vols. (2nd ed.), 

1795-1801. 
White, G. "Naturalists' Calendar," 1795. 
Beavick, T. " History of British Birds," 1st ed., 2 vols., 

1797-1804. [The text of vol. i. was by Beilby and of 

vol. II. by BeA\ick, but Major Mullens says that Rev. 

Mr. Cotes of Bedlington assisted with this latter volume.] 
Montagu, G. " Ornithological Dictionary," 1st ed., 2 vols., 

1802, and Supp., 1813. 
[FoRSTER, T.] " Observations on Brumal retreat of Swallow," 

by "Philochelidon," 1808. 
Graves,^ G. " British Ornithology," 3 vols, 1811-21. 
Low, G. " Fauna Orcadensis," 1813. 
Hunt, J. " British Ornithology," 3 vols. (vol. 3 unfinished), 

1815-22. 
Bullock. " History of the Isle of Man," 1816. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY. XI. 

Selby. p. J. " lUusti-ations of British Ornithology," text, 

2 vols., 1825-33. 

Fleming, J. " History of British Animals," 1828, 2nd ed., 

1842. 
Gould, J. " Birds of Europe," 5 vols., 1832-7. 
Jesse, E. " Gleanings in Natural History," 3rd ser., 1832-5. 
Cotton, J. " Resident Song Birds of Great Britain," 2 pts.. 

1835-6. 
Jenyns, L. " Manual of British Vertebrate Animals," 1835. 
Dalyell, J. G. " Darker Superstitions of Scotland," 1835. 
Dunn, E. " Ornithologist's Guide to the Islands of Orkney 

and Shetland," 1837. 
Macgillivray. W. " Historj^ of British Birds," 5 vols., 

1837-52. 
Yaeeell, W. " History of British Birds." 1st ed., 3 vols., 1843 ; 

id. Supp. 1, 1845, Supp. 2, 1856. 
Thompson, W. " Natural History of Ireland — ^Birds," 3 vols.. 

1849. 
HowiTT, M. " Pictorial Calendar of the Seasons," 1854. 
Stevenson, H., and South:w:ell, T. " The Birds of Norfolk," 

3 vols., 1866-90. 

Inwards, R. "Weather Lore," 1869. 

Chambers. " Popular Rhymes of Scotland," 1870. 

Grey, R. "Birds of West of Scotland, including the Outer 

Hebrides," 1871. 
Harting, J. E. "The Ornithology of Shakespeare," 1871. 
Yarrell, W. " History of British Birds," 4th ed., edited by 

Newi;on and Saunders, 4 vols., 1871-85. 
Harting, J. E. " Handbook of British Birds," 1872 ; ib.. new 

ed., 1901. 
Haeland and Wilkinson. " Lancashire Legends and 

Traditions." 1873. 
Saxby, H. L. " Birds of Shetland," 1874. 
RoDD, E. H. " The Birds of Cornwall," edited by J. E. Harting, 

1880. 
Smith, C. " The Birds of Wiltshire," 1881. 
British Ornithologists' Union. " List of British Birds," 

compiled by a Committee of the B.O.U., 1883. 
Dyer, T. F. Thiselton. " English Folk Lore," 1884. 
Mitchell, F. S. " Birds of Lancashire," 1885. 
SwAiNSON, Rev. C. " The Folk Lore and Provincial Names of 

British Birds," 1886. 
Saunders, H. " Illustrated Manual of British Birds," 1st ed., 

1889 ; 2nd ed., 1899. 
MuiRHEAD, G " The Birds of Berwickshire," 2 vols., 1889. 



Xll. BIBLIOGRAPHY. 

Graham, H. D. " The Birds of lona and Mull," edited by J. A. 

Harvie-Bro^^^, 1890. 
Christy, Miller. " The Birds of Essex," 1890. 
BoRRER, W. "The Birds of Sussex," 1891. 
Harvie-Brown, J. A. and Buckley, T. E. "A Vertebrate 

Fauna of the Orkney Islands," 1891. 
Newton, A. " Dictionary of Birds," 1893-6. 
BucKNiLL, J. A. " The Birds of Surrey," 1900. 
Hett, C. L. " Glossary of Popular, Local and Old-fashioned 

Names of British Birds," 1902. 
Nelson, T. H., and Clarke, W. E. "Birds of Yorkshire," 

2 vols., 1907. 
Forrest, H. E. " Vertebrate Fauna of North Wales," 1907. 
Whitaker, J. " Notes on the Birds of Notts.," 1907. 
Gladstone, H. S. "The Birds of Dumfriesshire," 191( 
Coward, T. A. " Vertebrate Fauna of Cheshire," 2 vols (the 

Birds by Coward and Oldham), 1910. 
Bolam, G. " Birds of Northumberland and the Ea, tern 

Borders," 1912. 
Hartert, Jourdain, Ticehurst and Witherby. "Hand-List 

of British Birds," 1912. 



"Archaeological Review." 

"Bailey's Universal Ethnological Dictionary," 1749. 

"British Birds" [Mag.], 1907-12. 

"Bulletin" of the British Ornithologists' Club. 

Dyche and Pardon's "New General English Dictionary," 

2nd ed., 1757. 
English Dialect Society's Publications : Glossaries of County 

Words, etc. 
"Field." 
" Folklore." 
" Folklore Journal." 
" Ibis." 

Littrd, "Hist, de la Langue Frangaise." 
Murray's " New English Dictionary," 1884-1912. 
"Notes and Queries." 
Philological Society's " Transactions." 
Skeat's " Etymological Dictionary of the English Language," 

1879-80. 
Wright's "English Dialect Dictionary," 1896-1905. 
" Zoologist." 



w 
A DICTIONARY OF ENGLISH AND FOLK- 
NAVIES OF BRITISH BIRDS, Etc. 

Note. — The accepted English names of species are printed in capitals, 
whilst the numbers inserted in brackets refer to the species as listed in 
the " Hand-List of British Birds," compiled by Messrs. Hartert, Joxirdain, 
Ticehurst and Witherby, 1912, which should be referred to for the 
scientific nomenclature and distribution of the species. The names of 
introduced or doubtful species are printed in italics. The Folk-lore, 
weather-lore, philological and other notes are iLsually given under the 
accepted names of species (printed in capitals), to which reference should 
be made from alternative or local names, printed in small capitals. The 
latter, it should be noted, are given under the first letter of the name 
without cross-references, i.e. for " Red-legged Crow " see under " R." 
Localities or authorities have, where possible, been appended to the 
equivalents of the less famiUar names (in parentheses). Where these 
immediately follow the name of one species, without an interv-ening point, 
it should be understood they refer only to that species. 

Aberdeen Sandpiper: The KNOT. Occurs in Pennant, 
Montagu, Bewick, etc., as a name for a phase of this species, 
described as the "Red Sandpiper " bj^ Pennant. 

Aberdevine, Aberdavine, Abadavine, or Aberduvine. 
Obsolete names for the SISKIN, first used by Albin (1735) 
who, however, speUs it " Aberdi/vine " in the text and 
" Abada\Tne " on the plate ; but in his " Brit. Song-birds " 
(1737) it is spelt "Aberdevine." It is piinted "Aberda\Tne" 
in the " New General History of Birds," 1745, and " Abber 
de Vine " in Rutty 's '^ Nat. History of Co. DubUn," 1772. 
Pennant (1766) spells it "Aberdavine," Montagu (1802) 
" Aberde\ine," as also Cotton (1835), Yarrell (1843) and 
other later -smters ; while it occurs in the same form as a 
local name in Coward and Oldham's " Vert. Fauna of 
Cheshire," and in Nelson and Clarke's "Birds of Yorkshire," 
the latter stating that it was knoAvn to old bird-catchers 
about Beverley under that name. The derivation seems 
to be unknown, but a clue to its usage is given by Pennant, 
who says that : " It is frequently to be met Aiith in the 
bird-shops in London, and is known there by the name 
of Aberdavine.'^ Swainson thinks it an equivalent to 
Alderfinch and synonymous with the German Erknzeisig. 



2 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Abhararcan-luachrac'H or Adharcan luachrach. a Gaelic 
name for the liAPWING ; lit. " the horned creature of 
the rushes." 
Acadian Owl. A North American species, supposed to have 

occurred once at Beverley, Yorkshire. 
Aden gwyr: The WAXWING. (North Wales) lit. "wax- 
wing." 
Aderyn adein goch: The REDWING. (North Whales) lit. 

" red-winged bird." 
Aderyn bronfraith. A Welsh name for the SONG-THRUSH ; 

lit. " thrush-bird." 
Aderyn cywarch : The LINNET. (North Wales) Ht. " hemp- 
bird." 
Aderyn du. A Welsh name for the BLACKBIRD ; ht. 

"blackbird." The female is called Mwj^alchen (=hen). 
Aderyn du'r DWR : The DIPPER. (North Wales) lit. " W2.ter 

blackbird." 
Aderyn eira: The SNOW-BUNTING. (North Whales) lit. 

" snow bird." 
Aderyn y bwn. A Welsh name for the BITTERN; ht. 

" boom bird." 
Aderyn-y-Cyrph or Aderyn Corph. A Welsh name for the 
TA\VNY OWL and the BARN-OWL; Ut. "corpse 
bird." 
Aderyn-y-Cyrs : The REED-WARBLER. (North Wales) 

Ht. " reed bird." 
Aderyn-y^-Droell. a Welsh name for the NIGHTJAR ; lit. 

" spinning-wheel bird." 
Aderyn-ytr-eira : The FIELDFARE. (North Wales) ht. 

" snow bird." 
Aderyn-y-to. a Welsh name for the HOUSE-SPARROW; 

lit. " thatch bird." 
Aery^or Aerie. An eagle's nest or a brood of eagles or hawks. 
Occurs as airie, aiery, ayrie, ej^ery, aeuy, etc., in various 
authors. Also as eyiie or eyiey, an incorrect form. 
The derivation of this word is somewhat imcertain. 
Murray seems to favour Fr. aire, fr. Lat. area, a floor or 
space of level groimd, which is the view held by Littre; 
but Skeat thinks the original source is the Icelandic 
ori, an eagle, and hazards that the Fr. aire and Low Lat. 
(not the class. Lat. word) area come from a similar source 
(although he modifies this in his second edition). The 
Low Lat. area is used by Ducange to denote the nest 



ABHARARCAN — ALGERIAN. 3 

of a bii"d of prey, and Cotgrave gives aire as "an airie or 
nest of hawkes." Dyche and Pardon have " eyrie or 
a\Tie, among falconers the place or nest where hawks 
sit and hatch and feed their 3^0 ung." The spelling 
eyi'ie or eyi'ey, used by many authors, seems to be in- 
correct. Murray says it was fu'st used by Spelman 
(1664) who was imder the misapprehension that the 
derivation Avas Saxon, from egg ; Willughby and Ray 
also spell it eyrie, Halliwell and Wright thiiik ejTey is 
the right form, derived from ey, Mid.-Eng. for egg. The 
word occurs in most of our early authors : Shakespeare 
has ayerie, but the word is printed aery and aiery by most 
editors ; iMilton Has eyrie ; Ben Jonson uses aiery, 
but applies it to a brood of kestrels ; Browne (" Britan. 
Past.") spells it e?/em, and Massinger ("Maid of Honour," 
I, 2.) has :— 

One airy, with proportion ne'er discloses 
The eagle and the wren. 

African Crowned Crane. An example obtained in A^Tshire in 
1871 is thought to have escaped from captivity. 

African Heron. The PURPLE HERON is "so-called by 
Latham, Lewdn, Montagu, etc. It is a migratory species 
occurring in Africa, hence the name. 

AiLSA Cock or Ait^sa Parrot. Local Scots names for the 
PUFFIN ; also used in Antrim (Swainson). 

Alamonti : The STORM-PETREL. (Orkneys.) The Orcadian 
name " Alamonti " is given by Loav, but Macgillivray 
spells it Alamotiti, and this form was sent me by Mr. R. 
Godfrey as a Shetland name ; it is also rendered Allamotti ; 
Jamison thinks it is of Italian extraction from ala, a wing 
and monte, to moimt. 

Alarch dof. a Welsh name for the ^lUTE SWAN ; lit. 
" tame swan." 

Alarch gwyllt. A Welsh name for the WHOOPER SWAN ; 
lit. " wild swan." 

Aldrovandine owlet. MacgiUivray's name for the SCOPS 
OWL. 

Alexandrine Plover : The RINGED PLOVER. 

.ALGERIAN RED-NECKED NIGHTJAR [No. 204]. A bird 
obtained near Newcastle in 1856 and recorded in most 
subsequent authors as the " Red-necked Nightjar," is 
considered by Hartert to belong to the " desert " form 
inhabiting Algeria and Tunisia, and not to the western or 
Spanish form ; hence the change of name. 

b2 



4 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Alk: The RAZORBILL; literally signifying auk, being no 
doubt from Icelandic alka, auk (qv.). 

Allan. A Scots name for a Skua ; generally the ARCTIC 
SKUA, which in East Scotland is called Dirty Allan or Aulin ; 
in Orlaiey, Scouty Allan or Aulin, and Weese Allan ; 
Macgillivi-ay spells it " Allen." 

Allecampagne. The BLUE TITMOUSE is so-called in Corn- 
wall (Swainson). 

Alleit's Gallinule. A single example, captured off Yarmouth, is 
thought to have escaped from ca]:»tivity. 

Alp: The BULLFINCH. (Obsolete.) SjTionjanic with Alph, 
Awbe, Olp, Olph, Olf and Ulf, but the derivation is un- 
known. Occurs in Chaucer (" Romaimt of the Rose") and 
WUlughby. Possibly from Alb (Mid. Eng. alhe) a derivate 
of Lat. albus (white), the rump being very conspicuously j)ure 
white. Gael. " Alp " signifies a high moimtain, and does 
not seem to have any connexion with the present word, 
although, according to Skeat, connected ^\ith Lat. albus. 
Olph appears to be still in local use for the Bullfinch 
(" Blood-Olph ") and Greenfinch (" Green-Olph "). Swain- 
son seems to be in error in supposing Hoop or Ho^oe to be 
derived from Alp, as Hoop seems to be clearly from the 
bird's note. Nope and M%vope, however, may be from Alp. 

ALPINE ACCENTOR [No. 186]. So-called from its inhabiting 
the Alps and other mountain ranges of South Europe. The 
name first ajipears in Fleming's "Hist, of Brit. Animals" 
(1S28), probably as a translation of Temminck's " Accenteur 
des Alpes " (1820). Its former generic name of Accentor, 
Lat. accentum, Fr. ad, to, and cantus, singing, was bestowed 
on accoimt of its song. Also sometimes rendered Alpine 
Chanter and Alpine Warbler. 

Alpine Chough. An accidental \asitor of doubtful status on the 
British List. The name occurs in Latham as " Alpine Crow." 

ALPINE RING-OUZEL [No. 163]. An Alpine form of the 

RING-OUZEL. 
ALPINE SWIFT [No. 199]. A native, as its name implies, of 

the Alps, and other parts of South Europe. The name is 

found in Selby (1825). It is the White-bellied Swift of 

Gould. 
Alpine Vulture : The EGYPTIAN VULTURE. (BeAdck.) 

Amadan Mointich or An tamadan mointich. A Gaelic name 
for the DOTTEREL; lit. "the fool of the moor" or 
peat-bog. 



ALK — AIVIERICAN. ft 

American Belted Kingfisher : The Belted Kingfisher. The 
prefix " American " to this and other species in the 
" Hand-List " seems minecessary, there being no European 
form to be distinguished. 

AMERICAN BITTERN [No. 269]. An irregular \asitor from 
America, as the name impHes. The name first appears in 
Selby, but the species was first distinguished under the 
name of Freckled Heron, in 1813, bv Montagu (" Orn. 
Diet.," Supp.). 

American Black-billed Cuckoo. See BLACK-BILLED 
CUCKOO. 

AMERICAN BLUE- WINGED TEAL [No. 291]. An American 
species of accidental occurrence. 

American Cuckoo : The YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. (Gould.) 

American Goldeneye. See Barrow's Goldeiieye. 

AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER [No. 363]. A casual visitor 

from Arctic North America. 
American Goshawk. A North American species, said to have 

been t\vice obtained in our islands. 
AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL [No. 290]. Another 

accidental ^'isitor from America. 

A3IERICAN HAWIv-OWL [No. 221]. An occasional visitor 
from America. The name Hawk-Owl first occurs in Gould's 
"Birds of Europe" (pt. x). It is the Canada Owl of 
Jenyns. 

American Hooded Merganser. See HOODED MERGANSER. 

American Kestrel. A North American representative of the 
KESTREL, said to have occurred in our Islands. 

American Pectoral Sandpiper. See PECTORAL SAND- 
PIPER. 

American Purple Martin. Included by Yarrell (1843) on the 
strength of one said to have been shot in Ireland. 

American Quail: The Virginian Colin. (Montagu.) 

American Scaup. An American species, also called Ring-necked 
Duck, said to have been obtained here. 

MIERICAN STINT [No. 376]. A casual visitor from America. 
American Trumpeter Swan. An American species, said to have 
been obtained in our Islands. 

AMERICAN WATER-PIPIT [No. 71]. This species, first 
figured by Edwards (" Gleanings," p. 297) as the " Lark 
from Pennsylvania," is also called American Pipit or 
American Tit-Lark. 



6 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

American White-winged Crossbill. The name is foiind in Gould 
and in Yarrell (1st ed.). 

AMERICAN WIGEON [No. 294]. The name seems to occur 
first in Wilson's " American Ornithology." It is foimd in 
Yarrell {1st ed.), the species having been recorded for 
Britain by Blyth in 1838. 

American Yellow-billed Cuckoo. See YELLOW-BIIiLED 
CUCKOO. 

Amjier or Emmer Goose: The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. 
(Aberdeen and East Lothian.) Ammer appears to be a 
corruption of Immer (q.v.). 

Amzel or Amsel. This is another form of Ouzel, and is cognate 
with German Amsel. It appears to be applied to both the 
BLACKBIRD and RING-OUZEL. Montagu gives Amsel 
as a pro\dncial name for the BLACKBIRD. 

Andalucian Hemipode. A south European species recorded on 
two or three occasions (probably introduced birds). The 
name is also -oTitten Andalusian. It occurs first as Andalu- 
cian Hemipode in Yarrell (" Brit. Birds," Suppl. 1, 1845). 
Latham calls it Andalusian Quail, and Gould Andalusian 
Turnix. 

Annet: The KITTIWAKE GULL. (Yorkshire). Found in 
Graves's "Cleveland," 1808; it is a feminine diminutive; 
also applied in Northumberland to the COM^ION GULL, 
according to Swainson. 

Ant-eun fiorm. a Gaelic name for the HEN-HARRIER. 

Apple-bird: The CHAFFINCH. (Cornwall.) No doubt akin 
to " Shell-apple." 

Apple-shealer or Apple-sheiler. Northumbrian names for 
the CHAFFINCH. Bolam, who spells it " shealer," thinks 
it is from the bird's habits anions: the buds of fruit trees ; 
but see " Shell- Apple." 

AQUATIC WARBLER [No. 140]. A casual ^dsitor, in habits 
resembhng the SEDGE-WARBLER, whence its name. 

Arbour-bird: The CHIFFCHAFF (?). Perhaps from the 
shape of its nest. 

Arctic Bird or Arctic Gull : The ARCTIC SKUA. 

Arctic Jager: The LONG-TAILED SKUA. (Eyton.) 

Arctic Puffin : The PUFFIN. 

Arctic Skua [No. 441]. Commonly knoA\Ti as Richardson's 
Skua- — a rather more appropriate name, as the name Arctic 
Skua is sometimes applied to the LONG-TAILED SKUA ; 
both are Arctic species. Skua is from the note which 



AMERICAN —ASH- COLOURED. 7 

sounds like skui. The name Ai'ctic Skua seems to occur 
first in Fleming (1828) ; it is the Arctic Gull and Black- 
toed Gull of Pennant, while the name Richardson's Skua 
is first found in Jenyns (1835), and was adopted by Yarrell 
in his first edition. 
Arctic Tern [No. 420]. A more northern species in our Islands 
than the COMMON TERN. It was first distinguished by 
Briinnich in 1764, but was not noticed by our British ornitho- 
logists until well into the 19th centur3^ It is mentioned 
by Fleming (2nd ed. 1840), but he considered it only a 
variety of the Common Tern, and the bird seems to be 
first admitted under the name of Ai'ctic Tern by Yarrell in 
1843. For derivation of Tern, see COMMON TERN. 

Arling or Arlyng : The WHEATEAR. Occurs in Turner 
(1544), in Gesner and in Merrett. 

Arnt, Arent. Given by Aldrovandus as Enghsh names for 
an Eagle; no doubt equivalent to " Erne." 

ARR.4N AKE : The RED-THROATED DIVER. The " ake " 
is equivalent to auk. Swainson says it is so-called " about 
Luss in Dumbarton." 

Arsfoot: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Merrett, Wil- 
lughby.) The LITTLE GREBE is the Small Arsfoot of 
Willughby. Cognate with Dutch arsvocte, from the back- 
ward position of the legs. 

AsAU, AusA. GaeHc names for the GANNET ; the former is 
used in the western isles, and the latter on the mainland 
(Graham). 

AsGELL-ARiAN. A Welsh name for the CHAFFINCH ; lit. 
" silver wing." 

AsGELL-HiR : The SWIFT. (North Wales) lit. " long wing." 

Ash-coloured Buzzard, or Falcon, or Harrier. See MON- 
TAGU'S HARRIER. It is the Ash-coloured Falcon of 
Montagu, formerly supposed to be the discoverer of the 
species. 

Ash-coloured Heron, or Hern, or Hernshaw : The COMMON 
HERON. (Merrett.) Hett applies the first name to the 
NIGHT-HERON, but Merrett's bird is obviously the 
COM^ION HERON. 

Ash-coloured Loon: The GREAT-CRESTED GREBE. 
(Willughby.) 

Ash-coloured Sandpiper. The IvNOT in Avinter-plumage 
was separated under this name by Pennant and other 
writers up to Montagu (1804), who however remarked that 



8 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

he doubted its distinctness from the KNOT. Swainson 
gives it as an Irish provincial name. 

AsH-coLOURED Shrike : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
Bewick (1st ed.) calls it the Great Ash-coloured Shrike. 

Ash-coloured Swan: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. 
(Swainson.) 

ASHY-HEADED WAGTAIL [No. 77]. A South European 
form recorded on two occasions. 

Asiatic Golden Plover [No. 364]. A subspecies of the 
AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER, breeding m eastern 
Arctic Asia, hence its name. 

Asiatic Houbara. See MACQUEEN'S BUSTARD. 

Assilag: The STORM-PETREL. (St. Kilda— Martm ; also 
Hebrides — Swainson). Derived from Gael, easchal, a storm. 

Associations of Birds {terms denoting). Curlews : a " flock " — 
Wild Geese : a " string " or a " skein " — Grouse : a " pack " 
— Partridges: a " covey," also a " brace " (two) — Quail : a 
" bevy " — Rooks : a " congregation " — Snipe : a " whisp " 
— Starhngs : a " gathering " or " murmuration " (many 
together) — Teal : a " flock " — Wigeon : a " company " 
(manv together), a " bunch " or " trip " (30 or 40) — or a 
"little knot" (10 or 12). 

Astracannet: The VELVET SCOTER and also the GREAT 
NORTHERN DIVER (Northumberland). 

Athenian Owl : A name for the EAGLE-OWL. (Macgini\Tay.) 

Attagen. The Attagen of the Ancients has been identified 
by old authors mth various species, i.e. the ^^'OODCOCK, 
female BLACK GROUSE, GodA\at, etc. Turner favours 
the Heather-Hen or the God\Adt, while Merrett gives the 
name to the latter. Willughby says the Attagen of Gesner 
is the Hazel-Grouse. The Attagen of Brisson, however, 
seems to be the RED GROUSE. 

Atteal, Atteile, or Attile. An ancient Scottish name, occur- 
ing also in the Orknev dialect, for a kind of Duck, sup- 
posed by Baikie and Heddle to be the COM^ION 
POCHARD, but Professor NeA\i;on was inclined to think 
it to be the TEAL. 

Auer-c.alze. The CAPERCAILLIE was so called north of 
Inverness according to Pennant ; and it appears under 
this name in Hector Boetliius (1526). 

Auk : The GREAT AUK ; also the RAZORBILL (Yorkshire 
coast). Occurs also as " Allc." From Icel. alka, an auk ; 
thence also Lat. alca. The word seems to have no certain 



ASH-COLOURED- — BAILLON's. 9 

connection \\ith awkward, or aiihward, signifying unhandy 
or contraryward, the prefix auk or awk being from the 
Icel. afig or ojg. The name Auk appears formerly to have 
more properly belonged to the RAZORBILL ; Willughby 
gives it as the North of England name for that species, 
and Sibbald mentions the RAZORBILL bv the name 
of Auk (see GREAT ALTC), as also does Pennant (1766). 
Swainson gives Auk as an Orkney name for the CO^IMON 
GUILLEMOT. 
Australian Gallinule. Examples of this species recorded as 

British are regarded as escaped birds. 
Austrian Pratincole: The PRATINCOLE. (Montagu.) 
AVOCET [No. 401]. Also spelt Avoset. Der. from the 
Ferrarese Avosetta or Avocetta, probably literally a graceful 
bird (dim. of Lat. avis). The name occurs in Willughby 
(1678) as the " Avosetta of the Italians." It is called 
Scooper (q.v.) by Charleton (1668), Avosetta by Pennant 
(1766). while Montagu and others call it Scooping Avoset; 
Yarrell also calls it Avoset. 

Awl-Bird : The AVOCET. So caUed from the shape of the 
bill resembling an awl. From A. Sax. awel, Mid-Eng. aul, 
eawl, an awl or pointed instrument for piercing. Also 
applied to the GREEN WOODPECKER ; Montagu gives 
it as a pro\Tncial name for that species. 

Baagie or Baigie. A Shetland name for the GREAT BLACK- 
BACKED GULL. 

Babbler: The GREAT REED-WARBLER. From its noisy song. 

Babbling Warbler. A provincial name for the LESSER 
\ATIITETHROAT. (:\Iacgmi^Tay.) 

Babillard: The LESSER WHITETHROAT. (Montagu, "Om. 
Diet.,"' ed. Rennie, 1831.) Rermie adapted the name from 
the French, as pointed out by Newton, and it does not 
seem to have been in use colloquially, although given 
by Macgillivray as a provincial name. 

Badock : The ARCTIC SKUA : also GREAT SKUA (Swainson). 

Bad Willy: The CONDIGN GUILLE:\I0T. 

Baer's Duck. An East Siberian species, named by Radde in 

honour of K. E. von Baer. 
Bag: The LONG-TAILED TIT^IOUSE. (Northants.) In 

allusion to the shape of its nest. 
BAILLON'S CRAKE [No. 458]. The name seems to occur 

first in Selby. This is the P. haiUoni of Vieillot, hence the 

name. 



10 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

BAIRD'S SANDPIPER [No. 380]. A North American 
species named by Coues in honour of Spencer P. Baird, 
the well-known American ornithologist. 

Bakie. a Shetland name for the BLACK-HEADED GULL. 

Balbushard: The ]MARSH-HARRIER. Occurs in Turner 
(1544) and is an equivalent of Bald Buzzard. In Aldro- 
vandus and Gesner it is applied to the Osprey. 

Bald Buzzard. Pioperly the MARSH-HARRIER (from its 
whitish cap) but also applied to the OSPREY. Willushby 
(1678) appears to have confused the MARSH-HARRIER 
and OSPREY together in his account (p. 69) of this bird, 
and he confuses the Sea-Eagle and OSPREY also. Other 
authors of his day in like manner confused the OSPREY 
with the WHITE-TAILED or Sea-EAGLE. Merrett 
mentions the "Bald Buzzard or Kite.'''' Montagu gives 
the name to the OSPREY, while Swainson gives it as 
an Essex name for the MARSH-HARRIER. 

Bald Coot: The COOT (.41bui and MacgiUi\Tay). Montagu 
gives it as a provincial name, and it occurs in Ruttj^'s 
"Nat. Hist, of Dublin." Swainson gives Bald Duck or 
Bald Coot as a Somerset name, and Nelson and Clarke 
give Bald Coot and Baldheaded Coot as Yorkshire names. 
In Scotland it becomes Bell (q.v.) 

B.4LD Goose: The WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. (Scotland.) 

Bald Kite: The COABION BUZZARD. (Provmcial.) 

B-\LD Pate: The WIGEON. (Provincial.) 

Bankjug, Bantyjug, or Bank-bottle. Local names for 
the CHIFFCHAFF and the WILLOW- WARBLER, on 
account of the shape of the nest. 

Bank Lark: The TREE-PIPIT and MEADOW-PIPIT. 

(Yorkshire — Cleveland. ) 

Bank Martin, Bank Martnet, or Bank Swallow : The SAND- 
-MARTIN. The name Bank Martnet occurs in Turner 
(1544) and in Merrett, while Bank Martin or Swallow is 
still in use pro\Tnciany. It arises from the bird's habit 
of excavating its nest in sandstone banks or cuttings. 

Bank Sparrow: The WHINCHAT. (Provincial.) 

Bank Wren: The WILLOW - WARBLER. (Yorkshire- 
South Holdemess). 

Barralot. Willughby records this as a Jersej^ and Guernsey 
name for the PUFFIN. 



BAIRD's — BARLEY-BIRD. 11 

Barhary Partridge. A North-west African species, of which 
examples (probably introduced birds) have been taken 
in Britain. It was added to the British List by Yarrell 
f " Brit. Birds," Supp., 1845). The name is found ui Latham. 

Barcud or Barcutan. A Welsh name for the KITE ; lit. 
" swift hawk." In Xorth Wales it is generally applied 
to the CO:\IMON BUZZARD, according to Coward and 
Oldham. 

Barcud glas. A Welsh name for the HEN-HARRIER ; lit. 
" blue kite." 

Bardrake: The SHELD-DUCK; also the RED-BREASTED 
MERGiVNSER. See Bargander. Swainson gives it as 
an Irish name for the former species. 

Barefaced Crow: The ROOK. So called from the bare 
whitish skin surroimding the base of the bill. 

B-ARETOED Day-Owl. MacgilHvi'ay's name for the LITTLE 

OWL. 
Barfog (Y). a Welsh name for the BEARDED TITMOUSE. 

B.4RGANDER, BaRGANSER, BeRGAKDER, or BaR- GOOSE : The 

SHELD-DUCK. Etymology uncertain, but most probably 
from the conspicuous chestnut '' bar " or band on the 
breast. Occurs in Turner, Willughby and ^Merrett as 
" Bergander." Evans thinks it should be spelt " Burgander. 
i.e. Burrow Duck," while Turner suggested " Berg-ander '" 
from its nesting in "holes of lofty rocks" (see SHELD- 
DUCK). Accoi'ding to Wallis, Bergander is a Northumbrian 
name, and Bolam says it is pronoimced Banganner about 
Boulmer. Swainson also gives Bar-goose as an Essex 
name for the BARNACLE-GOOSE. 

B.vrgez. a Cornish name for the KITE. 

Baek-Creeper : The TREECREEPER. (Pro\ancial.) 

B.ARKER : The AVOCET. Also applied to the BLACK-TAILED 
GODWIT, while Newton points out that Albin has figured 
the GREENSHANK imder this name, and ]\Iontagu, 
taking the plate to be that of the SPOTTED REDSHANK, 
has applied the name " Barker " to that bird also. Albin 
says the decoy-men so called it because it " makes a noise 
like the barking of a dog." 

Barley-Btrd. Variously applied locally to the GREY 
WAGTAIL (Yorks.), the YELLOW WAGTAIL (Notts.), 
the NIGHTINGALE (East Anglia), and the WRYNECK 
(Hants.), and also to the CO^DION GULL, on account 



12 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

of their appearing at the time of barley-sowing. It has 
also been appHed by Willughby to the SISKIN. The 
name " Barley-seed Bird " for the YFXLOW WAGTAIL 
is found in Carr's " Craven Dialect," 1828. 

Barley Snake-Bird : The WRYNECK. (Hants.) 

Baknacle, or Barnacle Goose. The BRENT GOOSE is 
sometimes so called, especially in Ireland. 

BARNACLE-GOOSE [No. 282]. The name Barnacle or 
Bernacle has been considered to have its origin in the 
ancient belief that this goose was generated from the 
shell-fish of that name (Lepas anatijera) Avhich are fomid 
adhering in clusters to floating timber, etc., the prevalent 
belief for some centuries being that these shell-fish were 
the embryo geese which greAv upon trees, termed " goose- 
trees," and as Gerard in his "Herbal" (1597) states, "as it 
groweth greater, it oi^eneth the shell by degrees till at 
length it is all come forth and hangeth only by the bUl : 
in short space after, it cometh to full maturitie and falleth 
into the sea, where it gathereth feathers," etc. Turner, 
who calls it " Bernicle " ("Avium Praecip. Hist.," 1544), 
M'riting from the evidence of a " certain man of upright 
conduct," confirms the same tale put forth originally by 
Giraldus Cambrensis {ca. 1175) and remarks that no one 
has seen the Bernicle's nest or egg as e\ddence of this 
spontaneous generation. For an interesting accoimt of 
the fable see Harttng's "Birds of Shakespeare," pp. 246-57, 
1871. Dr. Murray points out that the oldest known 
English form of the ^^■ord is the Bernekka (Latinised Bernaca) 
of Giraldus Cambrensis in the reference cited above, and 
he remarks that the Cirriped took its name from the bird 
and not the bird from the Cirriped, Avhich of course leaves 
the derivation of the bird's name still a moot point. 
Willughby and Ray call it the " Bernacle or Clakis : Bernicla 
seu Bernacla." It is figured by Lobel, Gerard and many 
other old authors. Seemingly an allusion to the above 
fable is to be foimd in the diary of Peter Suavenius during 
his mission in these islands (printed in Appdx. to 45th Rept. 
of Deputy Keeper of Public Records) where it is recorded 
that " there are trees in Scotland from which birds are 
produced . . . those birds which fall from the trees into 
the water become animated, but those Avhich fall to the 
groimd do not : the figures of birds are sometimes found 
in the heart of the wood of the trees and on the roots : the 
birds themselves do not senerate." 



BARLEY BAK-TAILED. 13 

BARN-OWL [No. 227, White-breasted Bam-Owl ; No. 228, 
Dark -breasted Bam-Owl]. This species has been separated 
into the two forms noted, the White-breasted being the 
resident species and the Dark-breasted a casual migrant. 
The name Barn-Owl arises from its predilection for bams 
and other old l)uildings : it occurs first in Willughby. It is 
the AVliite Owl of Pennant and other authors, and the 
"Yellow Owl," "Church Owl," etc., of yet others. 
Yarrell (1st ed.) calls it the " White or Barn Owl," and 
the latter name has generally been ado]ited by later ^\Titers. 
" Wliite Owl " is derived from the white hue of the under- 
parts : " Yellow Owl " from the ta^\^ly yellow upper- parts : 
" Church Owl " from its partiahty for churches. This and 
other species of owls were formerly very generally regarded 
as birds of ill-omen. Chaucer, refei-ring obxaously to tliis 
species, says : — 

The owle al nyght aboute the ballses wonde. 
That prophete ys of woo and of myschaunce. 

An ancient belief that this bird shrieking at a bii'th portended 
ill-luck to the infant is alluded to in Shakespeare (Henry VI, 
pt. ni, act V, sc. 6). 

The Owl shrieked at thy birth, an evil sign. 
B.AJiN Swallow. A common provincial name for the 
SWALLOW, so called from its nesting on the rafters, etc., 
of bams and other out-buildings. 

BARRED WARBLER [No. 143]. So called from its grey-and- 
white barred plumage. 

Barred Willow Warbler: The YELLOW-BROWNED 
WARBLER. 

Barred Woodpecker: The LESSER SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER. (Be\nck.) So called from the black and 
white of its \vings and upper-parts presenting a barred 
appearance. 

Barrel Tit : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) 

Barrow's Goldeneye. An American species of which one example 
is erroneously thought to have occurred in Suffolk. 

BAR-TAILED GODWIT [No. 402]. The name is found in 
Fleming (1828) and arises from the dusky bars on the white 
upper tail-coverts. It occurs in Turner (1544) as " Godwitt 
or Fedoa," and in Willughby as " Godwit, Yanvhelp, or 
Yarwip." Pennant calls it Godwit and Montagu the Com- 
mon God\\it. Godwit is from A.-Sax. god-wihta (lit. good- 
eating). 



14 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OP BRITISH BIRDS. 

BARTRAM'S SANDPIPER [No. 369]. A rare Anierican 
visitor, the name beins found in Wilson. Also known as 
Bartram's Tatler. 

Bass Cock : The PUFFIX. (Scotland.) From its frequenting 

the Bass Rock. 
Bass Goose: The GANNET. (Scotland.) From its being 

found on the Bass Rock. Swainson also gives Basser as a 

Forfarshire name. 
Bastard Plover : The LAPWING. Occurs in Merrett and 

lA'illughby, and Nelson and Clarke cite it as an ancient 

Hull name for the bird (1560). 
Batty Bird : The LITTLE EGRET. 
Bawkie, Baukie, or Bawkee : The RAZORBILL. (Orkneys.) 

An equivalent of Auk. 
Bay Duck : The SHELD-DUCK. (Norfolk.) From the chest- 
nut band on the breast. 
Bay Ibis : The GLOSSY IBIS. 
Beatii-Bird : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (South and east 

England). Perhaps an equivalent of '"Rafter-bird" (q.v.). 
Bean-Crake : The LAND-RAII;. Montagu gives it as a 

provincial name ; Swainson says Bean-Crake or Bean 

Cracker is a South Pembroke name for the species. 

BEAN-GOOSE [No. 277]. The name is first found in Pennant. 
It is also called " Com Goose," a name arising from the 
bird's partiaUty to grain and pulse (Swainson). It is the 
" Wild Goose " of some parts of Scotland and Ireland, and 
is so called in Fleming and some other authors. According 
to Yarrell the noise in the air attributed to the Gabriel or 
Wish Hounds, is really caused by this species (see " Gabble 
Ratchet "). 

Bearded Bustard : The GREAT BUSTARD. From the 
moustache-like tuft on each side of the head. 

Bearded Pinnock or Bearded Reedling : The BEARDED 
TITMOUSE. (Pro\nncial.) 

BEARDED TITMOUSE [No. 105]. The name Bearded Tit- 
mouse first appears in Albin. Edwards calls it the Least 
Butcher-Bird and Pennant in his foHo " Brit. Zoology " 
(1766) follows Edwards and places it with the Shrikes under 
the name of the " Lest Butcher Bird," but in his later 
editions he calls it Bearded Titmouse. The name is derived 
from the tuft of black feathers resembling a moustache 
running backward from the gape. It is frequently abbre- 
viated to Bearded Tit. 



BARTRAM's — BENFELEN. 15 

Beardie : The WHITETHROAT. (Provincial.) Probably 
from its habit of puffing out the throat-feathers. 

Beardmanica : The BEARDED TITMOUSE. (Albm.) 

Beck. A local Norfolk name for the SHOVELER. 

Bee-Bird: The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Norfolk and 
Yorkshire.) Also applied to the BLUE TITMOUSE 
(Hants.) and the WHITETHROAT (Devon.), the name bemg 
derived from their supposed fondness for bees. 

Bee-biter: The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) 

Beech-Finch : The CHAFFINCH. So caUed from its partiaHty 
to beech-mast. 

Beech-Owl : The TAWNY OWL. (Provincial.) From its 
supposed partiahty for these trees. 

BEE-EATER [No. 205]. The name Bee-eater (implying its 
fondness for bees) Avas first used, according to Prof. Newton, 
in 1668 by Charleton (" Onomasticon," p. 87) as a translation 
of the Greek Merops. It also occurs in Willughby and most 
subsequent A\Titers, although ]MacgiIli\Tay attempted to 
substitute " Yellow throated Bee-eater." The bird was long 
knoAvn as a common European species, but according to 
JNIontagu its first recorded occurrence in England was one 
shot from a flock in July, 1794, near Mattishall in Norfolk, 
and exhibited before the Linnean Society. 

Bee -eater. A local Northumberland name for the GREAT 
TITMOUSE, which is found sometimes to have a propensity 
for devouring bees. 

Bellcoot, Bellkite, or Bellpoot : The COOT. Corruptions 
of " Bald Coot " or " Bald Pout." It occurs in Rutty as 
" Belcoot or Baldcoot," and is found in Scotland as BeUkite 
(=:Baldcoot) and BeUpout (=Bald fowl). 

Bellonius's Ash-coloured Gull : The KITTIWAKE GULL. 
(Willughby.) 

Bellringer : ^ The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Kirkcud- 
bright. ) 

Bell-Throstle : The MISTLE-THRUSH. 

Bell Wigeon : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Teesmouth). 

Belted Kingfisher. A North American species of doubtful 
occurrence in the British Isles. The name occurs in Wilson's 
" Amer. Omith." 

Beltie : The COOT. Probably a corruption of Baldie (see 
BeUcoot). 

Benfelen (Y) : The YELLOW BUNTING. (North Wales) ; 
Ht. " the yellow head." 



16 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Benloyn-fwyaf (Y). a Welsh name for the GREAT TIT- 
MOUSE ; the Benloyn (=blackhead) becomes Penloyn in 
North Wales. 

Benloyn-gynffonhir (Y). a Welsh name for the LONG- 
TAILED TITMOUSE ; lit. '^ long-tailed blackhead." 

Benloyn-lygliw (Y). a Welsh name for the COAL-TIT- 
MOUSE. 

Bent Linnet. The LINNET. (Spurn, Yorks.) 

Bergander or Berganser : The SHELD-DUCK. The name 
Bergander occm's in Willughby (See Bargander). 

Bernacle Goose or Bernicle Goose : The BARNACLE- 
GOOSE (q.v.). Alternative spellings. Pennant savs the 
BRENT GOOSE is also caUed Bernacle in Ireland. ^ 

Berry breaker. A Hampshire name for the HAWFINCH. 

Berthuan. a Cornish name for the Screech Owl (BARN- 
OWL ?). 

Bessy Blackcap: The REED-BUNTING. (Provincial). 

Bessy or Bessie Blakeling : The YELLOW BUNTING. 
( Westmorland , Yorksliire . ) 

Bessy Brantail or Katie Brantail : The REDSTART. 
(Shropsliire.) 

Bessy Bunting : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Provincial.) 

Bessy Doucker or Bessy Ducker : The DIPPER. (West- 
morland and other northern counties.) From its habit of 
ducking on entermg the water. Also the PIED WAG- 
TAIL (Huddersfield). 

Betty Tit: The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Pro\Tncial.) 

BEWICK'S SWAN [No. 272]. The characteristics of this 
species Avere first pointed out by Yarrell (" Trans. Linn. 
Soc," XVI, 2, p. 453, 1830), and it occurs under this name 
in all subsequently published works. 

BiDNEWiN, BiDUEN. Comish names for a hawk. 

Big Black- and- White Duck: The VELVET SCOTER. 

(Yorkshire.) 
Big Bunting : The CORN-BUNTING. (Yorkshire.) 
Big Felt: The FIELDFARE. (Ireland.) 
Big Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Provincial.) 

BiGHEAD : The GREENFINCH (Beverley, Yorks) : also 
COMMON POCHARD (Hull). 

Big Mavis : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (East Lothian.) 

Big Ox-eye : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (East Scotland.) 



BENLOYN-FWYAF — BITING TOM 17 

Big Peggy, or Big Peggy Whitethroat : The WHITE- 
THROAT. (Nidderdale.) 
Big Throstle : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Pl•o^incial.) Occurs 

in Wilhighby ; also still a north country pro^^Ilcial name. 
Big Tit : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Notts.) 
BiLcocK : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Criccieth, North Wales) 

Ut. " red bill." 
BiLCOCK : The WATER-RAIL. (Yorkshire.) Apparently so 
called from its colour, bil being possibly akin to the north 
country blae (Icel. bldr, Dan. blaa) signifying Hvid or dark 
blue. Swainson also gives Bilcock or BUter as a north 
country name for the MOORHEN. 
Bill : The PUFFIN. (Galway.) From its bill being a pro- 
minent feature. 
Billy, or Billy Hedge-Sparrow : The HEDGE-SPARROW. 

(Doncaster.) 
Billy-biter: The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Pro\Tncial.) Pro- 
bably from its habit of pecking at the fingers of intruders 
-when sitting on its eggs, but Newton thinks it is a corruption 
of " Willow-biter." Nelson and Clarke also give it as a 
Yorksliire name for the GREAT TITINIOUSE. 
Billy Owl : The BARN-OWL. Swainson also gives Billy 
Hooter as a Shropshire name for the TAWNY OWL, but 
this is perhaps a corruption of Gilly Hooter. 
Billy Whitethroat : The GARDEN- WARBLER. (East 

Lothian.) 
Billy Wix : The BARN-OWL. (Norfolk.) 
Bimaculated Duck. A bird described by Pennant ("Brit. 
Zool.," II, No. 287) as a separate species, but by later 
authors considered to be a hybrid bird. Pennant stated 
that his example was taken in a decoy in 1771, wliile Vigors 
claimed to have had a pair sent up from a decoy near 
Maldon, Essex, in the winter of 1812-13. It retained for 
nearly a centurj' its place in the British List. 
BiNC (Y) : The CHAFFINCH. (North Wales.) From its 

note. 
Birch-Hen. The female of the BLACK GROUSE. 
Birrl-bird: The GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER. (Provincial.) 

From its curious song. 
Bistard : The GREAT BUSTARD. (Gesner.) 
Biting Tom or Bitter Tom. A local name for the BLUE 
TITMOUSE among boys, from its habit when sitting on 
its eggs of pecking at their fingers. 

c 



18 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Bitter Bank or Bitterie. Scottish Border names for the 
SAND-MARTIN, supposed to have arisen from its habit 
of biting the bank as it makes its nesting-tunnel (Bolam). 

Bitter, Bytter, or Bitter Bum : The BITTERN. (Provincial.) 
Drayton (" Polyolbion ") has the '' buzzing bitter." Nelson 
and Clarke cite " Bvtter or Bitter " as occurring in 
" Ne\alle's Marriage Feast," 1526. 

BITTERN [No. 268]. This fine species formerly bred com- 
monly in many parts of the British Islands. The name 
Bittern is from Old English bitoure, bittour, bittoura, 
bytoure, botor, or buttour, cognate mth Fr. hutor, Low 
Lat. hutorius. Dr. Murray says the word is of doubtful 
origin, but it seems probable that it is from the mediaeval 
name for bitterns, Botaurus, which again was no doubt 
originally derived from the taurus of Pliny (bk. x., c. 42), 
a bird that imitated the lowing of an ox, and was no doubt 
the Bittern. The name occurs as " Buttour or bittour " 
in Turner (1544), as " Bittur " ia Spenser f " Faerie Queene "), 
as "Bitter" in Drayton ("Polyolbion") and as "Bittour 
or Bittern or Mire-drum " in Willughby (1678), Avho saj's, 
" it is called by later wTiters Butorius and Botaurus because 
it seems to imitate hoatum tauri, the bellowing of a bull." 
He also writes, " They say that it gives always an odd 
number of bombs at a time, viz. three or five, which in my 
own observation I have found to be false. It begins to 
bellow about the beginning of Februarj^, and ceases when 
breeding-time is over. The common people are of opinion 
that it thrusts its bill into a reed, by the help whereof 
it makes that lowing or drumming noise. Others say that 
it thrusts its bill into the water or mud or earth." In 
Thomson's " Spring " we find this idea expressed : — 

The Bittern knows his time with bill ingulpht 
To shake the surrounding marsh. 

Burns also expresses the same belief : — 

Ye Bitterns, till the quagmire reels 
Rair for his sake ! 

Subsequent -wTiters, after Willughby, call it the Bittern. 
When more common, its flesh was accounted a delicacy, 
and even in Montagu's day (1802) we are told the 
poulterers valued it at not less than half-a-guinea. 

Bittern Heron : The BITTERN. (Pennant.) 

Bittour, Bittourn, or Bittur : The BITTERN (formerly). 
The first name occurs in Turner, the second in Merrett, 
and the third in Spenser. Montagu gives Bittour as a 



BITTER — BLACKBIRD. 19 

pro\Tiicial name for the species. Bittor and Bittoun are 
also cited as former variants by Nelson and Clarke. 

Black-and-blue Titmouse : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Rutty.) 

Black-and-white Avocet. Macgillivray's name for the 
AVOCET. 

Black-and-white Dabchick : The SLAVONIAN GREBE. 
Occurs in Edwards as " Black and ^^^lite Dobchick." 

Black-and-white Diver : The S^IEW. 

Black-and-white Flighter : The AVOCET. 

Black-and-white Gull: The GREAT BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. (Yorkshire.) 

Black-and-white Wagtail : The PIED WAGTAIL. (York- 
shire.) 

Black-.and-white Woodpecker: The GREAT SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. (Norfolk.) 

Black-backed Eider. Macgillivray's name for the KING 
EIDER. 

Black-backed Falcon. The PEREGRINE FALCON. 

Black-backed Gull or Black-back : The GREAT BLACK- 
BACKED GL'LL ; Black-back is a common Yorkshire 
name. 

Black-backed Hannock : The GREAT BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. (Bridlington.) 

Black-bellied Dipper. See DIPPER. 

Blackberry-eater : The STONECHAT. (Merrett.) 

Black-billed Auk : The RAZORBILL (in Avinter). A name 
first given by Pennant (1766) to a supposed distinct species 
of Razorbill, which Latham united with the latter species, 
considering it to be the yoimg. 

BLACK-BILLED CUCKOO [No. 217, The American Black- 
billed Cuckoo.] An Ajnerican species which has occurred 
once in the British Islands. 

Black-billed Egret. MacgillivTav's name for a supposed 
variety of the GREAT WHITE HERON (the East Lothian 
example, June 9th, 1840). 

BLACKBIRD. [No. 164.] From A.Sax. 6/«c, Wafc=black, and 
A.Sax. hrid, a bird. It occurs in Dame Berners' " Boke of 
St. Albans' " (1486) as " black bride " ; in Turner (1544) 
as "blak byrd " and " blak osel " ; in Merrett (1667) as 
" black-bird " and " black ousle " ; m Willughby (1678) 
as the "Common Blackbird." Be\nck (1st ed.) calls it 
" Black Ouzel." It is also called in literature the " merle." 
Strange to say, although one of the commonest of our birds, 

c2 



20 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

this species figures very little in English folk-lore. Mr. 
Thiselton Dyer (" English Folklore ") in fact finds nothing 
to say about it, and Swainson hardly anything. The 
allusion in both Aristotle and Pliny to this bird changing 
with the season from black to rufous, is evidently based on 
a misapprehension as to the sexes, the rufous-brown plumage 
being that of the female. It is a popular belief that w^hen 
these birds are imusually shrill, or sing much in the morning, 
rain Avdll follow^ Swainson also gives this as an Irish belief, 
while in Meath it is said that " when the Blackbird sings 
before Christmas she will cry before Candlemas." 

Black-bonnet: The REED-BUNTING. (Scotland.) So called 
from its conspicuous black head. The name seems also to 
have been appHed to the BLACKCAP. 

Black-breasted Plover : The GOLDEN PLOVER. (Ireland.) 

Black-breasted Redstart: The BLACK REDSTART. 
(Macgillivray . ) 

Black-breasted Sandpiper : The DLTNLIN. (Macgilli\Tay.) 

Black Brent Goose. See BRENT GOOSE. 

BLACK-BROWED ALBATROS [No. 335]. An inhabitant of 
the Southern Seas, which has once been obtained in Cam- 
bridgeshire (in 1897). The name albatros (according to the 
English Cyclopaedia) is " a word apparently corrupted b}'^ 
Dampier from the Portuguese alcatraz, w^hich was applied 
by the early na\igators of that nation to Cormorants and 
other sea-birds." 

BLACKCAP [No. 146]. More often called the Blackcap 
Warbler. Occurs in W'illughby (1678). The name is also 
applied to many other species which have the cap or 
summit of the head black, i.e. the COAL-TITMOUSE, 
MARSH-TITMOUSE, GREAT TITMOUSE. REED- 
BL^TING, STONECHAT, BULLFINCH and BLACK- 
HEADED GULL. The present species is the " Atricapilla 
seu Ficedula " of Aldrovandus. 
Black-capped Billy: The GREAT TITMOUSE. (West 

Riding, Yorks.) 
Black-capped Lolly. A North Country name for the GREAT 

TITMOUSE. 
Black-capped Titmouse : The MARSH-TITMOUSE. (Bewick.) 
I^lack-capped Warbler : The BLACKCAP. (MacgilUvray.) 
IJlack-chinned Grebe: The LITTLE GREBE. Foimd in 
Pennant, Latham, Montagu, etc., as a supposed distinct 
species from the Hebrides. It is also a Berkshire name for 
the species. 



BLACK — BLACK. 21 

Black Cock or Black Game : The BLACK GROUSE. The 

name Black Cock occurs in Sibbald (1684). 
Black Cormorant : The CORMORANT. 
Black Crow : The CARRION-CROW. (Notty.) 
Black Citrlew : The GLOSSY IBIS. 
Black Curre. A Hampsliire name for the TUFTED DUCK. 

Black Diver : The COMMON SCOTER (WiUughbv) ; also the 
VELVET SCOTER (Northumberland), and sometimes the 
CORMORANT. 

Black Duck : The TUFTED DUCK, CO:\IMON SCOTER, 
VELVET SCOTER, and also the SCAUP-DUCK. It is 
used for the COMMON SCOTER in Northumberland, 
Yorkshire and Cheshire. 

Black Eagle : The GOLDEN EAGLE (immature). A fairly 
general name, deri^ ed from its dark plumage. In the High- 
lands the Gaelic name, lolair dhubh also signifies Black 
Eagle. Albin's and Pennant's Black Eagle is the same as 
the Ring-tailed Eagle, for long loiown to be the immature 
GOLDEN EAGLE. 

BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR [No. 170, Western Black- 
eared Wheatear ; No. 171, Eastern Black-eared 
Wheatear]. This is the Black-throated Wheatear of former 
authors, the Black-eared and Black-throated WTieatears 
being now considered dimorphisms of the same species. 

Black-faced Bernicle-Goose. Macgilli\Tav's name for the 
BRENT GOOSE. 

Black-footed Kittiwake : The KITTIWAKE GULL. (Mac- 
gLlli\'Tay. ) 

Black Game : The BLACK GROUSE. Occurs in WiUughby. 

Black Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. (Essex.) It is also a 
North Country gunner's name for the same species. 

Black Grebe : The BLACK-NECKED GREBE. 

BLACK GROUSE [No. 463]. Occurs first in WiUughby (1678), 
who calls this species the " Heathcock or Black-game or 
Grous," the first-mentioned name being that of the female, 
which occurs first in Merrett's list (1667) as " Hasel Hen " ; 
Sibbald calls it Black Cock. It is variously called Black 
Cock, Black Game or Black Grous by later A\Titers, with 
Heath Cock, Heath Hen or Hazel Hen for the female. The 
spelling " Grous " in fact sur\dved to 1835 (Jenj-ns), but 
one or tAvo uriters and finally Yarrell (1st ed., 1843) adopted 
the final " e " now invariably used. The word Grouse is 
of uncertain origin ; it first occurs as " Grows " in an 



22 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

ordinance for the regulation of the Royal Household, dated 
"apud Eltham, mens. Jan. 22, Hen. VIII " (i.e. 1531), and 
referring, Xewton thinks, to the Black Grouse. He thinks 
the most likely derivation is from Old Fr. griesche, greoche, 
or griais, meaning speckled. Cotgrave (1611) has " Poule 
griesche : a moore-hen, the henne of the OriceJ^ 

BLACK GUILLEMOT [No. 447]. The name Black GuiUemot 
is first found in Pennant (1766). Occurs in Willughbj^ and 
in Albin as the " Greenland Dove or Sea-Turtle.' The 
name is in reference to its chiefly black plumage ; Guillemot 
being from Fr. guillemot. 

Black Gull. The Skuas are sometimes so called from their 

dark colour, especially the GREAT SKUA. 
Black Havvtj;. The MERLIN is sometimes so-caUed. 
Black-headed Barxacle. A name for the BREXT GOOSE ; 

given in i\Iacgilli\Tay. 
Black-headed Bob : The GREAT TIT^IOUSE. (Devon.) 
Black-headed Bully : The BULLFINCH. (Yorkshii-e.) 
BLACK-HEADED BL^^TING [No. 45]. A southern species of 
casual occurrence. The name is also applied to the REED- 
BUNTING (a totally distinct indigenous species) wliich 
occurs under the name in the first edition of YaiTell and 
is frequenth' so called pro^^ncially on account of its black 
head. 

Black-headed Bushchat : The STONECHAT. (MacgU- 
li\Tay. ) 

Black-headed Diver : The male SCALTP-DUCK, so called 
from its glossy-black head. 

Black-headed Furzechat : The STONECHAT. (Pro^-incial.) 

BLACK-HEADED GULL [No. 427]. So called from its " black" 
(really dark broA^Ti) cap. GuU (in Old Eng. mew) is 
from Welsh gwylan, Fr. goeland. Occurs in Turner, who 
calls it " a white semaw, A^-ith a black cop," giving it no 
English name other than the pro^Tncial one of " Sea-Cob." 
He also, without apparent justification, identifies it ynXh. 
the Fulica of classical writers, a name now given to the 
COOT. Willughby and Ray call it the " PcAvit or Black- 
cap, called in some places the Sea-Ci'OAv and Mire-Crow." 
Black-headed Gull appears to be first found in Pennant. 

Black-headed Hay- Jack : The BLACKCAP. (Norfolk.) See 
Hay- Jack. 

Black-headed Peggy : The BLACKCAP. (ProAincial.) 



BL.\CK — BLACK. 23 

Black-headed Snipe : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. (Pro- 
vincial.) 

Black-headed Thistlefinch. ^lacgillivi'aj's name for the 
SISKIN. 

Black-headed Tomtit or Titmouse : The GREAT TIT- 
MOUSE ; also the MARSH-TITMOUSE (I\Iacgilli%Tay). 

BLACK-HEADED WAGTAIL [No. 78]. A south-east Euro- 
pean form of Yellow Wagtail. 

Black-headed Wigeon : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Provdncial.) 

Black Ibis : The GLOSSY IBIS. Occurs in Willughby. 

Blackie : The BLACKBIRD. (Northumberland, Yorkshire.) 

BLACK KITE [No. 251]. The name is foimd in Sibbald, and 
in most modem authors. 

BLACK LARK [No. 58]. A West Siberian species first 
recorded in 1907 for our islands. 

Black Marsh-Terx. MacgilliATav's name for the BLACK 
TERN. 

Black ^Martix. Martlet. Swallow, or Swift : The SWIFT. 
Occurs in Merrett (1667) as " Black Martin or Martlet," 
and in Willughby (1678) as " Black Martin or S\nft." As 
a provTncial name it is still in use locally. According to 
Bolam the MARTIN is also so called " at Wooler, and 
perhaps in other places, though [the name is] apparently 
dying out." 

Black Neb or Black-nebbed Ci'ow : The CARRION-CROW. 
(North Coimtry.) The latter form occurs in Be-oick (1797) ; 
so called from its black bill. Nelson and Clarke give " Black 
Neb " for the HOODED CROW and " Black-nebbed Crow " 
for the CARRION-CROW in Yorkshire. 

BLACK-NECKED GREBE [No. 339]. This is the Eared Grebe 

of Pennant and succeeding Avriters. 
Black Noddy : The Noddy Tern. (Jen\Tis.) 
Black Ouzel: The BLACKBIRD. (Craven and Cleveland, 

Yorkshire.) Occurs in Turner as " Blak Osel." 
Black Ox-eye : The COAL-TITMOUSE. (Forfar.) 
Black Pheasant. An ironical Cleveland name for the 

CARRION-CROW. (Nelson and Clarke.) 
Black Plover : The LAPWING. (Provincial.) 
Black Poker or Black-headed Poker : The TUFTED 

DUCK. The former is a Norfolk name, " poker " being 

a common term for species of wild duck in East Anglia. 

Nelson and Clarke give "Black Pocker" (Poker?) for 



24 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

this species at Beverley, Yorks., and Black Poker Duck for 
the SCAUP DUCK on the Humber. 
BLACK REDSTART [No. 179]. The name is found in Gould's 
" Birds of Europe," viii (1834). This species has more 
black and slate in its plumage than the commoner species, 
hence its first name. For derivation of the word Redstart, 
see under REDSTART. 
Black Redtail : The BLACK REDSTART. (Jenyns.) 
Black Sandpiper : The immature KNOT (provincial) ; also 

the immature PURPLE Sx\NDPIPER (Pennant). 
Black Scaup : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Humber.) 
Black Scoter : The COMMON SCOTER is so called by Selby, 

Fleming, Jenyns and others. 
Black Shearwater : The SOOTY SHEARWATER. (Flam- 
borough.) 
Blacksmith : The YELLOW BLTNTING. (Salop.) 
Blakstart : The BLACK REDSTART. An erroneous name, 
as it signifies " Black tail " (see Redstart), while the tail 
happens to be red. 
Black-steer : The STARLING (I'^^pton-on-Severn, Worcester- 
shire) ; also called Black Starling in East Lothian. 

BLACK STORK [No. 257]. The name first appears in Willughby 
(1678), who calls it Black Stork to distinguish it from the 
Common or White Stork, but it seems to be first recorded 
for our Islands by Colonel Montagu in 1815 in a communica- 
tion to the Linnean Society. 

Black Swift : Macgillivray's name for the SWIFT. 

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT [No. 403]. The name is found m 
Fleming (1828). It is called Red Godwit by Edwards, 
Pennant, Latham, etc. Now only a \dsitor on migration, 
but if used to breed with, us up to the year 1847. Dis- 
tinguished from the Bar-taUed God\^dt by its tail being 
black instead of dusky grey Avith the base white only. It is 
described by Willughby (1678), who calls it " the second 
sort of Godwit." 

BLACK TERN [No. 412]. A species of Tern %\hich is noAv only 
a migrational \dsitor, although it used to breed in East 
Anglia up to the year 1858. The plumage is really of a 
sooty slate-grey, the head only being black. This species 
is rnentioned by Turner (1544) who calls it " Stern " and 
bears witness to its abimdance in England in his time, 
stating that " throughout the whole of summer, at Avhich 
time it breeds, it makes such an unconscionable noise that 



BLACK— BLACX. 25 

by its unrestrained clamour it almost deafens those who 
live near lakes and marshes." Willughby and Ray (1678) 
call it " our Black cloven-footed Gull " and give also " Scare- 
Crow " as a popular name. '" Black Tern " occurs in 
Pennant (1766). 

BLACK-THROATED DIVER [No. 343]. This species is so 
called from its black chin and throat. The name is first 
used by Edwards, and is also foimd in Pennant, Latham 
and later wTiters. In Benbecula and North Uist the 
natives compare its cry in dr^;- weather to " Deoch I deoch ! 
deoch ! tha'n loch a tras-ghadh " — '• drink ! drink ! drink ! 
the lake is nearly dried up " (Gray). 

Black-throated Grosbeak. Macgilli\Tay's name for the 
HAWFINCH. 

Black-throated Thrush [No. 161]. An Asiatic species in 
which the throat and breast are of a dull black hue. 

Black-throated Waxaat:ng. ]\racgiUi\Tay's name for the 
WAXWING. 

Black-throated Wheatear : The BLACK-EARED WHEAT- 
EAR. 

Black-throated YELLOw-HAMisrER. A local name for the- 
CIRL BLUNTING. 

Black Thrush : The BLACKBIRD. (:\IacgiUi\Tay.) 

Black-toed Gull : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Pennant.) It is a 
local name for this species in ]\Iorav, and Swainson also 
applies it to the GREAT SKUA. 

BLACK-Toppm' Duck : The TUFTED DUCK. (Yorkshire.) 

BLACK WHEATEAR [No. 174]. A recent addition to the 
British List ; first recorded in 1909. 

Black Wigeon : The female WIGEON. (East Ireland.) 

Black-winged Gull: The BLACK-HEADED GUI.L. 
(Yarrell.) 

Black-winged Horned 0\\t:. : The EAGLE-OWL. 

BLACK-WINGED PRATINCOLE [No. 355]. This is the 
G. melanoptera of Saunders ("Brit. Birds" [Mag.], vol. i, 
1, p. 15), hence the name Black -\^"inged. 

BLACK- WINGED STILT [No. 400]. This species was not of 
quite such rare occurrence in former times. It was knoMTi 
to the older authors from Pennant (1766) to Donovan as 
" Long-legged Plover." Occurs in Willughb}- (1678) under 
the name of Himantopus (ex Pliny and Aldrovandus). 
Black-winged Stilt is found in Selby (1833). The name 
Stilt is ascribed by Newton to Rennie in 1831, as a rendering 



26 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

of Brisson's Echasse (1760), although according to Wilson 
used long before in America. I may point out, though, 
that in Bewick's "Brit. Birds" (1st ed., vol. ii, p. 5, 1804) 
mil be found a cut of a sportsman walking in the Avater on 
stilts, placed as a tail-piece to the account of the " Long- 
legged Plover," which suggests both the bird's present 
name and its habits. 

Black-winged Stilt-shank. Macgillivray's name for the 
BLACK- WINGED STILT. 

Black Woodpecker. This fine North European and Asiatic 
species has frequently been recorded as British, but no 
really authentic British examples are known and it is 
therefore yet denied a place on the British List. 

Black Wren: The HEDGE-SPARROW. SAvamson says it 
is an Irish name for the species, on accoimt of the dusky 
plumage. 

Blacky-top : The STONECHAT. (Provincial.) 

Blakeling: The YELLOW BUNTING. (Northumberland 
and Yorkshire.) 

Bleater: The CO^LVION SNIPE. From the pecuHar noise 
it makes during its love-flight. Also occurs as " Blutter." 

Blethering Tam : The WHITETHROAT. (Renfrew.) 

Blind Dorbie : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (North Shet- 
land.) 

Blind Dunnock : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Somerset.) 
Smith says it is from its stupid blindness in not distin- 
guishing the Cuckoo's egg laid in its nest. 

Blood Hawk : The KESTREL. (Oxon.) 

Blood Hoop, Blood Olf, or Blood Ulf : The BULLFINCH 

(se3 Alp). The term " blood " is from the salmon-red 
tint of the under-parts. 

Blood Lark : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Provincial.) Also 
the TREE-PIPIT. (Cheshire.) 

Blood Linnet : The LINNET. (Norfolk.) From the crimson 
of its breast in breeding-plumage. 

Blue-back, Blue-bird, Blue Felt, Blue Rump, or Blue- 
tail. The FIELDFARE is so called in various localities 
from the blue-grey tint of the loAver-back. Blue-tail is 
noted as used in the Midlands and West Yorkshire, and is 
a misnomer, as the tail is dark broMTi ; Blue-Back is a 
Cheshire name. 

Blue-backed Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Thirsk, Yorks.) 



BL.VCK — BLUE. 27 

Blue-backed Dove. Macgilli\Tav's name for the STOCK- 
DOVE. 

Blue-backed Falcon : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (North 
England.) From the dark blue-grey of the mantle. 

Blue-backed Maw: The HERRING-GULL. (Orkney and 
Shetland.) Also occurs in Yorkshire as Blue-backed Gull. 

Blue-billed Curre : The TUFTED DUCK. (West Coast.) 

Blue-Boxnet or Bluecap : The BLUE TITMOUSE. The 
former is a Scots and Irish and the latter an English pro- 
vincial name. Nelson and Clarke, however, say Blue Bonnet 
is used in the West Riding of Yorkshire, but Bluecap else- 
where in the county. 

Blue -BREAST : The NORWEGIAN BLUETHROAT. 

Blue Darr or Blue Daw: The BLACK TERN. (Norfolk.) 
Jolins says Darr is a corruption of Dorr-hawk, a name for 
the NIGHTJAR, " which it resembles in its mode of flight 
and also in its food." 

Blue Dove : The ROCK-DOVE. (North Yorkshire.) 

Blue Dunnock or Blue Sparrow : The HEDGE-SPARROW. 
From its neck and breast being of a bluish-grey tint. The 
first is a Cheshire name. 

Blue Gled or Blue Kite : The HEN-HARRIER. (Scotland.) 
From the blue-grej^ plumage of the male. 

Blue Ha\\'k. A common name for the SPARROW-HAWK; 
also the MERLIN (North Yorkshire), the HEN-HARRIER 
(Be^nck) and the PEREGRINE FALCON (MacgiIli\Tay). 

Blue-headed Qu-\ketail : The BLUE-HEADED WAGTAIL. 
(Macgillivray.) ^[acgilli\Tay separated the "Yellow Wag- 
tails " under the name of " Quaketails " from the Black-and- 
AMiite group or " Wagtails." 

BLUE-HEADED WAGTAIL [No. 74]. The name occurs in 
Jen\Tis (1835). It is sometimes called the Blue -headed 
Yellow Wagtail, and erroneously the Grey-headed Wagtail, 
the latter being a distinct form. 

Blue Isaac or Blue Jig : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Pro- 
\'incial.) Isaac is probably a corruption of Hegcs-siigge (see 
imder " Segge "). 

Blue Jacket :^^I0NTAGU'S HARRIER ; from the blue-grey 
of its mantle (or jacket). 

Blue Jay : The JAY. (Linlithgow, and at Scarcroft, York- 
shire.) 

Blue Maa or :\Iaw : The COMMON GULL. (Shetlands.) Blue 
Maw is also a Scottish Border name for the species. 



28 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Blue Merlin : The SPARROW-HAWTv. (Perth.) 

Blue Mope, Blue Thee, Blue Tit, Blue Tomtit, Blue Top, 
Blue Ox-eye, Blue Whaup, or Blue Yaup. Provincial 
names in various localities for the BLUE TITMOUSE. 

Blue-Neb (=Blue-Bill). A Northumberland gimner's name 
for several species of ducks, i.e. SCAUP-DUCK, WIGEON, 
TUFTED DUCK, etc. 

Blue-Pigeon : The FIELDFARE. (Ireland.) 

Blue Poker : The COMMON POCHARD. (Pro\incial.) 

Blue Rock : The STOCK-DOVE. (Cheshire and Yorkshire) ; 
the ROCK-DOVE (Yorkshire.) 

Blue-tailed Bee-eater. An Oriental species said to have been 
shot at Teesmouth in 1862. 

Blue-throated Redstart, Blue-throated Robin, or Blue- 
Throated Warbler: The NORWEGIAN BLUE- 
THROAT (commonly known as the Red-spotted Blue- 
throat). The first name occurs in Edwards (plate 28), 
the second in Bewick, and the thii'd in Yarrell. 

BLUE TITMOUSE [No. 89, Continental Blue Titmouse; 
No. 90, British Blue Titmouse]. So called from the pre- 
vailing blue colour of the upper -parts. The name occurs in 
Wiilughby (1678). Turner mentions the species, but calls 
it the Nun, a name derived from its hooded appearance. 
Titmouse appears for the members of this genus in most 
old authors, but Yarrell in his first edition shortened the 
names of these birds to Tit, and has been followed in this 
by many later Amters. 

Blue-winged Jay. MacgilliATay's name for the JAY. Blue- 
wing is a Yorkshire proATncial name. 

Blue-winged Shovel-bill : The SHOVELER (MacgUliAnray). 

Blue-winged Shoveler or Blue-winged Stint : The 
SHOVELER. ^Montagu gives the first as a proAincial 
name. 

Blue-Winged Teal. See AMERICAN BLUE-WINGED 
TEAL. 

Blue Woodpecker : The NUTHATCH. (Provincial.) 

Bluey : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Yorkshire.) 

BLYTH'S REED-WARBLER [No. 138]. An Asiatic species 
so called in honour of Blyth, who named it in 1849. 

Boatswain. A general name for the Skuas. In the Shetlands 
and north Scotland it is used for the species now called 
ARCTIC SKUA, while Bo'sun is applied at Flamborough 
to the GREAT SKUA. 



BLUE — bonapabte's. 29 

Bobby Wren : The WREN. (Norfolk.^ So called from its 
short tail. 

Bob Robin : The REDBREAST. (Stirling.) Also occurs as 
Bob or Bobbie in Notts. 

Bod, Bodfforchog, Bod Wennol, Boba chwiw. Welsh 
names for the KITE : fforchog signifies " fork-tailed," 
wennol " swallow " and chAviw " whistling." 

EoDA or BoDA LLWYD : The CO:\E\ION BUZZARD. (South 
Wales.) 

BoDA garwgoes : The ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD. (North 
Wales.) 

BoD GLAS : The ^MERLIN. (North Wales) lit. " blue hawk." 

BoDi-GUERiN. A Cornish name for a " Buzzard " (INfARSH- 
HARRIER ?). 

Bod teircail. A Welsh name for the COMIMON BUZZARD. 
(Fleming.) 

Bod tinwyn. A Welsh name for the HEN-HARRIER; lit. 
" white-tailed Kite." 

Bod y GWERNi or Bod y wern. A Welsh name for the 
MARSH-HARRIER ; lit. " marsh kite." 

Bod y Mel. A Welsh name for the HONEY-BUZZARD; 
lit. " Honey-Buzzard." 

Bog Bleater : The COMMON SNIPE. (Ireland.) 

Bog Blutter, Bog Bull, Bog Buimper, Bog Drum, Bog 
Jumper. Pro\Tncial names for the BITTERN 

Bogey : The RAZORBILL. (Redcar, Yorkshire.) 

Bog Gled : The MARSH-HARRIER. (East Lothian.) 

Bog Lark : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Provincial.) 

Bog Sparrow : The REED-BUNTING. (Provmcial.) 

Bohemian Chatterer or Bohemian Waxwing : The WAX- 
WING. Occurs in Willughby (1678), in Montagu (1802\ 
and later authors. The 18th century writers from Edwards 
and Pennant to Latham, Lewin and Donovan, called it 
the Waxen Chatterer. Albin (1738) calls it " Bohemian 
Jay or Chatterer." 

Bohemian Pheasant : A variety of the PHEASANT. 

Boldie : The CHAFFINCH. (Aberdeen.) 

BONAPARTE'S GULL [No. 425]. The name is found in 
Audubon. It is the Bonapartian Gull of Thompson. 

BONAPARTE'S SANDPIPER [No. 381]. /\n American 
species named in honour of Prince C. L. Bonaparte, the cele- 
brated ornithologist. Formerly called Schinz's Sandpiper. 



30 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

BoNCATH : The CO^MONT BUZZARD. (North Wales.) Coward 
and Oldham think it is probably from Boda cath=cat 
liaM k, from its mewing cry. 

BoNNETiE : The LITTLE GREBE. (Forfar.) 

BoNXiE. A Shetland name for the GREAT SKUA ; said to be 

used also in the Orkney's. 
Boomer : The BITTERN. From its booming cry. 
BooNK : The LITTLE BITTERN. (Montagu.) 
Booty: The MANX SHEARWATER. Mr. R. Godfrey 

informs me it goes under this name on the East Coast of 

Shetland. 

BoTHAG. A Gaelic name for the RINGED PLOVER. 

BoTTLE-BUMP : The BITTERN. (Yorkshire.) 

Bottle- JUG : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (North and 

East Yorkshire.) From the shape of its nest. 
Bottle-nose : The PU^FFIN. From its peculiarly-shaped bill. 

Willughby records it as so called in South Wales. 
Bottle Tit or Bottle Tom : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 

(Provincial.) From the shape of it"? nest. 
Bouger or BowGER : The PUFFIN. Bowger occurs in Martin's 
"Voy. to St. Ealda"; while Bouger, or Bulker, is the 
Hebrides name. 
Bracken Owl : The NIGHTJAR. (Longdendale, Cheshire.) 
Bracket : The TURNSTONE. (South Northumberland.) 
Brake-hopper or Brake Locustelle : The GRASSHOPPER- 
WARBLER. From its habit of frequenting thick under- 
wood. 
Brake Nightingale : The NIGHTINGALE. (IMacgillivray.) 
Bramble Cock : The BR AMBLING. (Cheshire.) 
Bramble-Finch : The BRAMBLING. (Yorkshire and else- 
where.) 

BR AMBLING [No. 38]. The name appears in Turner (1544) 
as " Braml^aig " and in Merrett's list and also Willughby a.s 
" Bramble or Brambling." Pennant calls it the Brambling 
or Moimtain Finch. Also applied to the young of the 
SNOW-BUT^TING. 

Brame : The WHIMBREL. (East Suffolk.) 

Bran : The CARRION-CROW. (Cornish.) Mr. Harting also 
applies it to the Rook. 

Bran or Bran fawr : The CARRION-CROW. (North Wales) 
lit. " crow " or " great crow." 



BONCATH — BRENT. 31 

Bran big coch : The CHOUGH. (North Wales) Ht. " red- 
beaked crow." 

Brancher : The GOLDFINCH ; also the newly-fledged young 
of the ROOK and other perching birds. In falconry a 
young Hawk which has left the nest but remains near it, 
hopping from bough to bough. 

Brandre. a Cornish name for the ROOK. 

Brand-tail: The REDSTART. (North Country.) Some- 
times also occurs as Bran-tail, a mere corruption ; lit. fire- 
tail, from A. Sax. brand, brond, a burning piece of wood. 

Bran gernyw : The CHOUGH. (North Wales) lit. " Cornish 
Chough." 

Bran hedlyd. Bran yr Iwerddon, Bran lwyd. Welsh names 
for the HOODED CROW ; the first signifies ash-coloured 
crow, the second Irish crow, and the third grey crow. 

Bran syddyn. A Welsh name for the CARRION-CROW ; lit. 
" cottage crow." 

Brant or Brand Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. Occurs in 
Turner (1544), who makes it identical with the BARNACLE- 
GOOSE. Brant Goose is a Holy Island name for the 
BRENT GOOSE, A\hile Brant is a'ChesMre name for the 
same species. 

Bras-y-cyrs, Bras penddu : The REED-BUNTING. (North 
Wales.) 

Bras-y-ddruttan, Bras- yr- yd. Welsh names for the CORN- 
BL^^TING ; the last name signifies " stout (bird) of the 
grain." 

Brazilian Curlew or Brazilian Whimbrel. The immature 
GLOSSY IBIS. 

Breac-an-t'sil. a Gaelic name for the PIED WAGTAIL. 

Bread-and-Cheese : The YELLOW BLWTING. (Salop.) 
From its cry, which has been syllabled " little-bit-of- bread 
and-no-che-e-s-e." 

Brech y fuches, or Brith yr oged : The PIED WAGTAIL 
(North Wales); also applied to other species; lit. "pied 
bird of the cowshed," " pied bird of the harrow." 

BRENT GOOSE [No. 283, Brent Goose; No. 284, Pale- 
breasted Brent Goose ; No. 284*, Black Brent 
Goose]. The name occurs as Brent Goose in Willughby 
and also in Pennant, Avho says it is called Bernacle in Ireland. 
Brent is from Welsh brenig, a limpet. Goose is from A.Sax. 
Gos, and is properly the female, the male being called 
Gander, and the youns Gosling. Brent Goose is also a 
Cheshire name for "the BARNACLE-GOOSE. 



32 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Briar Bunting : The CORN-BUNTING. (North Ireland.) 

Brid or Bryd. The original form of Bird in Mid.-Eng. and 
A. Sax., being derived from A. Sax. bredan, to breed. The 
term was properly applicable to the yoimg only, and seems 
synon\mious with brood, A.Sax. brod, the proper term for 
the adult bird being fowl, A.Sax. Jugol, which has in 
recent times come to be applied more especially to the 
barn-door varieties of gallinaceous birds. Shakespeare 
(Henry IV, act v, sc. 1.) has "that vmgentle gull the 
cuckoo's bird (i.e. young)." Chaucer has " take any brid 
and put it in a cage," etc., also the plural form briddes. 
In the corrupted Northern English it appears to have become 
early changed to bird by the shifting of the " r," although 
it survived for a time as brid or bryd in the Wessex, or 
Southern English, tongue, which was less subject to cor- 
rupting influences. According to Poole brid still survives 
in Staifordsliire 

Bridled Guillemot. A supposed variety of the COMMON 
GUILLEMOT ; also known as the Ringed Guillemot. 

Bridled Marrot. A local name for the Ringed Guillemot 
among the fishermen in the West of Scotland (Gray). 

Bridle Duck : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Dublin.) 

Briecan bbatha. a Gaelic name for the CHAFFINCH. 

Brinker : The RING-OUZEL. 

Brisk Finch, Briskie, or Brichtie : The CH.4FFINCH. 
(Scotland.) From its smartness of appearance and acti\ity. 

Brith y fuches. a South Wales name for the PIED WAG- 
TAIL ; lit. " pied bu-d of the coAvshed." 

Brith y fuches felen. A Welsh name for the YELLOW 
W\A.GTAIL ; felen signifies " yellow." 

Brith y fuches lwyd. A Welsh name for the GREA^ WAG- 
TAIL ; lwyd signifies " grey." 

British Coal-Titmouse. See COAL-TITMOUSE. 

British Dipper. See DIPPER. 

British Golden-crested Wren. See GOLDEN-CRESTED 
WREN. 

British Great Spotted Woodpecker. See GREAT SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. 

British Great Titmouse. See GREAT TITMOUSE. 

British Hedge Sparrow\ See HEDGE-SPARROW. 

British Long-tailed Titmouse. See LONG-TAILED TIT- 
MOUSE. 



BRIAR — BROWK. 33 

British Marsh-Titmouse. See MARSH-TITMOUSE. 

British Nuthatch. See NUTHATCH. 

British Redbreast. See REDBREAST. 

British Song-Thrush. See SONG-THRUSH. 

British Willow-Titmouse. See WILL0W-TIT:\I0USE. 

Broadbill or Broad-billed Duck : The SHOVELER. (Pro- 
vincial] v.) So called from its spatulate bill. 

BROAD-BILLED SANDPIPER [No. 385]. The name is 
found in Gould'.s " Birds of Europe " (pt. xvii.). 

Broad-billed Scaup-Duck : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Macgilli- 
way. ) 

Broinx dearg. a Gaelic name for the REDBREAST. 

Brongie : The CORMORANT. (Orloiey and Shetland.) 

Broxruddyn or Brongoch : The REDBREAST (North 
Wales) ; lit. " ruddy breast," and " red breast." 

Broxruddyn Y MYNYDD : The BRA^IBLING. (North Wales.) 

Broxwen: The WHITETHROAT. (North Wales) lit. 
" white breast." 

Bronwex leiaf: The LESSER WHITETHROAT. (North 
Wales) lit. "lesser Avhite breast." 

Brook Ouzel : The WATER-RAIL. (Willughby.) Hett also 
applies the name to the DIPPER. 

Brook-runner : The WATER-RAIL. (Pro^incial.) 

Brown-and-white Gull : The immature GREAT BLACK- 
BACKED GULL. 

BRO\\^'-BACKED WARBLER [No. 153]. A rare straggler 
from south-east Europe, first recorded in 1907. 

Bro\vn Bee-Hawk. MacgilIi^a•av's name for the HONEY- 
BUZZARD. 

Brown Buzzard : The CO:\DION BUZZARD. (MacgUIi\Tay.) 

Brown Crane. A North Anierican species of wliich a solitary 
example, probably an escaped bird, has occurred in 
Ireland. 

Brown Eagle. A name for the GOLDEN EAGLE. (Mac- 
giUi\Tay.) 

BRO^\^^ FLYCATCHER [No. 115]. An Eastern Siberian 
species, first recorded in 1909. 

Brown Gled : The female HEN-HARRIER. (Scotland.) 
From its brown plumage, an English equivalent being 
Bro\\-n Kite ; the male is called Blue Gled. 

Brown Gull : The GREAT SKUA ; also the immature BLACK- 
HEADED GULL. 



34 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Browtj HA^VK : The MARSH-HARRIER (Ireland) ; the 
KESTREL (Yorkshire). 

Brown-headed Duck : The G^OLDENEYE (female). 

Brown-headed Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Albin.) 

Brown Hen : The female BLACK GROUSE. 

Brown-hooded Mew. INIacgillivray's name for the BLACK- 
HEADED GULL ; the head is really dark broA\-n. 

Brown Jerfalcon : The GYR-FALCON. (Latham.) 

Bro'wtst Linnet : The lilNNET. A common pro\incial name, 
properly applicable to the bird in winter-plumage. 

Brown Longbe.ak : The RED-BREASTED SANDPIPER. 
fSelby.) 

Brown Owl: The TAWNY OWL. (Pennant.) Occm's in 
Willughby (1678) as the "Common Bro^ra or Ivy Owl." 
Also commonly called Brown Owl or Bro^vn Hoolet pro- 
vincially, the names arising from its ta^^'n3^-brown plumage. 

Brown Phalarope : The RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. 
Occurs in Macgillivray. 

Brown Ptarmigan : The RED GROUSE. (Macgilliva-ay.) 

Brown Sandpiper : The LITTLE STINT. 

Brown Snipe: The RED-BREASTED SANDPIPER in its 
Avinter-dress. The name is foimd in Pennant, Montagu and 

Brown Starling : The STARLING. (Young.) 

Brown Swallow : The SWIFT. (Renfrew.) 

Brown Tern : The COMMON TERN (immature). Occurs in 

Willughby. 
Bro\\t? Tree-Creeper. Macgillivi'ay's name for the TREE- 
CREEPER. 
Brown Woodpecker: The TREECREEPER. (Provincial.) 

Fi'om its habit of climbing trees like a Woodpecker, and 

from its broAMi plumage. 
Brown Wood-Wren : The CHIFFCHAFF. (MacgiJlivi-ay.) 
Brown Wren : The WREN. (Pro\incial.) 
Brown Yogle : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Shetlands.) 
BRiJNNICH'S GUILLEMOT [No. 446]. The name is found in 

Fleming, and also Yarrell and succeeding authors. 
Bucharet : The SWIFT. (Forfar.) 
Buckfinch : The CHAFFINCH. (Provincial.) 
Budagochd. a Gaelic name for the COMMON SNIPE; 

Graham thought it a corruption of " woodcock " and 

therefore a misnomer. 



BROWN — BULLHEAD. 35 

Bud-picker, Bud-bird, or Bud-finch : The BULLFINCH , 
from its habit of picking the buds of fruit trees. 

BUFF-BACKED HERON [No. 264]. Also sometimes called 
Buff-backed Egret. The name Buff-backed Heron is found 
in Selby (1833). IMontagu ("Om. Diet.," Supp.) described 
the 3'Oung as the " Little White Heron." It is the Red-billed 
Heron of Pennant and the Rufous-backed Heron of Gould. 
Bemck's Buff-coloured Egret is the SQUACCO HERON. 

Buff-breasted Goosander : The GOOSANDER. (Mac- 
gillivi'ay.) 

BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER [No. 382]. The name is 
found as Buflf-bi-easted Tringa in Selby and Buff-breasted 
Sandpiper in Jcn^ois. 

Buff-coloured Egret : The SQUACCO HERON. (Bewick.) 

BUFFEL-HEADED DUCK [No. 303]. The name is found in 
Audubon, Bonaparte, etc. It is the Buffel-headed Garrot 
of Jen}Tis. 

Buffon's Skua : The LONG-TAILED SKUA. (Yarrell.) 

BuiDHEAG bhealaidh. A Gaelic name for the YELLOW 
BUNTING; lit. "the yellowling of the broom." Mac- 
gilli\Tay also gives Buidheag Bhuachair. 

Bulking Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. (Thirsk, Yorkshire.) 

Bullcoot : The COOT. 

BULLFINCH [No. 30, British Buimnch; No. 29, Northern 
Bullfinch]. Probably so called from the stoutness of the 
neck and head (cf. B^dldog, etc.), but according to Yarrell, 
from its largish size in comparison with other finches. The 
name appears in Turner (1544) as " Bulfinche " and 
"Bulfinc," and in Merrett (1667) as "Bullfinch." Wil- 
lughby (1678) spells it " Bulfinch " in the text and " Bull- 
finch " on the plate. The British form was first dis- 
tinguished by Macgillivi-ay ("Hist. Brit. Birds," i, p. 407, 
1837) under the name of Pyrrhula. pileata, but most later 
Avriters continued to identify both forms under Vieillot's 
name P. europcea. For the principal variants of its pecuHar 
provincial names, see rmder " Alp." 

BuLLFLiNCH : The BULLFINCH. (Thirsk, Yorkshire.) 
Bullhead or Bullseye. Irish local names for the GOLDEN 
PLOVER and also the GREY PLOVER. The former 
name is applied by Macgillivray and also Swainson to the 
GREY PLOVER, and the latter says it is on accoimt of 
the round shape of its head. 

d2 



36 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Bull-headed Wigeon : The COMMON POCHARD. (North 
Ireland.) 

Bull Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL. 

Bullock's Petrel : LEACH'S EORK-TAILED PETREL ; so 
called from the type-specimen having been in Bullock's 
collection. 

Bull of the Bog : The COMMON BITTERN. (Roxburgh- 
shire.) From its "booming" cry. 

Bull's-eye or Bull's-ey^ed Plover : The DUNLIN ; also 
the RINGED PLOVER (see also under Bullhead). The 
name is probably from their prominent dark eyes. 

Bull Spink : The BULLFINCH. Occurs ui Merrett (1667) 
as " Bui Spink." The names Bullspink and Bully are also 
applied in Yorkshire to this species, and the latter (Bully) 
locally in North Yorkshire to the CHAFFINCH. 

Bull Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Hants.) So called 
from its large size and stout shape. 

Bully or Bullie : The BULLFINCH. An abbreviation of 
Bullfinch. 

BULWER'S PETREL [No. 333]. The name appears to be 
first published in Jardine and Selbv's " lUus. Orn." 
(II, pi. 6.5, 1829). 

BuMBABREL : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Notts.) 

Bumble : The BITTERN. (Provmcial.) 

BuMPY-coss. Montagu gives this as a provincial name for the 
BITTERN ; another and more correct form is Bumpy 
CORS, the derivation being from the Welsh name Bwmp y 
govs, lit. " Boom of the Marsh." 

BuN-BHUACHAiLLE. A Gaelic name for the GREAT NORTHERN 
DIVER. (West Isles of Scotland) lit. " herdsman of the 
bottom " (Graham). 

BuNDiE. An Orkney name for the DUNLIN, and also the 
COMMON SANDPIPER. 

Bunter: The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Provincial.) 

Bunting : The CORN-BUNTING. An earlier name for the 
species. 

Bunting Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Montagu.) Swain- 
son says it is an Irish name for the species. 

Bunting Lark : The CORN-BUNTING. Occurs in Montagu 
as a provincial name ; Bunting or Buntling Lark is 
also given by Swainson as a Scottish name for the species, 
the name having its origin in the fact that in appearance 
this bird somewhat resembles a lark. 



BULL — BUTTER. 37 

Burgomaster : The GLAUCOUS GULL. Also the immature 
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. According to Scoresby 
the name was first given by Dutch mariners to the former 
species, either from its majestic appearance or masterful 
ways. 

BuRRiAN : The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Ballantrae.) 

Burrow-Duck : The SHELD-DUCK. Occurs in Willughby. 
Montagu spells it " Burrough Duck," as also does Bewick ; 
there is no doubt, however, that the name arises from 
the fact that it makes its nest in a rabbit-burrow or 
other hole. 

BuRROw-PiGEox : The STOCK-DOVE. (Sedbergh, Yorkshire.) 

Bush-Chat: The STOXECHAT and the WHINCHAT have 
been so called. The term was aj^parently first applied by 
]\tacgilli\Tay. For the first-mentioned bird " bush-chat " 
would be a far more suitable name than " stone-chat," as 
it is found frequenting furze-covered commons and neglected 
meadows. Hett applies the name less appro j)iiatelv to the 
WHEATEAR. 

Bush-dove : The STOCK-DOVE. (Pro\Tncial.) Somewhat of 
a misnomer, as it never nests in bushes. 

BUSH-L.UIK : The CORX-BLWTING . (Ireland.) 
Bush-Magpie : The MAGPIE. A popular supposition is that 

it is a different variety of the bird that nests in bushes. 
Bush-oven: The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Norfolk.) 

From the shape and situation of its nest. 
Bush-sparrow: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Stirling.) 
Bustard: The GREAT BUSTARD. Also the STONE- 
CURLEW (Swainson). 

Butcher-bird or Murdering-bird : The GREAT GREY 
SHRIKE. Also appHed to the RED-BACKED SHRIKE ; 
from their habit of impaling small birds, mice and insects 
on thorns. The two names given are applied to the 
GREAT GREY SHRIKE by Merrett : Willughby and 
Rav call it the Greater Butcher-bird or Mattagess. 
Thompson says the MISTLE-THRUSH is called Butcher- 
bird in a part of Donegal. 

But-for-but. a Cheshire name for the QUAIL. From its cry. 

Buttal or Buttle : The BITTERN. (Provincial.) 

Butter Bump : The BITTERN. ]\Iontagu gives it as a 
pro\dncial name, and Swainson says it is a Yorkshire name 
for the species. 



38 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

BuTTERFLiP : The AVOCET. Montagu gives it as a provincial 
name. 

BuTTERiE. A Holy Island name for the SAND-MARTIN ; 
perhaps corrupted from Bitterie (q.v.). 

BuTTOUR : The BITTERN. (Turner.) 

Buzzard : The COMMON BUZZARD. Swainson gives Buzzard- 
Hawk as a Forfar name for the species. The name Buzzard 
is also sometimes applied to the MARSH-HARRIER. 

BwMP Y GoRS. A Welsh name for the BITTERN ; lit. " Boom 
of the Marsh." 

Cackareen : The KITTIWAKE GULL. 

Cad Crow : The CARRION-CROW. (East Riding, Yorkshire.) 

Caddaw, Cadder, Caddy, Carder, Cawdaw. East Anglian 
names for the JACKDAW; Turner (1544) has Caddo. 

Cailcheao-chean-ditbh. a Gaelic name for the COAL- 
TITMOUSE. 

Cailleach-oidhche. a Gaelic name for the TAWNY OWL ; 
lit. " old woman of the night." 

Cailleach-oidhche gheal. A Gaelic name for the BARN- 
OWL ; lit. " white old woman of the night." 

Calandra Lark. A south European species which has been 
supposed to have occurred in the British Isles. Calandra 
(written Calander by Newton) is from Ital. Ca/aw(^ra=Lat. 
caliendrum, a head-dress or ornament of hair. It occurs 
in Chaucer (" Romaimt of the Rose ") as " Chalaundre " and 
" Chelaundre." Edwards (" Gleanings of Nat. Hist.," pi. 268) 
figured it in error as belonging to Carolina. Willughb}' 
(1678) mentions the " Calandra, which perchance is no 
other than the Bimting." This species being common 
as a cage bird, it is quite likely that the British birds m ere 
" escapes." 

Caley Tit : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) 

Calloo : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Orkney and Shetlands.) 
From its cry. Swainson also gives Cala^^ as a variant for 
the same localities. Hett gives Calloo as a name for the 
CURLEW. 

Calman-choille. The Gaelic name for^the RING-DOVE ; 
lit. " wood pigeon." 

Calman-fiadhaich. The Gaelic name for the ROCK -DOVE. 

CambridgI Godwit : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. (Bewick.) 

Canada Goose. A North American species, which has been 
domesticated in this country for more than two centuries, 



BUTTERFIJP— CAPERCAILLIE. 39 

SO that records of examples shot are always open to doubt. 
The name occurs in Willughby (1678). Jenyns calls it the 
Canada Swan. The name Canada Goose is also applied 
to the BARXACLE-GOOSE. 

Canada 0\\t. : The AMERICAN HAWK-OWL. (Jenyns.) 

Canadian Diver : The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Winter- 
plumage.) 

Canary. Originally so called from its having been brought 
from the Canary Isles. Wild examples of tin's universal cage- 
bird have occurred in our islands, but, as the species is 
non-migratory, such occurrences have been generally put 
do\^Ti to escaped birds. 

Canbottle : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Staffs, and 
Salop.) So called from the shape of the nest (see Bottle-tit). 
Can occurs in Shakespeare as a kind of cup. 

Caouen. a Cornish name for an Owl. 

Cape Pigeon. A species of Petrel inhabiting the Southern 
Seas, which is said to have occurred in our islands. 

CAPERCAILLIE [No. 462]. The name accepted since the 
date of Yarrell's first edition (1843) for a large species of 
Grouse, more often pre\dously known by its English names 
of Wood Grouse, or Cock of the Wood, and former^ indi- 
genous to the northern parts of the British Islands, but 
finally extirpated in Scotland and Ireland during the 
eighteenth century, and re-introduced in the Higlilands 
from Sweden in 1837. The Scots name is variously written 
Capercaillie, Capercally, Caperkally, Caperkellie, Caper- 
cailzie, Capercalze and Capercali, and its precise derivation 
seems very uncertain. Gesner (" Hist. Anim.," 1554, 
lib. HI, p. 159) has, " De capricalca, quam Scoti vulgo 
appellunt ane capricalze," and immediately following he 
terms it Capercalze, which is the spelling used by Sibbald 
(1684). Yarrell states that the form Capercaillie adopted 
by him and given also by Fleming (1842) is derived from 
the Gaelic Capullcoille, lit. "horse of the wood," a dis- 
tinction intended to refer to size, it being pre-eminentlj'- 
large in comparison with others of the genus (a similar 
example being found in bullfmch). Rev. Dr. T. Maclauchlan, 
as cited by Professor Newton, thinks the derivation is from 
GaeUc Cabhar, an old man, but by metaphor an old bird, 
and coille, a wood — " the old bird of the wood." Cabhar, 
however, may also mean a hawk, and is pronoimced 
Cavar. Dr. Maclauchlan thinks it not unlikely, however, 
to be the origin of the word spelled " Caper." A similar 



40 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

metaphoric use may be cited in Cailleach=a.x\. old woman, and 
cailleach-oidhche^=an owl, lit. " the old woman of the night." 
There is however the word gab1iar^=db goat (but this is 
a feminine noim) and also cap7dl^=a horse, which although 
a masculine noun is at the present day limited in its appU- 
cation to a mare. Mr. Harvie-Bro^^ii says that in Ai'gyle- 
shire and Lochaber the bird is still knoA\Ti by the name 
of " Capullcoille," which Macgillivi'ay in 1837 gave as a 
Gaelic name for the species. This derivation, as given by 
Yarrell, is supported by many authorities and references. 
Saunders preferred gabur, a goat (with allusion to the 
elongated chin-feathers of the male and his amorous 
beha\dour in spring) and coille, wood. This latter will, of 
course, suggest Lat. caper^ capri, a he-goat (cognate with 
Eng. to caper) and the Gaelic coille, and I do not know 
that the hybrid word would be so very improbable. Gesner's 
" Capricalca " and " Capricalze " suggest that he derived 
from the Lat. capri, a goat, and calca of course suggests 
a kicking or capering goat. Merrett (1667) has "Capri- 
calca, Capricalze Scotis," wliich of course is probably 
copied from Gesner. In any case the metaphorical sense 
is similar, i.e. " Old man of the wood," " goat of the wood," 
etc. Other derivations have been suggested, but without 
so much ground for their accuracy. The Erse name appears 
to be Capal coile, " the Wood Horse, being the chief fowl 
of the woods " (Shaw, " Hist. Prov." Moray, 1775). Jamieson 
in liis great Scottish Dictionary spells it " Capercailye," a 
variation which Mr. Har\de-Bro\\'n traces to Bellenden in 
his translation of Hector Boethius, 1553. For further 
researches into the origin and spelling of this most difficult 
name see Mr. Harvie-BroAVTi's " Capercaillie in Scotland " 
(1888). There is no doubt, however, that the best and 
most correct name for the species, and a good EngHsh 
one to boot, would be " Wood-Grouse," a name moreover 
sanctioned by its usage in many of the older ornithological 
works from Pennant (1766) to Montagu and on to Mac- 
gillivray (1837). Pennant, however, while calling it Wood- 
Grouse, states that north of Inverness it is knoMH by the 
names of " Caper-calze " and " Auer-calze," and Macgillivi'ay 
in 1837 stated it was known in Scotland by the name of 
Capercailzie. It appears now to be flourishing in several 
counties of Scotland, while in ancient times it could never 
have been particularly common, as most of the references 
to it in ancient books show. So far back as 1651, as recorded 
in the " Black Book of Taymouth " (pp. 433-4), we find 



CAPERCAILLIE CARRION, 41 

one sent by the laird of Glenorchy to Charles II. at Perth, 
" who accepted it weel as a raretie, for he had never seen 
any of them." As regards the date of its former extinction 
in Scotland, Pennant records in his first tour in Scotland 
in 1769, ha\'ing himself seen a cock-bird, and this seems the 
latest actual record, although of course the bird doubtless 
lingered a few years later. As regards Ireland, Rutty 
records it in co. Leitrim in 1710 and Pennant says it was 
to be found in co. Tipperary as late as 1760. Willughby 
in 1678 calls it " Cock of the Wood " only, and speaks of 
it as found in Ireland, but does not refer to it as a Scottish 
species. The name in Welsh is Ceiliog coed, an equivalent 
of Cock of the Wood. 
Caperlinty : The WHITETHROAT. (Jedburgh.) 
Caper-longtail : The LOXG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 
Capped Buzzard : The HONEY-BUZZARD. Montagu gives 
it as a pro^■incial name. 

CAPPED PETREL [Xo. 331]. A species thought now to be 

extinct. 
Capul coille. a Gaelic name for the CAPERCAILLTE (q.v.). 
Car Crow : The CARRION-CROW. (Craven, Yorkshire.) 
Carfil bach: The LITTLE AUK. (North Wales) lit. 

" Little auk." 
Cakner Crow or Carexer Crow: The CARRION-CROW. 

(Norfolk.) 
CAROLINA CRAKE [No. 456]. A North American species, 

named by Liimaeus Rallus carolinus, whence its popular 

name. 
G^POLiXA Cuckoo: The YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO 

(JenjTis.) 
Caepenter-bird : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Pro\Tncial.) 

Cakr-Crow : The BLACK TERN (see Carr-Goose). It occurs 

as Scare-Crow in Willughby. 
Carr-Goose or Cargoose. An old name for the GREAT 

CRESTED GREBE : occurs as Cargoose in Charleton 

(1668). It arises from the bird frequenting the East 

Coast " carrs," or marshes. 

CARRION-CROW [No. 3]. The name "Carrion Crow" 
appears in Merrett (1667) and in Willughby (1678) and is 
found as " Carren Crow " in " A Brief description of Ireland 
made in this year 1589," by Robert Pa\Tie (Irish Archseol. 
Soc. Tracts). Turner (1544) calls it " crouu " (^crow) 
simply. Crow is derived from A. Sax. craive (see " Craw ") ; 



42 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

and the term " Carrion " is applied to this species from its 
habit of feeding on the flesh of dead animals. Like the 
Raven this species was formerly very generalty regarded 
as a bird of ill-omen. In parts of Northamptonshire it is 
beHeved to be a token of bad luck to see one flying alone. 
The belief that it is unlucky to shoot a crow is widely 
spread : Seebohm met with it on the Petchora, and I found 
it prevalent in eastern Canada regarding the American 
Crow, a species almost identical with the present. There 
is a Cornish legend of St. Neotus impounding the crowds in 
an enclosure during Church ser\dce to prevent their depreda- 
tions while the people came to Church (Mitchell, " Paroch. 
Hist. St. Neots," 1833) ; this enclosure is said to be still 
visible. Dyer cites as an Essex sajong, in connexion with 
crows fljing towards one : — 

One's unlucky, 

Two's lucky ; 

Three is health, 

Four is wealth ; 

Five is sickness. 

And six is death. 

It is said when a Crow makes a hoarse, hollow noise it 
presages foul w^eather (Bourne). The saying "as a crow- 
flies " refers to the Rook, wiiich flies straight across country 
on its homeward journey, and not to this species. 

Carrion-Gull : The GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. 

Carr Lag-Goose. An old Yorkshire fow'ler's name for a variety 
of goose fovmd on the carrs, probably the PINK-FOOTED 
GOOSE. 

Carr-Sparrow^ : The REED-BUNTING. (Yorkshire.) 

Carr-Swallow. A former name for the BLACK TERN in 
Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, from its frequenting the 
"carrs " or marshes. In east Yorkshire it is applied 
to the BLACK-HEADED GULL. 

Caseg eira : The FIELDFARE. (North Wales) Ht. " snow^ 
ball." 

Caseg y ddryccin. A North Wales name for the MISTLE- 
THRUSH ; lit. " Storm-cock." It has also been applied 
to the FIELDFARE. 

Cas gan LoNGWTi (Sailor's hatred). The Welsh name for the 
STORM-PETREL, signifying the sailors' dishke to it as a 
portent of storms. Sw^ainson gives the name to the 
BLACK GUILLEMOT, apparently erroneously. 

CASPIAN PLOVER [No. 357]. First recorded as occurring in 
Norfolk by Saunders ("Manual," 2nd. ed., p. 537). 



CARRION — CHACK. 43 

CASPIAN TERN [No. 416]. The name is found in Selby and 
was adopted by Yarrell and subsequent authors. 
Macgi]li\Tay calls it Caspian Strong-billed Tern. 

Cassian Heron : The SQUACCO HERON. 

Cassin's Snow Goose. See SNOW-GOOSE. 

Castaneous Duck : The FERRUGINOUS DUCK. (Bemck.) 

Casur clock: The WHEATEAR. (Tipperary.) Signifies 

QT fyr] f* — h n 1'>T TTl f*V 

Cat Gull : The HERRING-GULL. (Ivirkcudbright.) 

Cathag. a Gaelic name for the JACKDAW ; probably imita- 
tive of its cry. 

Catogle : The EAGLE-OWL. (Orkneys.) From Norw. 
Katugl, from its similarity in habits and appearance to a 
cat (Swainson). Saxby gives Catyogle as a Shetland 
name for both the SNOWY-OWL and EAGLE-OWL. 
Cat Owl is also applied to the LONG-EARED OWL. 

Cawdaw : The JACKDAW. (Suffolk.) From its note. 

Cawdy Mawdy : The HOODED CROW ; also the CURLEWS 
(North Country.) 

Ceann dearg. a Gaelic name for the REDSTART. 

Cearc fraoich : The female RED GROUSE. (Gaelic) Ht. 
'' heather hen." 

Cearc liath : The female BLACK GROUSE. (GaeHc) lit. 
" grey hen." 

Cearc-thomain. a Gaelic name for the PARTRIDGE. 

Ceiliog coed. The former Welsh name for the CAPERCAILLIE ; 
lit. " cock of the wood." 

Ceiliog ddu. A Welsh name for the BLACK GROUSE ; ht. 
" black cock." 

Ceiliog y goed : The PHEASANT. (North Wales) Ut. 
" cock of the wood." 

Ceiliog y Mynydd. A Welsh name for the male RED GROUSE 
and BLACK GROUSE ; lit. " cock of the mountam " ; 
the female is termed iar (hen) in place of ceiliog. 

Cethlyth (Y). A Welsh poetical name for the CUCKOO ; 
lit. " the songster." 

CETTI'S WARBLER [No. 130]. Named Sylvia cetti by Mar- 
mora in 1820, in honour of the Italian ornithologist, hence 
the English name ; but its first occurrence in our islands 
was in 1904. 

Chack, Chacker, or Checks : The WHEATEAR. From its 
cry. The first and last are Orkney names. It is also known 
in some parts as Check or Check-bird. 



44 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Chaffie, Chaffy, Chaffer, or Chaffin : The CHAFFINCH. 
Popular contractions. 

CHAFFINCH [No. 37]. The name appears in Turner (1544) as 
" Chaffinche " and in Merrett (1667) as " Chaffinch," also 
in Willughby (1678) by the latter name. " So called 
because it delights in chaff " (Kersey's Diet., 2nd ed., 
1715) ; the bird being a frequenter of barn-yards, etc. 
Other derivations are, however, possible, i.e. from Mid.-Eng. 
chaufen, to Avarm, indicating the I'eddish or " warm " 
breast of the male. Finch is A. Sax. finc^Hnch ; Modem 
German fifik. Old High German fincho. From the same 
root as the Welsh pincz^fmch, but also applied to anything 
smart or gay. Newton tliinks it is from the spink or pink 
note of the Chaffinch originally. The Welsh name for the 
Chaffinch is Wine, also from the note. Jesse says that in 
Scotland it is kno'W'n as " drimken sow " because the song 
has been construed into " Drink, drink till you're fou, wee 
drunken soA^ie." Chambers says that in Scotland and the 
North of England the plaintive note of this bird is taken 
as a sign of rain, and that when the boys hear it they 
imitate the note and its consequences thus : " Weet ! 
weet ! Dreep, dreep ! " A West of England belief is that 
about the 25th of ]\Iarch this bird always cries " Pay your 
rent — ^pay your rent — pay your rent." 

Chait: The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Worcestershire.) 
From its note. 

Chalder, Chaldrick, Choldrick: The OYSTERCATCHER. 
(Orkneys.) 

Chanchider: The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Montagu.) 
SAvainson renders it Chancider, and also gives Chamcider 
as a Hampsliire name for the SEDGE-WARBLER. 

Changeless Swan. Macgillivi-ay's name for the Polish Sivan. 

Channel Goose : The GANNET. (North Devon.) 

Charbob : The CHAFFINCH. (Derbyshire.) 

Charlie Muftie. A common Scots name for the WHITE- 
THROAT, from its habit of puffing out the feathers of 
the throat. 

Chaser : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Redcar, Yorkshh-e.) From its 
habit of pursuing other species. 

Chat : The SEDGE-WARBLER (Thames Vallev) ; also the 
WHEATEAR (Northants.) 

Chatterer : The WAX WING. Occurs in Pennant (fo. ed., 
1766), but in the later editions it is called Waxen Chatterer. 



CHAFFIE — CHICKSTONE.' 45 

It is really a rather silent bird. The Chatterers are pro- 
perly the Cotingidce. 

Chatterpie : The MAGPIE. (Staffs, and Norfolk.) It is 
proverbially a noisy bird. 

Chauk or Chauk Daw : The CHOUGH. (Scotland.) From its 
cry. 

Cheat: The GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER. (Upton-on- 
Sevem.) 

Cheeper, Grey Cheeper, or Moss Cheeper. Common Border 
names for the :MEAD0W-PIPIT. 

Cheeser: The yellow bunting. (Northants.) From the 
dra^Ti-out termination of its song. 

Cheeter : The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. (Provincial.) 

Chepster : The STARLING. A modification of Shepster 
(=Sheep-stare). Chep-Starling is foimd in Tunstall, wliile 
Ship-Starling and Sheep-Starling are Yorkshire provincial 
names. 

Chequer Bird : The WHIMBREL. 

Chercock: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Westmorland.) Pro- 
bably a corruption of Shercock. " Chm"cock " is also 
applied to the same species in Yorkshire. 

Cherry Chirper : The SNOW-BL^"TING (?). (Rutty.) 

Cherry Chopper. Cherry sucker, Cherry snipe : The 
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Pro^incial.) Whether this 
species is ever destructive to cherries is verji^ doubtful, 
although it has been knoAMi to eat berries, such as those 
of the moimtain ash. 

Cherry Fixch : The HA\^TINCH. (Swaledale, Yorkshire.) 
From its fondness for cheiry-stones. 

Cherubim : The BARN-0\AT.." 

Chestnut-backed Thrush : The FIELDFARE. (Macgillivray.) 

Cheverel or Chevil. A bird-fancier's term for a variety of 
the GOLDFINCH having a red patch on the throat. Skeat, 
as cited b}- Newton, thought it to be from Old Eng. ckefle, 
or chefelen, to talk idly or chatter, hence " cheveller," a 
chatterer. Nelson and Clarke give the name as in use in 
Yorkshire, and make it s\Tionvmous ^ith the so-called 
" Pear-tree Goldfinch." 

Chewy Linnet or Chivey Linnet : The LESSER RED- 
POLL. (Yorkshire.) ^ 

Chickell or Chicker : The WHEATEAR. 

Chickstone : The STONECHAT. (Cleveland, Y^orkshiie.) In the 
same district " Chetstone " is applied to the WHEATEAR. 



46 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

CHIFFCHAFF [No. 119, Chiffchaff ; No. 120, Scandinavian 
Chiffchaff ; No. 121, Siberian Chiffchaff]. This species was 
the Lesser Pettychaps or Least Willow Wren of eigh- 
teenth-century authors. The name Chiffchaff is an imita- 
tion of its song and is first found as " smallest willow wren 
or chiffchaf " in Gilbert White's " Naturalists' Calendar 
and Observations " (p. 77), published in 1795 by Aiken. 
The Scandinavian Chiffchaff is a closely-allied form, of 
which some few examples have been recorded. The other 
sub-species, the Siberian Chiffchaff, is now known as a 
regular autumn visitor to Fair Isle. 

Chikerel. a local name for the WHIMBREL in the Poole 

district. (Hawker.) 
Chimney Swallow : The SWALLOW. The species occurs under 

this name in Pennant and other authors to Montagu, and 

also Macgillivray. 

Chinese Goose. A species not entitled to a place on the British 
List. 

Chink : The REED-BUNTING. (Provmcial.) 

Chink Chaffey, Chink Chawdy, Chink Chink, or Chinky : 
The CHAFFINCH. (Provincial.) From its sharp " spink " 
note. 

Chip-Chop: The CHIFFCHAFF. From its song. Macgilli- 
vray gives it as a provincial name. 

Chippet Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL. (Doncaster.) 

Chit-lark: The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Skelmanthorpe, York- 
sliire.) 

Chit-perl : The LITTLE TERN. 

Chitter Chat : The SEDGE -WARBLER. (Northumberland.) 

Chittie, Chitty, or Chit : The MEADOW-PIPIT and also the 
TREE-PIPIT. (Lancashire and North of England.) Der. 
from A. Sax. cidh, a sprout, child or offspring, and meaning 
a small bird, or lit. a small thmg. The MEADOW- 
PIPIT and the SEDGE-WARBLER are also knoAm as 
" Chitty prat," and at Sedbergh, Yorkshire, the WREN 
is called Chitty. 

Chitty, Chaddy, Jitty : The LESSER REDPOLL (Cheshire). 
Probably in allusion to its small size. 

Chitty Wren. Thompson says the WREN is so called in 
Ireland on account of its call chit when alarmed by a cat. 

Chogh. Given by Aldrovandus as an English name for the 
CHOUGHS ; Turner spells it " Choghe." 



CHIFFCHAFF — CIACH. 47 

Choice and Cheap : The CHIFFCHAFF. Swainson gives it 
as a local name in the neighbourhood of Totnes, Devon. 

Choldrick : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Orkney and Shetland.) 

CHOUGH [No. 12]. This name is now used to denote a moun- 
tain-bird of the Crow kind distinguished chiefly by its 
curved red bill and red feet. It is chiefly found on our 
Western coasts, hence its frequent name of Cornish Chough. 
Turner, in fact, gives " Cornish Choghe " as the English 
name for the species. The name Chough alone was at one 
time in use for the JACKDAW, which is so called in Turner, 
in Merrett's list, and also in Shakespeare. Willughby, 
Merrett and Albin called the present species the Cornish 
Chough, but succeeding writers up to the time of Montagu 
generally called it the Red-legged CroAV. A Cornish 
legend is to the effect that King Arthur's spirit entered 
into this bird after death (Hawker, " Echoes from Old 
ConiAvall "). 

Chub Lark : The CORN-BUNTING. (Yorkshire.) Perhaps 
from its stout, or " chubby " appearance. 

Chuck or Chock : The WHEATEAR. From its note. 
Chuffer : The CHAFFINCH. A corruption of Chaffer. 
Church ]Martnet : The SWIFT. (Merrett.) 
Church Owl : The BARN-OWL. Occurs in Sibbald, and is 
also in use as a pro\TJicial name in Yorkshire and elsewhere. 

Churn : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Cheshire.) 

Churn Owl : The NIGHTJAR. Found in Willughby (1678), 
and ^\^lite gives it as a Hampsliire name. Swainson gives 
Churr Owl as an Aberdeen name. 

CHURRorCnuRRMuFFiT: The WHITETHROAT. (Pro\dncia].) 
Churr is from its harsh note, and Muffit from its habit of 
X3uf3&ng out the throat-feathers. 

Churre : The DLINLIN in winter-plumage. (Norfolk.) 

Chwilgorn y Mynydd, or Cornicyll y Mynydd : The GOLDEN 
PLOVER. (North Wales) lit. " mountain plover." 

Chwilog: The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (North Wales.) 

Chwfw or Chwiwell : Welsh names for the WIGEON. Pro- 
bably from its call-note. 

Chwybanydd or Chwibanydd. A Welsh name for the BULL- 
FINCH ; lit. "Avhistler." 

Cl-^ch FAWR : The GREAT SNIPE. (North Wales) lit. "great 
snipe." 



48 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

CiGFRAN or GiGFRAN FAWR. Welsh names for the RAVEN. The 

former signifying " flesh crow " and the latter " great flesh 

crow." 
CiGYDD CEFN-GOCH. A Welsh name for the RED-BACKED 

SHRIKE ; signifying " red-backed butcher." 
CiGYDD MAWR. A Welsh name for the GREAT GREY SHRIKE ; 

lit. " great butcher." 
Cinereous Butcher-bird, or Shrike : The GREAT GREY 

SHRIKE. (Montagu.) 
Cinereous Eagle. The name employed by Pennant, Lewin, 

Latham, and Montagu for the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE. 
Cinereous God wit : The GREENSHANK. (Pennant.) Also 

yovmg BAR-TAILED GODWIT. 
Cinereous Shearwater : The GREAT SHEARWATER. 

(Selby.) 
Cinereous Wagtail : The WHITE WAGTAIL. (Stephens in 

Shaw's " Zoology.") 
CIRL BUN'TING [Xo. 47]. This species was first ascertained 

to be a British bird by Montagu in the Avinter of 1800 near 

Kingsbridge. The name Cirl Bunting appears to be found 

first in Latham ("S\Tiopsis," iii, p. 190). Swainson says the 

name is equivalent to " Cheeper " and it seems to be from 

the German Zirl-ammer. 
CITRIL FINCH [No. 26]. " Qtril " was the name under which 

Ray and Willughby in 1663 became acquainted with it ia 

Vienna. 
Clabitter. a Cornish name for the BITTERN. 
Clacharan or Clocharet. Gaelic names for the WHEATEAR : 

lit. " little mason," from its cry, resembling the knocking 

together of two stones. 
Claris or Claikis : The BARNACLE-GOOSE. (Scotland.) 

It occurs in Willughby, and is also met with as Claik 

Goose. 
Clamh--^. a GaeHc name for the COIVIMON BUZZARD 

according to Fleming. Clamhan, it should be noted, 

signifies both a Hawk and a Kite. 
Clamhan gabhlach or Clamhan godhlach. A Gaehc name 

for the KITE. ^ 
Clamhan luch : The HEN-HARRIER. (Hebrides.) From 

clamhan, a hawk, and luch, a mouse. 
Clamhan ruadh. A Gaelic name for the KESTREL ; lit. 

" red-hawk." 
Clatter-Dove : The RING-DOVE. (Yorkshire.) 



CIGFRAX — CXUT. 49 

Clattergoose : The BRENT GOOSE. Occurs in Montagu, 
and Swainson gives it as an East Lothian name ; it is derived 
from the noisy cry. 

Glee : THE REDSHANK. From its cry. 

Clep y garreg: The STONECHAT.^ (North Wales) lit. 
" stone gossip." 

Clep yr eithin : The WHINCHAT. (North Wales) lit. 
" gorse -gossip." 

Clett : The COMMON TERN. 

Cliff Daw : The CHOUGH. (Kerry.) A cliff frequenter. 

Cliff Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON. From its nesting- 
resorts. 

Cliff Pigeon : The ROCK-DOVE. (Yorkshire.) 

Clixker : The AVOCET. (Norfolk.) 

Clochder y cerrig or Clochdar cerrig. a Welsh name for 
the STONECHAT, signifj^g " chirper of the crag." 

Clochder y mynydd. A Welsh name for the PIED FLY- 
CATCHER. 

Clochder yr eithen or Clochdar eithex. A Welsh name for 
the \ATIINCHAT. It signifies gorse -chirper. 

Cloibhrean cloich. An Irish name (north and west) for the 
WHEATEAR. 

Clod Bird : The WHEATEAR. (See " Clotbnd.") 

Clod-hopper : The WHEATEAR. From its habit of frequent- 
ing the newty-tumed-up clods. 

Cloichearan. a Gaelic name for the WHEATEAR. 

Clot-bird: The WHEATEAR. (Merrett.) Occurs also in 
Turner as " Clotburd." It is the modern " clod-bird " 
from its habit of sitting upon the tumed-up clods. Hett 
also gives Clod-bird as a name for the CORN-BLTSTTING. 

Cloven-footed Gull : The BLACK TERN. (Albin.) Montagu 
gives it as a pro\'incial name. 

Clucking Duck. A name for the BIMACLT^ATED DUCK. 

Cnocell brith : The GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 
(North Wales) lit. " spotted pecker." 

Cnocell brith bach: The LESSER SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER. (North Whales) lit. " lesser spotted pecker." 

Cnocell y cnau : The NUTHATCH. (North Wales.) Signifies 
" nut knocker." 

Cnocell y coed. A Welsh name for the GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER ; lit. " knocker of the wood." 

Cnut : The KNOT. (North Wales.) 



50 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Coal and Candle-light: The LONG-TAILED DUCK. 

(Orkneys.) Also Col-candle-wick (Fife). 
Coal Goose : The CORMORANT. (Kent.) 

Co.'y;. Hood, Coal Hooden, or Coaixy Hood : The BULL 
FINCH. Scottish provincial names, the first two being 
in use on the Scottish Border. 

COALMOUSE or Colemouse : The COAL-TITMOUSE. The 
former occurs in Merrett and the latter in Pennant and 
later authors. 

Coal Tit : The COAL-TITMOUSE. A common abbreviation. 

COAL TITMOUSE [No. 91, Continental Coal-Titmouse : No. 
92, British Coal-Titmouse ; No. 93, Irish Coal-Titmouse]. 
Occurs in Merrett's list (1667) as Coalmouse, and in many 
later waiters as Colemouse. Cole Titmouse is found in 
Bevvick (1797). The birds occurring in the British Islands 
are now separated into' thi'ee geographical races. 

Coaly Hood : The COAL-TITMOUSE. (Scotland.) Also the 
REED-BUNTING. (Scotland.) 

CoATHAM Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Loftus, Yorkshire.) 

Cob : Properly the BLACK -HEADED GULL ; but also any 
large Gull. (Newton.) Montagu applied it to the GREAT 
BLACK-BACKED GULL, wliile Bolam gives Cob Gull 
as a Northumberland nam.e for the same species. 

Cob : The male of the MUTE SWAN ; the female being termed 
Pen. NeAvton was in error in supposing no authority could 
be found for Yarrell's' statement that these were the former 
names for the sexes of the Swans. In that curious old 
work entitled, " The Order, Lawes and Ancient Customes 
of the Swannes, caused to be printed by Jolui Witherings, 
Esquire, Master and Governour of the Royal Game of 
Swans and Cygnets tiii'oughout England " (1632), are to 
be formd these names for the sexes. 

Cobb or Sea Cobb : The COMMON GULL. (South-east 
coasts.) 

Cobble. A provincial name for the young of both the GREAT 
NORTHERN and RED-THROATED DIVERS. Occurs 
in Montagu. 

Cobbler's Awl : The AVOCET {vide " Awl-Bird.") Montagu 
gives it as a pro\incial name. 

Coble : The HAWFINCH. (Norfolk— Sir Thomas Bro^rae.) 

Coblyn lleiaf : The LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 
(North Wales) lit. " lesser pecker." 



COAL — COESGOCH. 51 

CoBLYN mwyaf: The GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

(North Wales) lit. " greater pecker." 

COBLYN-Y-COED : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (North 
Wales) lit. "woodpecker." Other local names are Tarad- 
y-coed (" wood-auger ") and Tyllwr-y-coed (" wood- 
borer"). 

Cobweb : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. Occurs m Morton's 
"Northants." (p. 426). From its use of spidei's' webs in the 
construction of its nest. 

CocH DAN ADEN : The REDWING. (North Wales.) Signifies 
" red under A^^ng." 

CocH Y BERLLAN : The BULLFINCH. (North Wales) lit. "red 
of the orchard." 

CocH Y GRTJG or CocHiAD : The RED GROUSE. (North 
Wales.) 

Cock : The WOODCOCK is sometimes so called. 

CocKANDY : The PUFFIN. Sibbald gives it as a Fifeshire 
name of the species. 

CocKATHRODON : The MANX SHEARWATER. (Scilly Isles.) 

Cock of the Mountain : The CAPERCAILLIE. Occurs in 
Willughby (1678). 

Cock o' the North : The BRAMBLING. (East and south 
Scotland.) 

Cock of the Wood : The CAPERCAILLIE. Occurs in 
Merrett (1667), who notes the species as occurring in Ireland 
("in Hibemia occurrit "). Willughby and Ray (1678) also 
mention this as an Irish name for the bird, which they say 
is not foimd in England, wliile they strangely enough omit 
to mention Scotland as a habitat. Pennant (1766) gives 
Cock of the Wood as the name of this bird, and he further 
calls the female. Hen of the Wood. 

Cock Ouzel : The BLACKBIRD. 

Cock Throstle : The MISTLE-THRUSH. 

Cock Winder : The WIGEON. (Norfolk.) 

Coddy-moddy : The COMMON GULL (immature). Willughby 
and Ray give it as a Cambridgeshire name. 

Coegfran. a Welsh name for the JACKDAW ; lit. " sham 
crow." 

CoEG GYLFiNHiR. A Welsh name for the WHIMBREL ; signifies 
" sham curlew." 

Coesgoch: The REDSHANK. (North Wales) lit. "red- 
shank." 

e2 



52 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Coeswerdd: The GREENSHANK. (North Wales) Ut. 
" Greenshank." 

Cog. a Welsh name for the CUCKOO ; from its cry. 

CoiLEACH coiLLE. A Gaelic name for the WOODCOCK ; lit. 
cock of the wood. MacgilHvi'ay gives it as a name for the 
CAPERCAILLIE. 

CoiLEACH DUBH. A GacHc name for the BLACK GROUSE ; 
lit. " black cock ; " the Grey Hen is called Cearc liath. 

CoiLEACH FRAOiCH. A Gaelic name for the RED GROUSE, 
lit. Heather Cock ; the female being called Cearc fraoich, 
or Heather Hen. 

CoiLEACH RFADH. A GaeUc name for the RED GROUSE : 
riiadh signifying red or reddish. 

Coistrel: The KESTREL. (Shakespeare.) From Fr. 
cresserelle, cristel. 

CoiT. A Cornish name for the GREEN WOODPECKER. 

Goldfinch : The PIED FLYCATCHER. The name occm's in 
Willughbj^, who describes a " bird called Coldfinch by 
the Germans." It is figm'ed by Pennant (1766) imder 
this name and by Edwards ; Swainson also renders it 
Colefinch, and gives Coldfinch as a Shropshire name for 
the YELLOW BLTNTING. 

Coldie: The LONG-TAILED duck. (Forfar.) 

CoLE-GoosE : The CORMORANT. 

Cole-mouse : The COAL-TITMOUSE. Occm-s in Willughby. 
Also met ^^ith as Cole Titmouse. 

Colin Blackhead : The REED-BL^TING. (Renfrew.) 

CoLisHEEN : The PUFFIN. (Galway) lit. " an old woman." 

CoLK : The COMMON EIDER. Occm's in Martin's " Description 
of the Western Isles." 

Collared Blackie : The RING-OUZEL. (Staithes, Yorkshire.) 

Collared Duck : The RUDDY SHELD-DUCK. 

COLLARED FLYCATCHER [No. 117]. This Continental 
species was recorded as British for the first time in 1911. 

COLLARED PETREL [No. 332]. A Pacific species of which 
one example was obtained in Wales in 1889. 

Collared Pratincole : The PRATINCOLE. (Selby, Yarrell, 
etc.) 

Collared Stare : The ALPINE ACCENTOR. 



COESWERDD — COMMON. 53 

Collared Turnstone : The TURNSTONE. 

Collier, or Collierjack • The CURLEW. (Cheshire.) Collier 
is also applied to the HOUSE-SPARROW and the SWIFT 
in Yorkshire. 

COLLOCHAN Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Kirkcud- 
bright.) From a loch so called. 

CoLOMEN. The Welsh name for the wild pigeons. In North 
Wales the RING-DOVE is called Colomen wyllt (wild 
pigeon) or Colomen goed (wood pigeon); the STOCK-DOVE 
Colomen ddof (tame pigeon) ; the ROCK-DOVE Colomen 
y graig (rock pigeon) ; and the TURTLE-DOVE Colomen 
fair (St. Mary's dove.) 

Colly : The BLACKBIRD. (Pro\Tncial.) Der. from A.Sax. 
col=cosd, and meaning literally, " sooty " or " coal-like." 

CoLMORN : The CORMORANT ; also the SHAG (Hett). 

Common Auk : The RAZORBILL. 

CoMsioN AvocET. See AVOCET. 

Co>moN Bee-eater. See BEE-EATER. 

CoiiMON Bittern. See BITTERN. 

Common Brown or Ivy Owl : The TAA\^NY OWL. ( Willughby. 

Co^nMON Bullfinch. See BULLFINCH. 

CojuMON Bunting : The CORN-BUNTING. 

Co:^nioN Bustard : The GREAT BUSTARD. 

C0:MM0N buzzard [No. 243]. The name Common Buzzard 
occurs in Willughby (1678). Turner (1544) and Merrett 
(1667) call it the Buzzard only, as do succeeding ^vTiters 
to the time of Pennant (1766), who calls it the Common 
Buzzard. The derivation is from Lat. Buteo, through 
Fr. Busard. 

ComjVion Coot : The COOT. Occurs in most of the old authors 
from Willughby to Montagu. 

Common Cormorant : The CORMORANT. (Yarrell.) 

Co:\EMON Crane. See CRANE. 

CoiniON Creeper. A former appellation for the TREE- 
CREEPER, to be found in most of the older authors from 
Albin to ^Montagu. 

CO^kOION CROSSBILL [No. 33, Common Crossbill; No. 
34, Scottish Crossbill.] Occurs in Willughbj^ (1678) 
as Cross-bill, and as Crossbill in most succeeding 
authors. The first full account of the habits of feeding of 
this bird is given by Yarrell (" Zool. Joum.," rv, pp. 459-65). 
The legend of this bird having acquired its twisted beak by 



54 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

striving to draw the nails that held Christ to the Cross is 
familiar to many. Longfellow, in his " Legend of the 
Crossbill," from the Grerman of Julius ^Nlosen, alludes not 
/ to the twisted bill but to the plumage " covered all with 
blood so clear." This supposed origin of a ruddy plumage 
is elsewhere attributed to the Robin (q.v.). Hartert has 
separated the form inhabiting Scotland from that inhabiting 
England and Wales imder the name of Scottish Crossbill. 

Common Crow : The CARRIOX-CROW. (Merrett, Willughby.) 

Common Cuckoo : The CUCKOO. Most of our older authors 
use the prefix " Common " for this species. 

COMMON CURLEW [No. 404]. The name is imitative of its 
whistling note resembling cur-lew. Li Fr. Courlis or Corlieu. 
Occurs in Barlow's plates (1655) as " Curlew " and in 
Merrett's list as " Curliew." ^Villughby and many later 
writers dowTi to Montagu call it the Common Curlew, w'hilst 
others of the nineteenth century drop the prefix " Common." 
It has alwaj^s been esteemed for the delicate flavour of its 
flesh. Willughby gives the following as an old Suffolk 
saying : — 

A" Curlew, be she white, be she black, 
She carries twelve pence on her back. 

Common Dipper: The DIPPER. (Yarrell.) 
Common Duck : The MALLARD. (iMontagu.) 
COIMMON EIDER [No. 307]. From the Norweg. Ejda?, Icel. 
Mdur. Willughby calls it " Cuthbert-Duck ; Anas S. 
Cuthberti seu Farnensis," and also Wormius's Eider. 
The Cuthbert is an allusion to St. Cuthbert, who lived 
on Fame Island, where the bu'ds breed. Pennant (176fi) 
calls it " Eider Duck," wiule Montagu terms it the " Eider 
Duck or Edder." It is the "Great Black and AATiite 
Duck " of Edwards. 

Common European Crossbill. Macgillivraj^'s name for the 

CO]\BION CROSSBILL. 
Common Galllntule : The MOORHEN. (Pennant, Montagu, 

etc.) 
Common Gannet. See GANNET. 
Common GoD\\^T : The BAR-TAILED GODWIT. (Pennant, 

Montagu.) 
Common Grosbeak : The HAWFINCH. (Albin.) 
COMJVION GUILLEMOT [No. 445]. The name occurs in 

Yarrell (1st ed.) as Common Guillemot. Derived from Fr. 

Guillemot. Willughby describes it as " The Bird called by 



COMMON — COMaiON. 55 

the Welsh and Manksmen a Guilleni ; by those of Northum- 
berland and Durham, a Guillemot or Sea-hen ; in Yorkshire 
about Scarburgh, a Skout ; by the Cornish, a Kiddaw." 
Albin calls it " Guillemot or Sea-Hen," and Pennant and 
Montagu Foolish Guillemot. Graj^ says its GaeHc name in 
the Hebrides is Eun a7i fa Sgadan or Herring-bu'd. In 
Welsh it is G^ilym or G^\'ylog. 
COIMMON' GULL [No. 430]. It occurs in Willughby as the 
Common Sea-Mall and in Pennant (1766) as Common Gull. 
It is said in Scotland that when they appear in the fields, 
a storm from the south-east generally follows, and when the 
storm begins to abate they fly back to the shore. A popular 
rhyme is : — 

Sea-gull, sea-gull, sit on the sand ; 

It's never good weather when you're on the land. 

Common Hawfinch: The PINE-GROSBEAK. (Fleming.) 
The HAWTINCH occurs in the same author as Common 
Grosbeak. 

CO^BION HERON [No. 260]. From Fr. Heron, Avhich is 
apparently from Gr. cpwStos. The name occurs as Heron in 
Turner (who also calls the species Pella after Aristotle), 
also in Willughby as the " common Heron or Heronshaw." 
Turner relates that it " routs Eagles or Hawks, if they 
attack it suddenly, by very liquid mutings of the belly, 
and thereby defends itself." Swainson says it is a belief 
in the South of Ireland that small eels pass through the 
intestines of a Heron ahve, a belief also found in Pontop- 
pidan's " Norway." Jamieson gives an Angus superstition 
to the effect that this bird waxes and wanes with the moon, 
being plump when it is full and so lean at the change that 
it can scarcely raise itself. In the " Booke of St. Alban's " 
it is stated that " The Heron, or Hernsew, is a iowl that 
liveth about \\aters, and yet she doth so abhor raine and 
tempests that she seeketh to avoid them by flying on high. 
She hath her nest in very loftie trees and sheweth as it 
were a natural hatred against the Gossehawk and other 
kind of hawks, and so likewise doth the hawk seek her 
destruction continually." The old saying as to a person 
not kno^\'ing " a hawk from a handsaw " dates back to the 
days of falconry, and occurs in " Hamlet " : the " hand- 
saw," however, is corrupted from " Hernshaw." A country 
belief is, that when the Heron flies low the air is hea\^' and 
thickening into showers. 

CoDioN Hoopoe : The HOOPOE. (Montagu.) 

CojDiON KliNGFisHER. See KINGFISHER. 



56 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS 

Common Kite. See KITE. 

Common Lapwt:ng. See LAPWING. 

CoMiMON Lark : The SKY-LARK. Macgillivray gives it as a 
provincial name. 

Common Linnet. See LINNET. 

CoivoioN Magpie. See MAGPIE. 

Common Nuthatch. See NUTHATCH. 

COM^ION PARTRIDGE [No. 467]. The name &st appears 
as " Common Partridge " in Willughby (1678). Turner 
(1544) calls it the " Pertrige," Avhile Merrett (1667) has 
" Partridge." It appears variously as Partridge or Common 
Partridge in subsequent authors. 

Common Pheasant. See PHEASANT. 

Common Pigeon : The STOCK-DOVE. (Pennant.) 

COMMON POCHARD [No. 298]. The name occurs as Pochard 
in Turner and also in Willughby and Ray, the latter authors 
calling it " Poker or Pochard." Pronounced Po-chard, 
the o long and the ch hard. Akin to Fr. pocher, Low Ger. 
pohen, to poke. Littre gives pochard as Fr. for a drimkard. 
" Poker " occurs in Willughbv. The female is knoAATi as 
" Dunbird." 

Common Ptarmigan. See PTARMIGAN. 

Common Quail: The QUAIL. (Selby.) 

Common Rail : The WATER-RAIL. (Selby.) 

Common Redpole : The LESSER REDPOLL. 

Common Redshank Tatler. Macgillivray's name for the 
REDSHANK. 

Common Sanderling. The SANDERLING. 

COMMON SANDPIPER [No. 387]. The name is found in 
Pennant (1766) as Sandpiper, and in the later editions as 
Common Sandpiper. According to Willughb}^, Sandpiper 
was originally a Yorkshire local name. 

COMIMON SCOTER [No. 309]. The name appears m Pennant 
(1766) as Scoter. Common Scoter seems to appear first 
in Yarrell (1843). The word Scoter is of doubtful origin. 
Willughby (1678) calls it "Black Diver." 

Common Scraber : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. 

Common Sea-IMall, Maw or Mew : The C0M:\I0N GULL. The 
first name occurs in Willughbj'. 

Common Shelldrake : The SHELD-DUCK. (Yarrell.) 

Common Shoveler. See SHOVELER. 

Common Skua : The GREAT SKUA. (Yarrell.) 



COIVIMON — CONEY. 57 

CO:\LAION SNIPE [No. 409]. The name occurs in Merrett's 
list (1667) as " Snipe or Snite," also in the same words in 
Willughby. Turner does not mention any species of Snipe. 
Derived from A.Sax. Snite, Ice. snipa, Dan. sneppe, a 
snipe ; properly a " Snapper " from Old Dan. snabbe, a bird's 
bill, which is also the derivation of the English " snap." 
Inwards says that the " drumming " of the Snipe in the air 
and the call of the Partridge indicate dry weather and 
frost at night to the shepherds of GarroAv in Scotland. 

Cojioiox Stare : The STARLING. 

Common Starling : The STARLING. (Yarrell.) 

Common Swallow : The SWALLOW. (Willughby.) 

Common Swift : The SWIFT. (Selby.) 

Common Teal : See TEAL. 

COMMON TERN [No. 419]. This is the Sea-Swallow of old 
authors. Pennant (1766) calls it the " Greater Tern," and 
in his later editions Common or Greater Tern ; and succeed- 
ing authors all call it Common Tem. Willughby and Ray call 
it the Sea-Swallow and state that " In the island of Caldey, 
adjacent to the southern shore of Wales, they call them 
Sjmrres : and that little Islet Avhere they build Spurre 
Island. In other places of England they are called Scrays, 
a name, I conceive, framed in imitation of their cry, for 
they are extraordinarily clamorous. In the northern parts 
they call them Terns, whence Turner calls them in Latin 
Sternce, because they frequent lakes and great pools of 
water, which in the north of England are called Tarns." 
In Norweg. Taerne ; Sw. Tama ; Dutch, Stern ; Dan. Term. 

Common Thicknee : The STONE-CURLEW. (Fleming.) 

Common Thrush: The SONG-THRUSH. Occurs in 
^lacgillivray. 

CojLMON Titmouse : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Merrett.) 

Co>LMON Turnstone. See TURNSTONE. 

Common Whitethroat. See WHITETHROAT. 

Co>moN WiGEON. See WIGEON. 

CoaoiON Wild Dove or Pigeon : The ROCK-DOVE. 
(WiUughbv.) 

Common Wild Goose : The GREY LAG-GOOSE. (Willughby. ) 

Common Wren. See WREN. 

CoinioN Wryneck. See WRYNECK. 

Coney-chuck. The WHEATEAR ; locally so called on account 
of its frequenting rabbit burrows, and from its note. 



58 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Continental Coal-Titmouse. See C0AL-TIT:M0USE. 

Continental Golden-crested Wren. vSee GOLDEN- 
CRESTED WREN. 

Continental Great Titmouse. See GREAT TITMOUSE. 

Continental Hedge-Sparrow. See HEDGE-SPARROW. 

Continental Redbreast. See REDBREAST. 

Continental Song-Thrush. See SONG-THRUSH. 

Coo-Doo : The COMMON EIDER. (BeTOickshire and East 
Lothian.) From its croonina note (Bolam). 

Cooper : The WHEATEAR. (South Pembroke.) 

CooscoT or CoosHOUT : The RING-DOVE (Craven and Tees- 
dale) ; from A.S. cusccote, a wild pigeon (see Cushat). 

COOT [No. 461]. The name occurs as " Cout " in Turner 
(1544) and as Coot in Merrett (1667). The derivation 
seems to be from the Welsh name Civta-iar, lit. " short- 
tailed hen," from its very short tail. Newton observes it 
is in some parts pronounced " Cute " or " Scute," and 
thinks it is perhaps cognate with Scout or Scoter. Most 
of our eighteenth century waiters from Pennant to INIontagu 
call it the " Common Coot." Col. Hawker observes that 
" if a gentleman wishes to have plenty of wild-fowl on his 
pond, let him preserve the Coots, and keep no tame Sw^ans. 
The reason that all wild-fowl seek the company of the Coots 
is because these birds are such good sentries to give the 
alarm by day, when the fowi generally sleep. But the 
Mute Sw^ans mil attack every fresh bird that dares to 
appear witliin reach of them — not so with the ' hoopers ' 
— they are the peaceful monarchs of the lake." According 
to Thompson the MOORHEN is called Coot in some parts 
of Ireland, where " Bald Coot " is then the distinctive 
appellation of the COOT. Coward and Oldham also give 
Coot as a Cheshire name for the Moorhen. 

CooT-FOOTED Tringa. Edwards's name for the Phalaropes, the 

GREY PHALAROPE being termed Great Coot-footed 

Tringa and the RED-NECKED PHALAROPE being 

termed Cock Coot-footed Tringa and Red Coot-footed 

Tringa (female). 

CopoG : The HOOPOE ; signifying " crested." (North Wales.) 

Copped Wren : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Rutty.) 

Copper Finch : The CHAFFINCH. (Devon, and Comw^all.) 

From the colour of the bi'east in the male. 
Copper Head : The TREE-SPARROW. (Cheshire.) From 
the colour of the cap. 



CONTINENTAL — CORN. 59 

Corbie or Corby : The RAVEN. (Scotland, generallj^ and also 
the north of England.) Mr. R. Godfrey writes that in 
Shetland " corbjan' " is applied to the speech of a person 
who is unable to pronounce the letter r aright : he is sup- 
posed to resemble the " corby " or Raven in this respect. 
The name is also applied in Scotland to the CARRION- 
and HOODED CROWS. 

Corbie Crow or Corbie Craw: The CARRION-CROW. 

(North Country.) The second form is a common Yorkshire 
name. 

CoRCAN-coiLLE. A Gaelic name for the BULLFINCH. 
CoRFRAN, CoEGFR.\N : The JACKDAW. (North Wales.) The 

former signifies " dwarf crow," and the latter " sham 

crow." 
CoRGWALCH. A Welsh name for the MERLIN; lit. "dwarf 

hawk," from its small size. 
Corhedydd: The MEADOW-PIPIT. (North Wales) lit. 

" dwarf lark." 
Corhwyaden: The TEAL. (North Wales) lit. "dwarf duck." 
CoR-iAR. A Welsh name for the PARTRIDGE ; lit. " little 

hen." 
CoRiAR YR Albin. A Wclsh name for the PTARMIGAN 

(Fleming) lit. " little hen of Scotland." 

CORMORANT [No. 316]. Derived from the Fr. cormoran, 
Spanish cuervo ')narino^=Jja,t. corvus marinits, hence meaning 
literally " Sea Raven." The name Cormorant occurs in 
Turner (1544), also in Merrett and Willughby. Later 
writers such as Pennant, Latham, Lewin and Montagu 
spelt it " Corvorant." Milton (" Paradise Lost," bk. iv, 
247-68) introduces Satan in the form of a cormorant who 
perches upon the Tree of Life and beholds the beautiful 
region spread out before him. It does not seem, however, 
that evil associations have been properly connected \vith 
this bird, as they have with the true Corvince. 

In olden times this bird was frequently trained to 
fish, in fact the " Master of the Cormorants " was one 
of the officers of the Royal Household. The bird was 
carried by its keeper hooded, after the fasliion of a hawk, 
to keep it quiet until its services were required. The 
practice has survived vmtil recent times in Europe, as well 
as in the East. 

CoRMOREL. A name for the CORMORANT, according to Hett. 

Corn Bird : The CORN-BUNTING. (Ireland.) 



60 DICTIONARY OF NA3IES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

CORN-BUNTING [No. 42]. This species is also commonly 
kno^vn as the Common Bimting — rather a misnomer, as in 
many localities it is not " common." It is called " Bunting " 
simply by the older ^\Titers from Willughby to Donovan, 
Montagu (1802) being the first to name it Common Bunting. 
The word Bimtmg (Old Eng. " buntyle," Scots "buntlin") 
is of uncertain origin. Skeat suggests a connexion Mith 
bunten=^to butt; he also cites Scottish huntin^=short and 
thick or plump, which Newton, however, thinks likely to 
have been derived from the bird. Graham (" Bu'ds of 
lona and Mull") has suggested Scots 6w?^^=gay, hvely, or 
brisk. 

Corncrake. An alternative name for the LAND-RAIL. Rutty 
spells it " Corn-Creek," while it becomes Corn -drake in 
North Yorkshire, Corn-rake at Hawes, Yorkshire, and 
Com-scrack in Aberdeen. 

Corn Goose: The BEAN-GOOSE. From its partiality to 
grain. 

CORNICYLL, CORNICYLL Y GORS, CORNICYLL Y WAEN, CORN Y 

wiCH, or Corn OR y Gwennydd. Welsh names for the 
LAPWING ; Comicyll=Plover. 

CORNICYLL CADWYNOG, CWTYN MODEWYOG : The RINGED 

PLOVER. (North Wales.) Both names signify '' ringed 
plover." 
CORNICYLL LLWYD : The GREY PLOVER. (North Wales.) 

Cornish Chough : The CHOUGH. Occurs in Turner (1544) as 
" Cornish Choghe," and in Merrett, Willughby and Pennant 
as " Cornish Chough." The prefix Cornish was formerly 
necessary on account of the name Chough being also applied 
not infrequently to the JACKDAW, which is so called by 
Turner and by Merrett. 

Cornish Daw: The CHOUGH (Montagu and Rutty); also 
occurs as Cornish Jack. 

Cornish Gannet : The GREAT SKUA. (Willughby.) 

Cornish Pheasant : The MAGPIE. (Cornwall.) 

Cornwall Kae : The CHOUGH. (Sibbald.) 

Cornwillen : The LAPWING. (Cornwall.) 

Corny Keevor : The MISTLE-THRUSH. So called about 
Belfast (Thompson). 

CORRA riathach. A Gaelic name for the COMMON HERON. 
CoRS HwYAD. A Welsh name for the MALLARD ; lit. "mnrsh 
duck." 



CORN — CRAKE. 61 

CoRSHWYAD DDU: The COOT. (North Wales) lit. "black 

marsh -duck." 
CORSICAN WOODCHAT SHRIKE [Xo. 110]. A Mediter- 

ranean form, recorded once for the British Isles. 
CoRVORANT : The CORMORANT. Appears to have first been 

so spelled by Pennant (1766), the succeedmg writers up to 

^Montagu adopting the same spelling. 
Cotton Heap : The CORMORANT and SHAG. (Hett.) 
COUES'S REDPOLL [No. 25]. A Circurapolar ally of 

HORNEMANN'S REDPOLL, named in honour of Dr. 

Coues, the well-known American omithoJoglst 
CouLTERNEB : The PUFFIN (Northumberland ) Willughby 

recordis it as so called at the Farn Islands It is so 

termed from the likeness of its bill (or '"neb") to the 

coultei' of a plough. Bolam savs in Northumberland it is 

also applied to the RAZORBILL. 
CouRLAND Snipe : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. 
CousHOT and Cowscot : The RING-DOVE. See Cushat. 
CoviE or Covey Duck : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Northumberland.) 
Cow-BffiD, Cow KLOOT, Or Cow KLiT : The YELLOW WAGTAIL 

From its habit of frecpienting grazing-meadows for insects. 
Cowboy : The RING-OUZEL. (Tipperaiy.) 
Cowe'en elders: The CORMORANT. (Kirkcudbright.) 

Swainson says the name is derived from Colvend, a coast 

parish in that covmty. 
CowPRisE. A North Country name for the RING-DOVE. 
Cbaa :\L\a : The KITTIWAKE GULL. (Shetlands.) 
Cracker : The PINTAIL. (Willughby.) Cracker or Craker is 

also a North Country name for the LAND-RAIL. 
Crackil : The WREN. (North Devon.) Swainson says it is 

from its cry. 
Crate : The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Cumberiand.) 
Crag Ouzel : The RING-OUZEL. (Craven.) From its hatmts. 
Craigag: The SHELD-DUCK. (lona and Mull.) From 

Gael, craig and (7ea(/A=rock-goose. 
Craig Doo : The STOCK-DOVE. (Northumberland.) From 

its sometimes nesting in crags. 
Craigie-easlln : The RING-OUZEL. (Scotland.) 
Craigie Heron : The COAOION HERON. (Scotland.) Swain- 
son says it is from c/"ai^=tliroat. 
Crake : The LAND-RAIL generally ; also a North Country 

name for the CARRION-CROW^. From its hoarse cry. 



62 DICTIONAJRY OF >'AMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Crake Gallinule : The LAJSJ'D-RAIL. (So called by Aviiters 
from Pennant to Montagu.) 

Craexe : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Provincial.) 

CRANE [No. 453]. Derived from Dutch, Kraan ; Old Grerman, 
Kraen. The name occurs in Turner (1544), in Barlow (1655), 
and in Merrett (1667). Willughby and most of our eigh- 
teenth century authors call it the " Common Crane." Now 
chiefly known as a straggler on migration in the Orkneys 
and Shetlands, etc., but very rarely occurring in England. 
According to Saunders the Crane used to breed vuitil 1590 
in the fens of East Anglia, but there is no record of its 
ha%Tng done so later. Willughby in 1678 wTites : '' They 
come often to us in England, and in the Fen-Coimtries in 
Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire there are great flocks of 
them, but whether or no they breed in England (as Aldro- 
vandus wTites, he w^as told by a certain Englishman who 
said he had often seen their young ones) I cannot certainly 
determine, either of my otmi know'Iedge or from the relation 
of any credible person." Turner (waiting in 1544) says : 
" Cranes, moreover, breed in England in marshj^ places. 
I myself have veiy often seen their pipers (i.e. young) 
thovigh some people bom aw^ay from England urge that 
this is false." Aiistotle credits the Crane with, weather- 
wisdom, for he writes : " The Grues furthermore do many 
tilings with prudence, for they seek for their convenience 
distant places, and fly high that they may look out far, 
and if they have seen clouds or a storm, betake themselves 
to earth, and take rest upon the groimd." According to 
Inw^ards, if Cranes appear in autumn early, a severe winter 
is expected. Hesiod says that the voice of the Crane utter- 
ing its annual cry both bring the signal for ploughing and 
indicates rainy weather. Cicero ("De Nat. Deor.," ii, 49) 
states that Cranes in their long flights on migration assume 
the form of a triangle, the apex of which keeps off the wind 
from those birds in the flanks, making their course through 
the air easier, the leader being now and again replaced 
by one of the latter birds, which are said to be able to rest 
in their flight bj^ placing their heads on the backs of those 
in front of them. Martial also alludes to the supposition 
that Cranes fly in a V shape ("Ep.," xiii, 75), and he 
says the ranks are distm'bed and the letter broken if you 
destroy a single bird. 

Crane. The COMMON HERON is often popularly so mis- 
named. The numerous place-names derived from Crane 
refer obviously in most cases to the Heron, e.g. Cranbrook 



CKAKE — CRESTED. 63 

Park on the Roding in Essex, which adjoined a large heronrj'-. 
Willughby also gives Crane as a name for the SHAG in 
the north of England. 

Crane Swallow or Cran Swallow : The SWIFT. (East 
Lothian.) 

Crank-bird : A Gloucestershire name for the LESSER 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER. (Montagu.) Probably from 
its cry resembling the creaking produced by the turning 
of a windlass (Swainson). 

Crann lach : The TEAL. (lona and Mull.) Signifying " tree 
duck." 

Crann-tach : The CURLEW. (lona and Mull.) Signifying 
■" one with a long bill." 

Crattick : The CO:\DrOX EIDER. (East Lothian.) 

Cravat Goose : The Canada Goose. Occurs in oMacgillivray. 

Craw: The CARRION- and HOODED CROWS. (Scotland 
generally, also Yorkshire.) Sometimes written " Cra." 

CREA^I-COLOURED COURSER [No. 353]. The name is 
foimd in ^lontagu as Cream-coloured Plover, Cream- 
coloured Courser occuriing in Fleming, while Selby calls it 
the Cream-coloured Swiftfoot, 

Cream-coloured Gull : The immature GLAUCOUS and 
ICELAND GULLS. (Yorkshire coast.) 

CREA:^r-coLouRED Owl : The BARN-OA\TL. 

Crecer : The SONG-THRUSH. (North Wales.) It signifies 
" chatterer." 

Creck. a North Country name for the LAND-RAIL. 

Crec y garreg. Crec penddu'r eithik : The STONECHAT. 
(North Wales.) The first signifies " stonechat " and the 
second " black-headed gorse-chat." 

Crec yr eithin : The WHINCHAT. (North Wales) lit. 
" gorse-chat." 

Creeper: The TREECREEPER. Occurs in Tm-ner as 
" Ci'eper," and in Willughbv as " Creeper." Merrett 
applies the name to the WALLCREEPER. 

Creepie : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Kirkcudbright.) 

Creep Tree : The TREECREEPER. (Norfolk.) Also 
Creepy-Tree (Bamsley, Yorks.). 

Creshawk : The KESTREL. (Cornwall.) Probably a cor- 
ruption of Cristel-hawk (q.v.). 

Crested Cormorant or Crested Corvorant. Applied in dif- 
ferent localities to both the SHAG and the CORMORANT, 
but more apphcable to the former. 



64 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Crested Diver : The TUFTED DUCK. (Ireland.) 

Crested Grebe: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. Albin 
calls it Crested Diver. 

Crested Heron : The COMIVION HERON. (Provincial.) 

Crested or Green Lapwing : The LAPWING. (Selbj^). 

CRESTED LARK [No. 60]. So named from its very distinct 
and pointed crest. The name Crested Lark occurs first 
in Willughbv (1678). It was added to the British List by 
Yarrell m "1845 ("Brit. Birds," Suppl.) The bird was 
formerly considered to be of medicinal value. Willughby 
observes that " Dioscorides prescribes this bird to be eaten 
roasted, Galen in some places of his works roasted, in. 
some places boiled, to assuage CoHc pains. Marcellus 
Virgilius prefers the powder of it, put in an earthen pot, 
and dried or burnt in an oven, taken in water to the 
quantity of two or three spoonfuls, before all other medi- 
cines for the Colic." 

Crested Purple Heron : The PURPLE HERON. (Selby.) 

Crested Shag : The SHAG. (Montagu.) 

CRESTED TITMOUSE [No. 94, Scottish Crested Titmouse: 
No. 95, Northern Crested Titmouse; No. 96, Central 
European Crested Titmouse]. Occurs first imder this name 
in Willughby (1678). Since the time of Macgilli\Tay and 
Yarrell it has been commonly abbreviated to "Crested Tit." 

Creumhach. a Gaelic name for the ROOK. 

Crew : The MANX SHEARWATER. (Scilly Isles.) 

CRiiYR glas: The COMMON HERON. (North Wales) lit. 
" blue crier." Another name is Crechydd (screamer). 

Crick aleel: The GARGANEY (?). Occurs in Merrett (see 
Cricket Teal). 

Cricket Bird : The GRASSHOPPER- WARBLER. (Nor- 
folk.) 

Cricket Teal : The GARGANEY. From its cry. Hett also 
gives Crick as a name for the species. 

Cristel-hawk : The KESTREL. Derived from Fr. cristel= 
kestrel. 

Crocker : The BRENT GOOSE. Also the BLACK-HEADED 
GULL. 

Croman coillteach : The WOODCOCK. (lona and Mull) 
lit. " crookbill of the woods." 



CRESTED — CUCKOO. 65 

CRO^LA.N LOCHAiDH. A Gaelic name for the KITE. Croman is 
used in lona and Mull, according to Graham, not only for 
the KITE, but other large hawks. 

Croman loin. A Gaelic name for the COADIOX SNIPE. 

Crom nar anileag : The WOODCOCK. (lona and Mull) lit. 
" crooked thing of the leaves." 

Crooked bill : The AVOCET. Montagu gives it as a pro- 

\'incial name. 
Cropiedydd : The TREECREEPER. (North Wales) lit. 

" creeper." 
Crossbill^ See C0M:\I0X CROSSBILL. 
Crotchet-tailed Puttock : The KITE. Occurs in Mac- 

gilli\Tay. SAvainson gives " Crotch tail " as an Essex name 

for the species. Crotchet-tailed:=fork-tailed. 
Croupy Craw. A North Country name for the RAVEN. 

(Swainson.) Crouj)y would be from its harsh ciy, and 

craw=crow. 
Crow : The CARRION-CROW is often so termed without the 

prefix. Pennant (1766) calls the species "Crow" simply. 

The name is also applied poi:)ularly to the ROOK. 
Cruchet: The RING-DOVE. Chiefly North of England or 

Scotland ; probably a variant of " Cushat." 
Cryel Heron or Dwarf Heron. Turner's name for a species 

of Heron, which I take to be the LITTLE EGRET. 
CuACH. A Gaelic name for the CUCKOO. (lona and Mull.) 

Imitative of its cry. 
Cuckee : The MANX SHEARWATER. 

CUCKOO [No. 214]. The name is onomapoetic, and is such a 
well received example of a sovmd-name, that the bird has 
very few provincial names. Tliis is also the case A^dth its 
name in. most ancient and modem languages, i.e. Gr. 
coccys, Lat. cuculus, Fr. coucou, G^r. kuckuck, W^elsh cwccw 
and Cog, Gaelic Cuthag, Sanskrit kokila, etc. In Old and 
Middle English it occurs as coccou, cuccu, cukkow, cocow ; 
later it occurs as Cuckow. Chaucer spells it " CuckoAve " ; 
Turner (1544) has " cukkouu " and " gouke." Merrett 
(1667) has " Cuckoe or Guckoe." The spelling " Cuckoo " 
is found in Barlo\A''s plates (1655). A "Cuckoo Song" of 
the thirteenth centuiy (from the Harleian MS., 978) com- 
mencing : — 

Somer is icumen in 
Lhude sing cuccu. 
Avill be found in the " Trans. Philolog. Soc," 1868-9. 



66 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

There exist many rhyming allusions to the Cuckoo's 
time of arrival in country-side lore, as for instance : — 
When the cuckoo comes to the bare thorn, 
Sell yoitr cow and buy your com : 
But if she sits on a green bough, 
Sell your com and buy a cow. 

Another rendering is : — 

When the cuckoo coiues to the bare thorn. 
Sell your cow and buy your com : 
But when she comes to the full bit, 
Sell your com and buy yoiir sheep. 

the inference being that a late spring is bad for cattle and 
an early spring bad for corn. 

Another sajdng akin to this is recorded in " Notes 
and Queries " (ser. iii, 5, p. 450) : — 

Cuckoo oats and woodcock hay 

Make a farmer run away. 

the meaning being that if the spring is so backward that 
oats cannot be so^^"n until the Cuckoo is heard, or the 
autumn so wet that the aftermath cannot be gathered imtil 
the Woodcock comes, the farmer is sure to suffer. 

In some parts, April 14th is called " Cuckoo Day," it 
being thought that the Cuckoo's song is first heard about 
this day. The date, however, varies in different parts of 
the country, and according to Dyer it is believed at Tenbury 
in Worcestershire, that it is never heard till Tenburj^ Fair- 
day (April 20th), or after Pershore Fair-day (June 26th). 
In Wales it is considered unlucky to hear the Cuckoo before 
the 6th of April, but " you will have prosperity for the Mhole 
of the year if you first hear it on the 28th." 

There are several variants of the following allusion to 
the time of the familar cuckoo-song, which is, of course, heard 
at its best during the breeding-period : — 

In April the cuckoo shows his bill ; 

In May he sings all night and day ; 

In June he changes his tune ; 

In July away will he fly ; 

In August go he must. 

Another version of this last that I have heard is as follo^vs : — 
In flowery May he singeth all the day 
In leafy June he altereth his tune ; 
In hot July away he'll fly ; 
In August go he must. 

Mr. Dyer says that among the Gloucestershire peasants 



it is : — 



The Cuckoo comes in April, 
Sings a song in May ; 
Then in June another tune. 
And then she flies away. 



CUCKOO — CUCKOO. 67 

while a Lancashire sajring is, " The first cock of hay frights 
the Cuckoo away " — a reference to the time of it departure. 
In Northants. April loth is called " Cuckoo Day." 
Concerning the note Heywood has : — 

In April the koocoo can sing her song by rote, 
In June of time she caimot sing a note. 
At first koocoo, koocoo sing still she can do, 
At last kooke, kooke, six kookes to one koo. 

The attribution of the song to the female here, must not, 
of course, be taken literally, as the female does not sing. 
A Yorkshire custom with children was to sing round a 
cherry tree : — 

Cuckoo, cherry tree. 
Come down and tell me 
How many years afore I dee. 

Each child then shook the tree and the number of cherries 
falling stood for the years of its life. 

The " Cuckoo -penners " of Somerset, who beHeved 
they could prolong the summer by caging cuckoos, are 
alluded to by De Kay (" Bird Gods of Ancient Europe," 
p. 84). 

An Irish superstition is that unmarried persons, on 
first hearing the cuckoo, should search the ground at their 
feet, and are certain to find a hair there which will be the 
same colour as that of the man or woman they will marry. 
In England in former times tliis belief varied somewhat, 
the custom being for a young woman to go into the fields 
in the early moi'ning to hear the Cuckoo, when, if she pulled 
off her left shoe she would find in it a hair of the exact 
colour of her future husband's. This is alluded to by Gay 
in the Fourth Pastoral of the " Shepherd's Week " : — 
Upon a rising bank I sat ado^\'n 
And doffed my shoe, and by my troth I swear 
Therein I spied this yellow frizzled hair. 

A more widely-spread custom on first hearing the call is 
to turn the money in one's pocket, which is supposed to 
ensure its increase. Evidently akin to this is the belief 
in the north of England, that it is an unfortunate omen for 
anyone to have no money in his pocket on first hearing 
the Cuckoo, great care being usually taken to avoid such 
an occurrence. Homtt records a Norfolk beUef that 
whatever one is doing on first hearing the Cuckoo, that one 
will do most frequently during the j^ear. In Scotland it is 
said to be unlucky, and a sign of coming misfortune, to hear 
the Cuckoo for the first time before eating a meal. In 
Hampshire it is considered unlucky to kill a Cuckoo, and 

f2 



68 DICTIOXARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

this belief also prevails in other localities, as in Connemara, 
where this bird is, moreover, held in veneration. In 
Cornwall it is regarded as lucky to hear the Cuckoo first 
on the right hand and in front, but unlucky from the left. 
In Shropsliire in former times the labourers used on first 
hearing the Cuckoo to cease work and devote themselves 
to merry-making and drinking the " Cuckoo Ale." 

For some reason not very obvious the Cuckoo is mii- 
versally beheved to be a foohsh bird, hence it has long 
and very generally been the custom to call a fooUsh person 
a cuckoo. In Scotland (as also in North Ireland) this 
becomes " gowk " (q.v.), and the victim of All Fools' Day 
jokes is invariabty termed a gowk. He is usually the 
bearer on his fool's errand of a missive containing 
this couplet : — 

This is the first of Aprile, 
Hunt the gowk another mile. 

The knowledge of the Cuckoo's singular breeding-economy 
is as old as Aristotle, who saj^s that it makes no nest and 
sometimes lays its eggs in the nests of small birds and 
devours their eggs. He says that some say the young 
Cuckoo ejects from the nest the other young birds ; others 
that the foster-parent kills her young ones and feeds the 
young Cuckoo with their flesh ; and some again that the 
old Cuckoo comes and devours them. Cuckold is the name 
applied from early times do^^'n to the present day to the 
husband of an unfaithful wiie. The word is of Scandi- 
navian origin, and occurs in Mid. Eng. as cukeweald. 

An old behef that Cuckoos become SPARROW- 
HAWKS in A^dnter should be mentioned. It can be traced 
to Aristotle, who says that the Cuckoo is said by some to 
be a changed hawk, because the hawk which it resembles 
disappears when the Cuckoo comes. The late Canon 
Tristram records that on remonstrating with a man lor 
killing a Cuckoo the defence was that it was " well-known 
that Sparrow-hawks turned into Cuckoos in summer." 
Regardmg the old behef in the liibernation of migratory 
birds, Willughby says : " What becomes of the Cuckow in 
the Winter-time, Avhether Mding herself in hollow trees, 
or other holes and caverns, she lies torpid, and at the return 
of spring roAives again, or rather at the approach of winter, 
being impatient of cold, shifts place and departs into hot 
countrys, is not as yet to me certainly known." He pro- 
ceeds to give — second hand^ — an alleged instance of " some 
old, drj?-, rotten Willows " being cast into the stove when 



CUCKOO — CUMHACHAG. 69 

a Cuckoo was heard to sing three times, and being taken 
out, Avas kept aHve two years. The story, however, occurs 
in Aldrovandus and elsewhere, and Wilhighby himself 
appears to be rather less credible on the subject than his 
editor, Ray. 
Cuckoo's Maid : The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. (Hereford.) 
Because it feeds the j^oung Cuckoo. (Swainson.) 

Cuckoo's mate or Cuckoo's messenger : The WRYNECK. 
(Provincial.) So-called from its arrival generally preceding 
that of the Cuckoo by a few daj^s. It is also knoAvn as 
Cuckoo's footman or Cuckoo's fool in Gloucestershire and 
as Cuckoo's leader in Norfolk, while Swainson gives Cuckoo's 
marrow (i.e. companion) as a name in the Midlands, and 
Tunstall (1784) called it Cuckoo's Maiden. 

Cuckoo's San^die : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Northumberland.) 
The meaning is synonymous with " Gowk's Eool " (q.v.). 
Swainson also gives Cuckoo's Titling as a Dm'ham name. 

Cudberduce: The C0:MM0N EIDER. (Northumberland.) 
A corruption of St. Cuthbert's Duck. 

Cuddan: The RING-DOVE. (North Wales) lit. "cooing 
bird." 

Cuddy : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Yorkshire.) The TREE- 
CREEPER. (Northants.) Also the MOORHEN; prob- 
ably a corruption of Cutty (q.v.). 

Cudgie : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Notts.) Also probably 
from Cutty. 

Cudox. a Cornish name for the RING-DOVE. 

CuDYLL cocH : The KESTREL. (South Wales.) Signifies " red 

kestrel." 
CuDYLL GLAS : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (North Wales) 

Ht. " blue kestrel." 
CuDYLL GLAS BACH : The MERLIN. (North Wales) lit. " Httle 

blue kestrel." 
CuDYLL Y gwynt: The KESTREL. (North Wales) lit. 

" windhover." 
Culver : The RING-DOVE. (Dorsetshire.) It is an old English 

name for a pigeon or dove, occurring in Spenser and also 

in Chaucer as colver. Derived from A.Sax. culfre, Avhich 

apparently is only a corruption of Lat. columba (Skeat). 

Culvert or Culver Duck : The CO:\IMON EIDER. (North- 
umberland.) A contraction of St. Cuthbert's Duck. 
CuMHACHAG. A Gaelic name for the TA"\^^Y 0\ATj. 



70 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

CuNEATE-TAiLED GuLL : The WEDGE-TAILED GULL. 
(Richardson and Swainson.) 

Cur or Curre. AppHed to the di\dng ducks generally, but 
more especially to the SCAUP-DUCK. (See also Pied 
Curre, Grey-backed Curre, etc.) 

CuRCAG or CuROCHDAG. GacHc names for the LAPWING. 

Curlew. See COIVEVION CURLEW. 

Curlew-help. An obsolete Lancashire name for the CURLEW 
(Swainson.) 

Curlew-Jack : The W^IMBREL. An equivalent to Jack- 
Curlew and Half-Curlew 

Curlew-Knave : The WHIIMBREL. Occurs in the " House- 
hold book " of Lord William of Na worth (Cumberland), 
1612-40 ; lit. small or half curlew, from A.Sax. cnafa, cnapa^ 
a boy, the application of knave to a rascal or dishonest person 
being much more recent. An equivalent to Jack-Curlew, 
Half-Curlew, etc. (q.v.). 

CuRLEW-IvNOT : The WHIMBREL. (Spalding.) 

CURLEW-SANDPIPER [No. 374]. Formerly described as the 
Pigmy Curlew, from its resemblance to a miniature Curlew, 
the name being apparently first used by Montagu (1802) 
as a translation of Latham's name Niimeniiis pigmeus, 
based on Gmelin's Scolopax pigmea. The name Curlew- 
Sandpiper is found in Yarrell (1st ed.). 

Curlew- WHELP : The BAR-TAILED GOD WIT. (Humber 

foreshores.) 

CuRLiEw : The COjNOION CURLEW. (Merrett.) 

CuRRE-wiGEON : The TUFTED DUCK. (Somersetshire.) 

Curwillet: The SANDERLING. Willughby says it is so 
called " about Pensance in Cornwall." It is said to be 
derived from its cry. 

Cushat : The RING-DOVE. Said to be from Lat. Questus (see 
also Queest), but much more probably from A.Sax. cusccote, 
a wild pigeon. Used in Westmorland, Yorkshire, Cheshire, 
Berks., Bucks. ; also throughout Western Scotland (Gray), 
It occurs in Turner (1544) as " Coushot," and as " Cowshot " 
in Ray (1691), while Coward and Oldham give both 
Cowshat and Cushat for Cheshire, and Nelson and Clarke 
give Cooshat, Cushat, Cushard, Cowscot, Cooshout for 
Yorkshire. Swainson thinks it is derived from its cooing 
note, and he gives Cushat as a Northamptonshii'e name 
for the STOCK-DOVE. 



CUNEATE — DABBER, 71 

CusHiE Doo: The RING-DOVE. (Scottish Borders) lit. 
Cushat Dove. 

CusTEEN-FAY-CLOUGH. (Properly coistin faoi cloich.) A Kerry- 
name for the WHEATEAR, signifying " the cunning little 
old man under the stone " (Thompson). 

CuTBiLL. A North Country name for the GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER. 

Cute. A name for the COOT. (MacgilU\Tay.) 

CuTHAG. The Gaelic name for the CUCKOO ; imitative of its 
note. 

CuTHBERT Duck : The COMMON EIDER. Occurs in Willughby. 
Properly St. Cuthbert's Duck. 

Cut Straw : The WTIITETHROAT. (Cheshire.) 

Cut-throat: The WHITETHROAT. Bolam thinks it is 
from the bird's habit of raising its crest and puffing out 
the feathers on its chin while it sings. 

Cutty, Cut, or Cutty Wren. Provincial names for the WREN. 
Cutty is from Welsh cit'to= " short-tailed, from cwt which 
signifies literally anything short, e.g. as in " cuttj^" a short 
clay pipe, originally applied as a distinction from the long 
" churchwarden " pipe. The name is in use in some parts 
of the north and south-west of England, and also as 
" Cutty Wren " in south-west Scotland. Swainson gives 
Cutteley Wren as a Somersetshire name. 

Cutwater: The GREAT SHEARWATER and the MANX 
SHEARWATER. 

Cwtiar or Cwtaiar. A Welsh name for the COOT ; lit. Short 
or Bob-tailed Hen. Also applied to the WATER-RAIL. 

CwTYN LLWYD ! The GREAT PLOVER. (North Wales.) 

CwTYN YR AUR, CwTYN AUR, or CwTiAD AUR. Welsh names for 
the GOLDEN PLOVER. Cwt^^ ddu ("black plover") 
is applied to the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT m North 
Wales. 

Cyffylog. a Welsh name for the WOODCOCK ; lit. " wood- 
cock." 

Cyffylog y Mor: The BAR-TAILED GODWIT. (North 
Wales) lit. " sea woodcock." 

Cygnet. The young of a Swan (properly the MUTE SWAN). 

Cylionydd : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (North Wales) 
lit. " insect catcher." 

Cynffonwen: The WHEATEAR. (North Wales.) Signifies 
" white rump." 

Dabber : The LITTLE GREBE. (Berks, and Bucks.) 



72 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Dabchick : The LITTLE GREBE. Occurs in Merrett (1667). 
Willughby has " Dobcliick." The name is also applied to 
the MOORHEN in Shropshire (Swainson), and in Cheshire 
(Coward and Oldham). 
Daffinch : The CHAFFINCH. (North Devon.) 
Daker-hen : The LAND-RAIL. (Yorkshire, Cheshire.) Occurs 
in Turner, Merrett and Willughby. It refers, it has been 
suggested, to the unsteady flight of the bird. Cordeaux 
says that the word to " Dacker," meaning to stagger or 
totter, is a well-knoAMi word in Lincolnsliire. Another sug- 
gested derivation is " t'acre-hen "=the acre or land hen. 

Dalmatian Regulus : The YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER. 

(Gould.) Also occurs as Dalmatian Wren. 

Danish Crow : The HOODED CROW. From the supposition 
that they visit us from Denmark. 

Darby : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Pro\dncial.) 

Darcock : The WATER-RAIL. (Provincial.) Perhaps " dark 
cock " from its sombre colour. 

Dabk-footed Pettychaps : The CHIFFCHAFF. 

Darr : The COMMON TERN. (Norfolk.) 

DARTFORD WARBLER [No. 151]. Takes its name from 
the locality A^•here the first examples were obtained in 
1773 (Bexley Heath, near Dartford) ; described by Pennant 
m 1776. The name is found in Pennant, Montagu and 
other old authors, but Macgillivray in 1839 attempted to 
substitute " Provence Furzeling." 

Daup, Daup Crow, or Daupee : The CARRION-CROW. (York- 
shire.) 

Daw : The JACKDAW. The name vmder which it appears 
in Shakespeare. Newton says it is " doubtless from the 
bird's cry, as seems also to be the nickname ' Jack ' com- 
monly prefixed." This latter assumption, however, seems 
erroneous, the term Jack more probably having reference 
to its small size (see Jack). 

Ddreiniog. A Welsh name for the SISKIN ; also spelt " Drei- 
niog " (q.v.). 

Deargan-choille. a Gaelic name for the BULLFINCH. 

Delor fraith. a Welsh name for the GREAT SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER ; lit. " spotted pecker." 

Delor fraith leiaf. A Welsh name for the LESSER 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER ; lit. " lesser spotted pecker." 

Delor y cnau : The NUTHATCH. (North Wales.) Signifies 
nut-pecker." 



DABCHICK — DINBOETH. 73 

Delor y drew, a Welsh name for the GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER ; lit. " oak pecker " (?). 

Demoiselle Crane. This beautiful species cannot properly be; 
included as a British bird. The name Demoiselle (a yourjT 
lady) is borrowed from" the French, by whom it is also 
applied to several other birds. 

Denmark Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Humber district.) 

Deryn coch y fflam : The REDSTART. (North Wales) lit. 
"red fire-bird." 

Deryn du'r Llan : The SWIFT. (North Wales) lit. " black 
bird of the church." 

DESERT-WHEATEAR [No. 168, Western Desert Wheat- 
ear ; No. 169, Eastern Desert Wheatear]. The Western 
form of this species is confined to the African Sahara, 
while the eastern form is Asiatic, hence the necessitj'- for 
distinguishing the two races. 

Devil : The SWIFT. (Berks.) 

Devil-bird, Devil-screamer, Devil-shrieker, Devil 
Squeaker, Devil-screw. Yorkshire names for the 
SWIFT. Devil-Screamer is also a Hampshire name for the 
species, and Devil-screecher a Devonshire name. 

Deviling : The SWIFT. (Bewick.) It is in use as a pro- 
vincial name in Nottinghamshire, Lancashire Westmor- 
land and East Anglia. Devilin' or Dicky Devlin' are also 
north and west Yorkshire names. 

Devil's bird : The PIED WAGTAIL (Ireland) ; also the 
YELLOW BUNTING (Scotland) : because, says Macgil- 
livray, its song is interpreted as signif;v'iiig, " Deil, deil, deil 
take ye," that is, the cruel nesters. Devil-bird and Devil's- 
Bitch are also among the Yorkshire names of the SWIFT. 

Devil Swallow : The SWIFT. (Provincial.) 

Dick Dunnock or Dicky Dunnock : The HEDGE-SPARROW. 
(Provincial.) See Dunnock. 

DiCKiE-Di-DEE : The COINLVION SANDPIPER. (Lancashire.) 

Dicky Pug : The WREN. (Cheshire.) 

DiDAPPER or DiEDAPPER : The LITTLE GREBE. (Dorsetshire, 
Hampshire, Yorkshire, Norfolk.) A corruption of Dive- 
dapper. Nares says it signifies " Little Diver." Occurs 
as Didapper in Willughby and Ray. 

Dike Smouler : The HEDGE-SPARROW. Occurs in Turner, 
who says it signifies a bird that hides itself in hedges. 

Dinboeth \Y) : The REDSTART. (North Wales) lit. "hot- 
rump." 



74 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

DiNNiCK : The WRYNECK. (Devonshire.) Swainson says the 
name is given it on account of its browTV plumage. 

Dip Ears : The LITTLE TERN. (Norfolk.) 

DIPPER [No. 192, Black-bellied Dipper ; No. 193, British 
Dipper ; No. 194, Irish Dipper]. The name is first given by 
Tunstall in 1771 as Water Ouzel or Dipper. It is given as 
a provincial name by Be\vick (1804) imder the heading 
of " Water Ouzel/' and he observes that it may 
be seen perched on the top of a stone in the midst 
of the torrent, in a continual dipping motion or 
short curtsey, often repeated ; and the name is therefore 
probably not (as is commonly supposed) derived from its 
habit of entering the water in search of its food. I find 
no earlier use than Tunstall's of this name, and therefore the 
derivation sometimes given from A. Sax. clippan or dyppan 
to dip or dive, is inaccurate. Selby calls it the " European 
Dipper," and Fleming the " Dipper," from which time on 
the name superseded the older one of Water Ouzel. The 
species is correctly described under the heading of Alcedo 
by Turner (1544), who calls it the " Water craw," and thinks 
it akin to the KINGFISHER. His " Cinclus " however, 
does not refer to the DIPPER. Evans thought it to be 
the COMMON SANDPIPER, but the description does not 
correspond at all with the latter species. Willughby calls 
the present bird " Water Crake," but most subsequent 
authors call it the " Water Ouzel." Swainson gives Dipper 
as a Shropshire name for the KINGFISHER. The Black- 
bellied Dipper is the Scandinavian and North European 
form, which sometimes visits our eastern counties in Avinter. 
Dr. Hartert has lately separated the Irish race from the 
race resident in Great Britain ; and it must now be called 
Irish Dipper. 

Dipper or Dipper Duck : The LITTLE GREBE. (Yorksliire.) 
The name is also applied to this species b}' \A'illughby and 
by Montagu. 

DipPURL : The COMMON TERN. (Norfolk.) 

DiRSH : The SONG-THRUSH. (Somerset.) 

Dirty Allen, Dirty Aulin, or Dirt Bird : The ARCTIC 
SKUA. (East Scotland.) 

Dishwasher, Peggy Dishwasher, Molly Washdish, Polly 
Washdish, Nanny Washtail, Moll Washer, Washer- 
woman, DiSHLiCK. English pro\TJicial names for the 
PIED WAGTAIL; from the bird's habit of frequenting 
the water's edge and holding its tail above the ^\"ater to 
prevent Abetting it. 



DINNICK — DOTTEREL. 75 

Ditch Blackie : The RING -OUZEL. (East Lothian.) 
Ditch Lark : The .AIEADOW-PIPIT. (Skipton, Yorkshire.) 
Dive-Dapper: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE (Merrett) ; 
also the LITTLE GREBE (see " Didapper "), said to be 
in use in Lincolnshire. The name occurs in Shakespeare 
(" Venus and Adonis "), but it is doubtful for which species : 
Like a dive-dapper peering tlirough a wave. 
Who, being looked on, ducks as quickly in. 

Swainson gives Dive an' dop and Divv Duck as Norfolk 
names for the LITTLE GREBE. 

Diver : The COIVOION POCHARD and the GOLDENEYE. 
(Roxburgh.) 

Diving Duck : The GOLDENEYE. (Shetland Isles.) 

Diving Pigeon : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Earn Isles.) 

Dob, Doup, Doupe, Dowp, or Dowk : The CARRION-CROW. 
(Yorkshire, Westmorland.) 

DoBCHicK : The LITTLE GREBE. (Provincial.) It occurs in 
^^'illughb^', and is an equivalent of Dabcliick. Dobber is 
said to be a casual form of the name in Yorksliire. 

Dog-tail : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Cheshire.) 

Dollpopper. a jorovincial name for the MOORHEN, according 
to Hett. 

DoNEY : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Lancashire.) 

DoRBiE : The DL^^LIN. (Banff.) 

DoR-HAWK or DoRR-HAWK : The NIGHTJAR ; from its feeding 
on the mischievous " Dor-beetle." It occurs in Charleton 
(1668), and is still in use in Cornwall and East Suffolk 
apparent^. Hett also gives Dog-hawk, perhaps a mis- 
spelling. 

Dot Plover : The DOTTEREL. (Norfolk.) 

DOTTEREL [No. 356]. According to Newton, the word is 
a diminutive of dolt. The name appears as Doterell in 
Caius (or Kay), who also calls it morinellus, its present 
specific name. Drayton (1613) has " Dotterell." It occurs 
in Merrett's list (1667) as Dotterel ; Willughby has " Dot- 
trel," as have also most of the later \\Titers up to Montagu 
(1802). Kay remarks that it is a \&vj foolish bird, and is 
taken in the night time, by the light of a candle, by imitating 
the gestures of the fowler, for if he stretches out an arm 
the bird also stretches out a wing, if he a foot the bird like- 
wise a foot ; in brief, whatever the fowler does, the bird 
does the same, and so being intent upon the man's gestures 
it is deceived, and covered with the net spread for it. The 



/b DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

same actions are earlier described by Drayton (" Polyol- 
bion," 1613). Kay also accounts for its name by saying 
that we call a foolish, dull person a Doterell, and " on this 
accoimt our people also call it Doterell, as if they were to 
say doating with folly." The Gaelic name for the bird, 
An tamadan mointich, also signifies " the fool of the peat 
bog," or moor. Willughby relates that in Norfolk the 
bird was cavight by several persons carrying stones in each 
hand, which they struck against one another and so drove 
the birds into the net. A Scottish sajong is : — 

When dotterel do fast appear, 
It shows that frost is very near ; 
But when the dotterel do go, 
Then you may look for heavy snow. 

Double Scoter : The VELVET SCOTER. (Bemck.) 

Double Snipe: The GREAT SNIPE. So called from its 
being of superior size to the COMMON SNIPE. 

Doucker Scoter: The VELVET SCOTER. (Hett.) 

Douk: The DIPPER. (Settle; Yorkshire.) 

DouKER or Doucker: The LITTLE GREBE. (Cheshire.) 
Willughby calls it the " small Doucker," while Turner 
gives Douker as a general name for the Grebes. The word 
signifies literally " ducker " and is cognate with Dutch 
dnyckcr. It is a local name for the TUFTED DUCK and 
COMIMON POCHARD, and according to Hawker Doucker 
is a gunner's name for the immature GOLDENEYE in 
Scotland. 

Dove. A general term for the species of wild pigeons ; in 
Scotland it becomes " Doo." 

Dove-coloured Falcon : The HEN-HARRIER. (Bewick.) 
Dove-Hawk is also an old local name for the species, and 
probably I'efers to its blue-grey colour. 

Dovekee or DOVEKY (also wTitten Dovekie). The whalers' 
name for the BLACK GUILLEMOT; but sometimes 
misapplied to the LITTLE AUK. 

Dower: The TUFTED DUCK. (East Coast.) 

Dow FuLFAR (Dove Fieldfare) : The FIELDFARE. 

Downy Woodpecker. An American species said — but on in- 
sufficient evidence — to have been obtained in England. 

Drain Swallow- : The GREEN SANDPIPER. (Spurn, 
Yorkshire.) 

Drake Hen or Draker Hen. Yorkshire names for the LAND- 
RAIL. 



DOUBLE — DRYW'r, 77 

Draw-water. A name given to the GOLDFIXCH, wliich in 
captivity learns the trick of pulling a small bucket or cup 
of water from a reservoir placed below its cage. 

Dreiniog : The SISKIN. (North Wales) lit. " urcliin," perhaps 
from its small size. Also spelt Ddreiniog. 

Dreollan, Dreathan. Gaelic names for the WEEN, the 

former signifying a sUly person or fool. 
Dreydwe:n", or Drudwen. Welsh names for the STARLING ; 

signifying the same. 
DRDfGEDYDD BACH or Dringwr BACH: The TREECREEPER. 

(North Wales) ht. " Httle chmber." 
Drink-a-penny : The LITTLE GREBE. (Lough Strangford.) 
Druid, or Truid (pron. trootch). A Gaehc name for the 

STARLING ; the word means to close or shut up (perhaps 

in reference to the bill). 
Drumstick : The CHAFFINCH. (Frodsham, Cheshire- 
Holland's " Glossary.") 
Drydwy (Y) : The STARLING. (North Wales) ht. " the 

chatterer." 
Dryw or Dryw bach. Welsh names for the WREN ; the 

former signifies " Wren " and the latter " little Wren." 
Dryw bach y coed: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. 

(North Wales) ht. " Uttle wood wren." 
Dryw bach y ddaear : The WILLOW^- WARBLER. (North 

Wales) ht. " little ground Avi'en." 
Dryw ben aur : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (North 

Wales) ht. " golden-headed vvi'en." 
Dryw bex felex : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (North 

Wales) ht. " yellow-headed ■svren." 
Dryw felen : The CHIFFCHAFF, the WILLOW- WARBLER 

and the WOOD-WARBLER. (North Wales) lit. ^'yellow 

wren." 
Dryw'r coed : The WOOD- WARBLER. (North Wales) Ut. 

" wood wren." 
Dryw'r ddaear : The WOOD-WARBLER. (North Wales) 

lit, " ground wren." 
Dry'wr drysni : The WHITETHROAT. (North Wales) lit. 

"thicket wren." 

Drywr helyg : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (North Wales) 
lit. " willow A\Ten." 

Dryw'r hesg : The SEDGE-WARBLER. (North Wales) Ht. 
" sedge A^Ten." 



78 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Dryw wen: The WHITETHROAT and the GARDEN 
WARBLER. (North Wales) lit. "white wxen.' 

DuBH cHRAiGE. A Gaelic name for the RING-OUZEL. 

Dtjcker. A provincial name for the DIPPER, according to 
Macgillivray (see also " Douker "). 

Duck Hawk: The NORTH AMERICAN PEREGRINE is 
usually so called ; also applied to the PEREGRINE 
FALCON (]\Iontagu) and the MARSH-HARRIER (Bewick). 

Dtjlwilly. a local name for the RINGED PLOVER. Skeat 
says it signifies dull of will or stupid. 

Dun : The KNOT. (Cheshire.) See also Dunne. 

DuNBiRD. A general name formerly applied by decoy -men and 
gunners to the smaller species of ducks, especially the 
COMMON POCHARD. Montagu gives it as a provincial 
name for this bird, while Boiam also gives it as a Northum- 
berland name, and Ndson and Clarke as a Yorkshire name 
for the same species. Nelson and Clarke also mention 
DuNPOCKER (Dun poker, or Dun Pochard) as a name on 
the river Hull. 

Dun-Crow-: The HOODED CROW'. Montagu gives it as 
a provincial name, and Swainson says it is a Craven name 
for the species. 

Dun Curre : The COMMON POCHARD. (Provincial.) 

Dun Diver : The immature or female GOOSANDER and 
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. (Yorkshire.) Occurs 
in Wiilughbj- for the former. 

DuNG-BiRD : The HOOPOE. (Charleton.) 

Dung-hunter: The immature GREAT BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. (Pennant.) Dung-bird is also applied to the 
ARCTIC SKUA (Bewick). Pennant says the former 
pursues the lesser Gulls imtil they void their excrement 
from fear, wliich it catches up and swallows. What really 
happens is that the pursued disgorge the fish they have 
recently swallowed. 

DUNLIN [No. 373]. So called from the colour of its plumage, 
from A. Sax. dunn — dark or obscure, lit. a little " dun " 
bird, lin {=Ung) being a diminutive. Mr. Harting has 
argued that this name should be spelled " Dunling " (see 
"Field," Jan. 12th, 1884, and "Brit. Birds," Jan., 1912). He 
quotes the name as occurring in the " Durham Household 
Book " containing the accounts of the Monastery of Duiham 
A.D. 15.30-34, as " Dunling," but the change, even though 
countenanced by Prof. Newton, seems unnecessary, as if 



DRYW — DUSKY. 79 

strict rules or precedents were to be followed in the spelling 
of popular names of birds, an enormous number of changes 
would be entailed, usage rather than precedent being the 
rule at present. The name Dunlin appears originally to 
have been the name for the species in the Xorth of P]ng'and. 
Willughbv speaks of the " North Country Dunlin oi Mr. 
Johnson," while his " Stint, Sea-Lark or Purre " is also 
the Dunlin. In eighteenth century authors the name Dunlin 
was generally applied to the bird in summer- plumage, while 
in winter-dress it was called '' Purre." 

Dunlin Snipe : The GPvEAT SNIPE. 

Dunne. A name for the KNOT in winter-plumage about 
Belfast Lough. 

DuNNOCK. A widely-used provincial name for the HEDGE- 
SPARROW. Thought to be a corruption of " dunn -cock," 
i.e. a cock or bird of a dai'k or obscure colour, from A. Sax. 
dunn dark ; but more probably signifying a little dun 
thing or bird, "ock" being a well-known diminutive. 

Dun pickle. An obsolete Wilts, name for the MARSH- 
HARRIER. 

DuNTER. A Scots name for the COA'BION EIDER. It is in use 
in Mid-Lothian and the Shetland Isles, and in other parts of 
Scotland. Sibbald's '' Dunter Goose " seems to refer to 
this species. 

Dusky Duck : The COMMON EIDER. (Pro\^ncial.) 

Dusky and Spotted Duck: The HARLEQUIN-DUCK. 

(Edwards.) 
Dusky Godwit : The SPOTTED REDSHANK, also called 

Dusky Redshank and Dusky Snipe. 
Dusky Grebe : The SLAVONIAN GREBE. (Bewick.) 
Dusky I. ark : The ROCK-PIPIT. (Pennant.) 
Dusky Petrel: The LITTLE DUSKY SHEARWATER. 

(Gould.) 
Dusky Redshank Tatler : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. 

(MacgilHvi'ay.) 
Dusky Sandpiper : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. (Selby.) 
Dusky Shearwater. See LITTLE DUSKY SHEARWATER. 
Evton also applies the name to the GREAT SHEAR- 
WATER. 
DUSKY THRUSH [No. 160]. A Siberian species first obtained 
on our shores in 1905. It is the T. ftiscatus of Pallas, 
hence its name. Dusky Thnish has also been apphed to 
the young of the STARLING. 



80 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Dutch Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Ackworth, YorksMre.) 

Dwarf Auk : The LITTLE AUK. (Flamborough.) 

Dwarf Heron : The LITTLE EGRET (?). Occurs in Turner. 
Hett gives the name to the SQUACCO HERON. 

Dwarf Rail : The LITTLE CRAKE. 

Dyke Hopper : The WHEATEAR. (Stirling.) 

Dyke Sparrow : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provincial.) 

Dylluan FAMit. A Welsh name for the EAGLE-OWL ; lit. 
" great owl." 

Dylluan frech, Dylluan felynddu, Dylluan fig, Dylluan 
RUDD, Dylluan y coed. Welsh names for the TAWNY 
OWL, signifying (1) spotted, (2) yellow-black, (3) hoot- 
ing, (4) ruddy, and (5) wood-owl. 

Dylluan glustiog. A Welsh name for the SHORT-EARED 
OWL, signifying " eared owl." 

Dylluan gorniog. A Welsh name for the LONG-EARED 
OWL, signifjong " horned owl." 

Dylluan wen. A Welsh name for the BARN-OWL, signify- 
ing " white owl." 

Eagle Fisher : The OSPREY. (Scotland.) 

EAGLE-OWL [No. 223]. So called from its pre-eminent size 
and supposed resemblance to an eagle. The name occurs 
in Willughby (1678). 

Eala. a Gaehc name for the WHOOPER SWAN. (Western 
Isles.) 

Eaqu-\l, Ecall, Eccle, or Ecle : The GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER (see Stockeekle). The first two are Shi'opshire 
names, and the third is an Oxfordshire one. 

Eared Dobchick : The BLACK - NECKED GREBE. 
(Edwards.) Also occurs as Eared Dabchick. 

Eared Grebe. A former name for the BLACK-NECICED 
GREBE. Occurs in most authors from Pennant onwards 
to Yarrell. 

Eared Owl : The LONG-EARED OWL. 

Earl Duck: The RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. (East 
Lothian.) In Northumberland it becomes Yearel 
(Witherby). No doubt corruptions of Harle Duck, the 
Orkney name. 
Earth Titling : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (East Lothian.) 
Easing Sparrow: The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Shropshire.) 
From its nesting in the eaves, or easing, of houses 
(Swainson). 



DUTCH — EHEDYDD. 81 

Easing Swallow or Eaves Swallow : The MARTIN. (Craven.) 
See Easing Sparrow. 

Easterling. a name for the WIGEON. Rutty ("N.H. Co. 
DubUn") gives Easterling for the male and Lady fowl for the 
female, and Latham says they were sold in London mider 
these names. 

Eastern Golden Plover : The ASIATIC GOLDEN PLOVER. 

EASTERN RUFOUS TURTLE-DOVE [No. 349]. An East 
Asian species, recorded as occurring once near Scarborough. 

EASTERN SKY-LARK [No. 03]. A Western Asiatic form of the 
Sky-lark. 

EAST SIBERIAN MEADOW-BUNTING [No. 50]. An Eastern 
Asiatic species Avhich has once reached our shores. 

Eave Spabrow : The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Notts.) 

Eave Swallow : The MARTIN. (Notts.) 

Ebb: The COMIMON BUNTING. Montagu gives it as a 
pro^ancial name. 

Ebb-Sleeper : The DUNLIN. (Orkney and Shetland.) 

Edder : The CO:\mON EIDER. (Montagu.) 

Egle. Given by Aldrovandus as Enghsh name for an EAGLE. 

Egret : The LITTLE EGRET. (Montagu.) 

Egret Heron : The LITTLE EGRET. (Pennant.) 

Egyptian Goose. An introduced species, of which examples are 
not infrequently shot, but without any evidence that they 
are genuine visitors. It is included by Yarrell (1st ed.) 
and others of our earher authors. MacgilHvray calls it 
EgjqDtian Fox-Goose. 

EGYPTIAN NIGHTJAR [No. 203]. This species, so-called 
because Lichtenstein's type-example came from Egypt, 
ranges from the latter country to Afghanistan. 

EGYPTIAN VULTURE [No. 255]. The name is first found in 
Latham ("Syn.," i, p. 13). It is the Alpine Vulture of 
Be^^'ick (1832) and other authors. Egyptian Vulture is 
derived either from its inhabiting Egypt and other parts 
of Africa, or else from Egypt being the locality of Linnaeus's 
t;;/pe. 

Eider- Duck. The more general name for the COIMMON 
EIDER. 

Ehedydd : The SKY-LARK. (North Wales) Ut. " a flier." 

Ehedydd bach : The MEADOW-PIPIT and the ROCK-PIPIT. 

(North Wales) lit. " little lark." 

G 



82 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Ehedydd y Coed : The WOOD-LARK and the TREE-PIPIT. 

(North Wales) lit. " wood lark." 

Elcysen : The BARNACLE-GOOSE. (North Wales.) 
Elerch. a Cornish name for the mid Swan (the WHOOPER). 
Eliguy : The COIVIMON GUILLEMOT. (South Pembroke.) 
Elk. An east Yorkshire and Northumberland name for the 
WHOOPER SWAN. Occurs in Willughby, Edwards and 
other writers. It is cognate mth the Icelandic Alft. 

Elm-tree Goldfinch: The GOLDFINCH. ("Rather small 
size, supposed to have been bred in an elm tree."^ — Hett.) 

Elrck. a Welsh name for a wild Swan (the WTHOOPER). 

Ember Goose or Immer Goose : The GREAT NORTHERN 
DIVER. (Orkney and Shetland.) Swainson gives Ammer 
or Emmer Goose as Aberdeen and East Lothian names. 
(See Immer.) 

Emiviet-hunter. This name for the WRYNECK is found in 
Charleton (1668), and still survives as a provincial name ; 
it is derived from the bird's partiahty to ants. 

English Heckle : The WRYNECK. (Pi-ovincial.) 

English Ortolan : The WHEATEAR. Perhaps from its 
gastronomical quahties. 

Entermewers. a falconer's term for Hawks of the second 
year, after they have moulted their immature-plumage. 

EoiN RUA. A Gaehc name for the RED GROUSE. (Western 
Islands) lit. " red bird." 

Eos. A Welsh name for the NIGHTINGALE ; Ut. " nightin- 
gale." 

Epicurian Warbler : The PIED FLYCATCHER. (Hett.) 

Equestrian Sandpiper : The RUFF. (Provincial.) 

Eb. a Cornish name for an Eagle. 

Ern bleater : The COMMON SNIPE. 

Erne : The WHITE-TAILED EAGLE. From A.Sax. ^arw. It 
appears to have been formerly a falconer's term for the 
male to distinguish it from the larger female, called Eagle. 
Occurs in Turner (1544) and Sibbald (1684) ; now chiefly 
used in the Orkneys and Shetlands, and perhaps other 
parts of Scotland. Scott has : — 

Upon her eyrie nods the Erne. — Lady of the Lake. 
The name was sometimes spelt iron, according to Colonel 
Thornton. 

Eryr Cynffon wen, Eryr Tinwyn, or MoR Eryr. Welsh 
names for the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE ; the fii'st two 



EHEDYDD — FAAKIN. 83 

names signify " Wliite -tailed Eagle," and the third " Sea- 
eagle." 

Eryr Euraidd or Eryr melyn : The GOLDEN EAGLE. 
(North Wales.) The former signifies " golden eagle " and 
the latter " yellow eagle." 

Eryr y dwr (water eagle) or Eryr y mor (sea eagle) : The 
OSPREY. (North Wales.) 

ESKIMO-CURLEW [No. 406]. The name occurs in Pennant's 
" Arctic Zoology" (1792), as Esquimaux Curlew. 

Ess COCK : The DIPPER. (Aberdeen.) Ess is GaeUc for 
waterfall. 

Ess FEANNAG. A Gaelic name for the DIPPER ; signifying 
" Crow of the Waterfall " (Bolam). 

Etwali. : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Cheshire.) 

EuN Du' NA SGADAIN. A Gaelic name for the COMMON GUIL- 
LEMOT. (Western Isles) lit. the " black herring bii'd." 

EuN-T-SNEACHDAiDB. A GaeKc name for the SN OW-BUNTING ; 
lit. " snow bird." 

European Dipper : The DIPPER. (MacgilHvray.) 

European Goatsucker : The NIGHTJAR. (Montagu.) 

EUROPEAN HA\\T^-0\\T. [No. 219]. So-called in contra- 
distinction from the AIMERICAN HAWK-OWL. 

European Nuthatch : The NUTHATCH. (Montagu.) 

European Screech-Owl. Macgillivray's name for the BARN- 
OWL. 

European White-winged Crossbill : The TWO-BARRED 
CROSSBILL. (Thompson.) " Whitewinged CrossbUl " is 
foixnd in Latham. 

Eve Churr: The NIGHTJAR.. (Provincial.) From the 
vibrating chtirr or jarring note emitted while the bird is 
stationary. 

Eve Jar : The NIGHTJAR. (Hants.) 

Evening Jar: The NIGHTJAR. (Cheshire.) Like the last 
name, this is derived from the jarring note. 

EVERSMANN'S warbler [No. 126]. Of this Arctic species 
of Phylloscopu.s two examples have been obtained in the 
Orkneys and Shetlands. 

Eyass or Eiasse Hawks. A falconer's ancient term for 
nesthng-hawks taken from the nest and brought up by hand 
(a corruption of " Mas," q.v.). 

Faakin Hawk: The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Aberdeen.) 
A corruption of " Falcon Hawk." 

g2 



84 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Fairy Bird : The LITTLE TERN. (Gahvay.) 

Falcon : The PEREGRINE was formerly simply designated 
Falcon by falconers. The species occm's in Barlow (1655), 
as Falcon, and in Merrett as Faulcon. The name is derived 
from Lat. Falco. Newton says the earliest use of this 
word {Falco), which is unlaiown to classical writers, is 
said to be by Servius Honoratus {ca. 390-480 a.d.) in his 
notes on "^Eneid," lib. x, v, 145. It seems to be possibly the 
Latinised form of the Teutonic Falk, though falx is 
commonly accoimted its root. 

Falcon Gentle or Gentile Falcon : The female PERE- 
GRINE FALCON. It occurs in Willughby (1878) and 
also in Albin. The term Falcon or Falcon Gentle appears 
from the days of falconry to have always been given to 
the female iDird, the former name from her superior size 
and excellence, while Grentle is from Fr. gentil, signifying 
neat or handsome, but perhaps also denoting the more 
noble nature of the bird as compared A^ith the Hawks. 
Linnseus's Falco gentilis was based upon Albin's description, 
but is without doubt the immature GOSHAWK. In the 
Isle of Skye and other of the western islands of Scotland, 
ever since the days of falconry, the larger and stronger 
female was designated the " Falcon " simply, the male 
being known here, as elsewhei'e, as the Tiercel or Tiercel 
Gentle (q.v.). 

Falk or Fair : The RAZORBILL. (Hebrides.) An equivalent 
of Auk. 

Faller : The HEN-HARRIER. 

Fallow-chat : The WHEATEAR. (Provincial.) On account 
of its partiality for the clods on fallow land. Swainson 
also gives Fallow-finch and Fallow-lunch as provincial 
names. 

Fallow-smich : The WHEATEAR. (Willughby.) Merrett gives 
" Fallow-Smiters " as a Warwicksliire name for the species. 

Familiar Creeper : The TREECREEPER. (Pennant, 1812.) 

Fanner-hawk. A West Sussex (Arundel) name for the 
KESTREL. Somewhat synonymous with Windhover 
(q.v.), the name no doubt arising from the fan -like move- 
ment at intervals when hovering. Also occurs as 
Fan Hawk. 

Fantail Warbler : The SEDGE-WARBLER. 

Faoileann. a Gaelic name for the HERRING-GULL. (Western 
Isles.) 



FAIRY — FELT. 85 

Fasceddar: The ARCTIC SKUA. (Xewton.) From Gaelic 
fasgadair, a squeezer. 

Fauvette. Properly the female of the ORPHEAN WARBLER . 
Used by Buffon (" Hist. Nat.," Ois., vol. v, p. 117). It has 
also been applied to other species by various MTiters, the 
Fauvette of some of the old English AVTiters being the 
GARDEN-WARBLER, while the Winter Fauvette of 
Be^nck is the HEDGE-SPARROW, and his Fauvette and 
Lesser Fauvette the GARDEN-WARBLER. 

Feadag. a Gaelic name for the GOLDEN PLOVER, and also 
the REDSHANK. (Western Isles) lit. "the little 
whistler." 

Feaser: The ARCTIC SKUA. (Be\^-ick.) 

Feather-Poke. A common Provincial name for the curious 
nest (poke pocket) of the LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE, 
but commonly used for the bird. It is a general Yorkshire 
name also for the CHIFFCHAFF, while in north and west 
Yorkshire the WILLOW- WARBLER is called Feather- 
poke, and in east Yorkshire the LONG-TAILED TIT- 
MOUSE. Feather-bed is an Oxfordshire name for the 
WILLOW-WARBLER, from its lining its nest with 
feathers. Swainson savs Feather-bird is a Northants. name 
for the WHITETHROAT, which, however, does not use 
feathers. Bolam says in Northumberland it is also applied 
to the CHIFFCHAFF and WILLOW-WARBLER, while 
Coward and Oldham apply it in Cheshire to the latter 
species. 

Fedoa. Occurs in Turner for a species of Godwit. NeMi;on 
says the species it was intended for cannot be discovered. 

Feldfare, Feldyfar, Feldefare, Feltyfare, Feldy, or 
Felfer. Common provincial names for the FIELDFARE. 
Occurs in Merrett as " Feldefare," and as " Felde " in 
Chaucer. 

Fell Blackie (Fell Blackbird) : The RING-OUZEL. (Sed- 
bergh, Yorkshire.) 

Felt or Feltie : The FIELDFARE. (Staffordshire, Notts., 
Northumberland, Berwick, Northants.) In Ireland the 
MISTLE-THRUSH is called Big Felt, and Thompson 
says the REDWING is also kno^Mi as Felt or Small 
Felt, while in Yorkshire the latter species is called Felfer 
and in South Scotland Feltie is applied to the MISTLE- 
THRUSH. These names are corruptions or abbreviations 
of " feldefare " (see Fieldfare). 



86 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Felty Flee'er or Feltie Flier. The MISTLE-THRUSH is 
so called in south-west Scotland. The FIELDFARE might 
seem to be intended, but not necessarily, for the term 
(i.e. " field-flyer ") would well fit the MISTLE-THRUSH. 

Fendy-fare: The FIELDFARE. (Northumberland.) Also 
applied to the MISTLE-THRUSH, with which it is con- 
fused in Northumberland. 

Fen Eagle : The WHITE-TAILED EAGLE. (Provincial.) 

Fen Goose : The GREY LAG-GOOSE. Montagu gives it as 
a provincial name. 

Fen Reedling : The REED-WARBLER. (Provincial.) 

Fen Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Northants.) 

Fern Owl : The NIGHTJAR. Found in Willughby (1678) : 
from its frequenting bracken. It is in use locally in Hamp- 
shire, Cheshire, Shropshire, and East Lothian. 

FERRUGINOUS DUCK [No. 299]. The name occurs in 
Pennant (1776), probably translated from Gmelin's Anas 
ferruginea.' It is also the " Red Duck " of the same author's 
"Arctic Zoology," and the White -eyed Duck of many authors. 

Fpesant. a Welsh name for the PHEASANT. 

Ffesont. a Cornish name for the PHEASANT. 

Ffigysog. a Welsh name for the GARDEN- WARBLER. 

FiACH. An Irish name for the RAVEN. 

Fiddler : The COIVEVION SANDPIPER. (Hebrides.) Swain- 
son says the name is derived from the manner in which it 
continually vibrates its body, as if on a pivot. 

Feeld Duck : The LITTLE BUSTARD. (Albin.) 

FIELDFARE [No. 155]. Ne^vton says the name is derived 
from A. Sax. Fealo-for (=Fallow-farer). The name appears 
' in Turner (1544) as " feldfare " and " feldefare," and as 
late as 1667 in Merrett's list also as " feldefare." Wil- 
lughby (1678) has " Fieldfare " and Sibbald (1684) " Field- 
fare." Various corruptions are prevalent in the provinces, 
i.e. Felfit, Felfer, Felfaw, Fildifire, etc., while in Wiltshire 
it becomes Velverd. This species usually arrives from its 
northern breeding-grounds in September. In the north 
it is considered that an earlier arrival than usual indicates 
an early and severe winter. 

FiELDiE : The FIELDFARE ; an abbreviation. 

Field Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. So called in Pennant and 
other \vriters to Montagu, the species of Pipits beingTcon- 
fused with the liarks. Fleming also describes the SKY- 
LARK under this name. 



FELTY — FLAilTNGO. 87 

Field Sparrow: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Roxburgh.) 
Sometimes abbre\aated to Fieldie. 

Field Titling : The TREE-PIPIT. (Fleming.) 

Fiery Brantail or Fiery Redtail : The REDSTART. (Shi-op- 
shire.) " Brantail " signifies fiery tail (Dan. brand, fire- 
brand or fire), in allusion to its red tail and coverts. 

Fig-eater or Fig-bird. Properly the GARDEN-WARBLER, 
the Beccafigo of the Italians (but also sometimes applied to 
the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER). It occurs in WiUughby 
(1678) and in Pennant (1766). 

Fighting Ruff : The RUFF. From the pugnacious habits of 
the male. 

FiONNAG or Feannag. a Gaelic name for the HOODED CROW ; 
lit. a "skinner" or "flayer." 

Firecrest : The FIRE-CRESTED WREN. 

FIRE-CRESTED WREN [No. 104]. This name is first found 
in Eyton (1836). Occurs in Jenyns (1835) and Yarrell 
(1st ed.) as Fire-crested Regulus. Also sometimes known 
as the Fire-crested or Fire-crowned Kinglet. 

Fire-crown : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Yorkshire.) 

Fire-eyed Chat : The DARTFORD WARBLER. (Pro\dncial.) 

Fire-flirt : The REDSTART. (Provincial.) Probably from 
the red upper tail-coverts and tail, and the frequent quick 
jerks of the latter. A.Sax. fleard ( =flirt) properly signifies 
a piece of foolishness or trifling (i.e. coquetry). 

FiRETAiL. A common provincial name for the REDSTART; 
from the colour of the tail and coverts. 

Fisher : The KINGFISHER. (West Riding, Yorkshire.) 

Fishing Ha^\^ : The OSPREY. (Scotland.) Properly a 
name for the American Osprey. It is first found in Catesby's 
Carolina, but is quoted by Pennant (" Brit. Zool.," 1766), 
and Montagu gives Fishing Hawk and Fishing Eagle as 
proxdncial names. 

Fishing Osprey. Macgillivray's name for the OSPREY. 

Fitheach, FiDHEACH, or Biadhtach. Gaelic names for the 
RAVEN ; the last form is that given by Macgillivray. 

Flackie: The chaffinch. (Cheshire.) 

Flamborough Head Pilot : The PUFFIN. (Flamborough.) 

FLAMINGO [No. 270]. The name Flamingo is Portuguese, 
in Spanish it is FlameTico. It occurs in Willughby as 
" Flammant or Phoenicopter," and he says " the French call 
it Flambant or Flammant, rather from the flammeous 
colour of its wings and feet, than because it comes from 



88 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIKDS. 

Flanders in the ^\dnter time to the coasts of Languedoc. 
For I believe there was scarce ever seen about Flanders a 
bird of this kind." The ancients reckoned the tongue of 
this bird among the choicest dainties. The belief that the 
Flamingo stands against its conically-shax^ed nest, vrith. 
its rump covei'ing the eggs, instead of sitting on the nest, 
appears to date from Dampier's observations of the American 
species in Cura9ao in the latter part of the seventeenth 
century. It is not until recent times that it has been 
conclusively settled that they sit with the legs folded 
under the body in the usual manner. 

Flammant : The FLA^MINGO (q.v.). 

Flapper. The young of the MALLARD before taking wing, 
after which they are called Wild Ducks. The term is also 
applied to the young of other v,ild species of duck. 

Flat-billed Sandpiper. Macgillivi-ay's name for the BROAD- 
BILLED SANDPIPER. 

Flat Finch: The BRA^IBLIKG. (Cheshire.) 

Flax : The WHITETHROAT. (Shropshire.) 

Flax-Finch : The CHAFFINCH (Timstall, 1784) : " Fleck 
Linnet " is still in use in South Holdemess. 

Fleingall : The KESTREL. (Provincial.) Swainson makes 
it an equivalent of Windhover (i.e. " Fly in Gale "). 

Flesh Crow: The CARRION-CROW. (Yorkshire.) From 
its fondness for carrion. 

Flirt-tail : The REDSTART. (Ackworth, Yorkshire.) 

Flitterchack : The RING-OUZEL. (Orkneys.) 

Flusher: The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. (Obsolete.) Wil- 
lughby (1678) records it as a Yorkshire name. Newton 
thinks it should be " Flesher," a common North Coimtry 
word for butcher, and it is also sometimes spelt " Flasher." 

Flycatcher : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Pennant.) 

Folk : The RAZORBILL. Occurs in Martin's " Voyage to St. 
I^lda." 

Foolish Dotterel : The DOTTEREL. For explanation of 
the term " foolish," see under DOTTEREL. 

Foolish Guillemot : The COIVOION GUILLEMOT. (Fleming. ) 
From the indifference to the approach of man when breeding. 

Foolish Sparrow: The HEDGE-SPARROW. From its so 
frequently being made the dupe of the CUCKOO. 

Fool's Coat : The GOLDFINCH. According to Sir Thomas 
Browne this was an old name of the species, the inference 



FLAJMIVIANT — FRENCH. 89 

being that its gaudih'-coloured plumage suggested a jester's 
parti-coloured coat. 

Foot-arse or Foot-ix-arse : The LITTLE GREBE. 
(Cheshire.) 

For Hwyad ddu (Y). A Welsh name for the CO]\E\ION 
SCOTER ; lit. " black sea-duck." 

Fork-tailed Kite : The KITE. (Merrett.) Also formerly 
occurred as Forked Kite (Thornton) and Fork-tail 
(Yorkshire). 

Fork-tailed Petrel : LEACH'S FORK-TAILED PETREL. 
(Fleming, Yarrell, etc.) 

Fork-tailed Storm Petrel : LEACH'S FORK-TAILED 
PETREL. (Selby.) 

Fr.^xk: The CO.ADIOX HEROX. (Suffolk, Essex, Stirling.) 
From its cry. 

Frao. a Cornish name for the SHORT-EARED OWL. 

Freckled Heron. The A3IERICAX BITTERN was first 
described imder this name by Col. Montagu in 1813 in the 
Supplement to liis '•'Ornithological Dictionaiy." 

Freckled Sandpiper : The KNOT (when changing to summer- 
plumage). 

French Bird : The FIELDFARE is so called at Wirral, 
Cheshire, according to Coward and Oldham. 

French Galley-bird: The LESSER SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER. (Sussex.) " Galley-bird " signifies merry or 
laughing bird, in allusion to its loud call, being derived 
from A.Sax. g'aZ=merry. For the significance of "French," 
see French Magpie. 

French Heckle : The LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 
See above, and also " Heckle." 

French Heron : The BITTERN. (Provincial.) 

French Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL (Yorkshire.) The 
CHAFFINCH (South Holderness) ; the BRAMBLLNG 
(North Yorkshire). 

French ^Iagpie or French Pie. Names often siven to the 
GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER in the southern 
covmties of England, while Gamer gives the first form also 
as a Staffordshire name for this bird and Swainson the 
second form as a Leicestershire name. It is also locallv 
used for the GREAT GREY SHRIKE, which is referred to 
in Walton's " Angler " as French Pie : and in each case 
implies a stranger or foreigner, it being a common practice 
to designate an uncommon bird by the name of its supposed 



90 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

country of origin. It occurs also sometimes in falconry 
books for this species. Swainson also applies French 
Maapie to the RED-BACKED SHRIKE (Sussex) and the 
LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 

French Partridge : The RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE. 
In Nottinghamshire " Frenchman " is a local name for this 
species, but at Bridlington it is applied to the BLACK 
TERN. 

French Piefinch : The BR AMBLING. (Provincial.) 

French Pigeon : The LAPWING. (Provincial.) 

French Sparrow: The TREE-SPARROW. (Pro^dncial.) 
Also the SNOW-BUNTING. (North Riding, Yorkshire.) 

French Woodpecker: The GREAT SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER. (Provincial.) 

French Yellow Hammer : The CIRL BUNTING. (Devon- 
shire.) 

Freshwater Sandlark : The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Ire- 
land.) 

Freshwater Wigeon : The COMMON POCHARD. (North 
Ireland.) Also the GOLDENEYE (Strangford Lough). 

FRIGATE-PETREL [No. 323]. This well-lmown bird, first 
described by Latham in 1790, is now ascertained to be 
a very rare straggler to our shores from the Southern Ocean. 

Fronfraith: The SONG-THRUSH. (North Wales) lit. 
" mottle-breast." 

Fronfraith fawr : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (North Wales) 
lit. " great mottle-breast." 

Frosty-back Wigeon : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Provincial.) 

Ffffit : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (East Lothian.) 

FuLFRAN LEL\F. A Welsh name for the SHAG ; lit. " lesser 
crow." 

Full Curlew : The CURLEW ; in contradistinction to the 
WHIMBREL (or " Half-CurlcAV "). The COMMON SNIPE 
is also sometimes termed Full Snipe to distinguish it from 
the JACK (or Half) SNIPE. 

FULMAR PETREL [No. 334]. The name Fulmar is found in 
Pennant (fo. ed., 1766) and is used by all succeeding authors 
except Montagu, who spells it Fulmer, the added word 
Petrel being seldom used, although foimd in Yarrell (1843) 
and others. The name is said to be derived from the 
Gaelic Fulmair, but Mr. Har\^e-Bro^vn (" Zoologist," Oct., 
1912) decides that the Gaelic is derived from the English 
and not the English from the Gaehc. The English name 



FRENCH — GABBLE. 91 

is of Tincertain derivation : Swainson thought it akin to 
Foumart, a polecat, meaning a foul martin, from the peci;liar 
and disagi-eeable odour of the bird, owing to the oil which 
it emits and the rankness of its food. The oil vomited 
by this bird when caught, is highly valued by the natives 
of St. Ivilda as a cure for all diseases (Gray). A bit of 
weather-lore in the same island, as recorded by Inwards, 
is that if the Fulmar seeks land it is a sign to the 
inhabitants that the West wind is far off. The species 
was formerly known as the Mallemucke or Mallemuck (q.v.). 

FtTLVous Griffon or Fulvofs Vulture : The GRIFFON- 
VULTURE. The first name is foimd in Harvey's "Fauna 
of Cork ■' ; the second in Willughby and in Latham and 
others. 
Furze-chat : The WHINCAT. Found in Rutty and Montagu. 

Swainson gives Furr-chuck as a Norfolk name. 
Furze Chequer : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Provincial.) 
Furze Chirper or Furze-chucker : The BRAMBLING. 

(Pro\incial.) 
FuRZE-CHiTTER : The STONECHAT. (Cornwall.) 
Furze-hacker: The WTIINCHAT and the STONECHAT. 

(Hants.) 
Furze Kite. An old name for the HEN-HARRIER. 
Furze Linnet : The LINNET. (Oxfordshire.) 
Furze Wren : The DARTFORD WARBLER. (Pro\^ncial.) 
Gabble-Ratchet. A name applied to one or other species of 
wild geese when flying by night and crying as they fly, 
although Swainson (quoting Macquoid's " About York- 
shire," p. 143) gives the name to the NIGHTJAR. Newton 
observes that : "In many parts of England, but especially 
in Yorkshire, the cries of some kind of Wild Goose [pre- 
sumably the BRENT, but according to Yarrell the BEAN- 
GOOSE] when flying by night, are heard with dismay 
by those who do not know^ the cause of them, and are 
attributed to ' Gabriel's Hoimds,' an expression equivalent 
to 'Gabble ratchet,' a term often used for them, as in 
this sense gabble is said to be a corruption of Gabriel, and 
that, according to some mediaeval glossaries, is connected 
with gabbara or gabares, a word meaning a corpse [cf. Way, 
' Promptorium Parvtdorum,' p. 302, sub voce Lyche] ; while 
ratchet is undoubtedly the same as the Anglo-Saxon raecc 
and Mid. Eng. racche or rache, a dog that himts by scent 
and gives tongue. Hence the expression would originally 
mean ' corpse-hounds ' and possibly has to do with legends 



92 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

such as that of the ' Wild Huntsman.' " Macquoid, as 
cited above, says that in Nidderdale the coiuitry people say 
that the Nightjars embody the souls of unbaptised 
infants doomed to wander for ever in the air, and call them 
"gabble-ratchets," i.e. "corpse hounds." The Cheshire 
and Shropshire name for the same S]oecies, " lich fowl," 
also signifies " cor j)se -fowl." Nelson and Clarke ("Birds 
of Yorkshire"), while repeating the Nidderdale 
legend, say that in the Thirsk district the bird is called 
" Gabble-ratch," because it ratches (hoots) on the gables 
of houses. For an article on the etymology of the name, 
see " Notes and Queries," series iv, vii, p. 439. 

Gabhar-adheir a Gaelic name for the COIVEMON SNIPE. 

(Western Isies.) 
Gaddel: The GADWALL. (Merrett.) 

GAD WALL [No. 288]. Occurs first in Merrett's list (1667) as 
" Gaddel," a name which is probably a corruption of 
Gadwall, inasmuch as Merrett says it is called Gaddel by 
the bird-dealers. Willughby and Ray call it the " Gadwall 
or Gray." The latter term is of com'se an allusion to its 
dull colour, but the derivation of the former is apparently 
unknown. Macgillivray calls it Gadwall Teal. The young 
or female PINTAILS are also called "Gadwall" on the 
Northumberland coast (Bolam). 

Gae : The JAY. (Scotland.) 

Gafr y Gors: The COMMON SNIPE. (ISiorth Wales) lit. 
" goat of the marsh." 

Gair-fowl. See Gare-fowl. 

Galley-bird or Gally-bird : The GREEN WOODPECKER ; 
lit. merry or laughing bird (see French Galley -bird) . 

Gallinfle : The MOORHEN. 

Gallinule Crake : The LAND-RAIL. Possibly a reversal of 
Crake Gallinule. 

Galrush : The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Dublin Bay.) 

Gambet Sandpiper : The immature REDSHANK. Pennant, 
Montagu, etc., described it as a separate species. 

Gambo Goose : The Egyptian Goose (Hawker), the Spur- 
ivinged Goose (Macgillivray). 

Game Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Scotland.) 

Gan or Gans. a Welsh name for the GANNET, with the same 
significance. 

GANNET [No. 318]. This species is mentioned by Turner 
(1544) who calls it " Goose of the Bass," and says it nests 



GABHAR — GARGANEY. 93 

upon the lofty cliffs of the Bass Isle " and nowhere else in 
all Britain . ' ' The name Gannet occurs first in Merrett (1667), 
as " Ganet," and in Pennant as " Gannet." Willughby 
calls it the " Soland Goose, Anser bassanus." It was 
formally generally called Solan Goose, and in early days 
was classed with, the G«ese, hence its present name Gannet, 
i.e. Little Goose. This latter name however is of great 
antiquity ; it is the A.Sax. ganot, the plui'al " ganotes " 
occurring in the Anglo-Saxon Chi'onicle. The name is 
sometimes met with proAdncially as " Gant," A valuable 
article on the history of this species, by Cunningham, mil 
be found in the " Ibis " for 1866 (pp. 1-23). 

Ganser or Gambo Goose : The Egyptian Goose. (Bewick.) 

Garan. a Cornish name for the CRANE. 

Garan Hwyad. a Welsh name for the MALLARD. 

G.ARDEN Fauvet or Fauvette : The GARDEN- WARBLER. 
Given in Macgillivray. 

Gardenian Heron . The immatme NIGHT-HERON is described 
imder this name in Pennant's " Arctic Zoology " (n, No. 355), 
and also in Latham, Montagu, etc. It was the Ardea 
gardeni of Gmelin. 

G-4RDEN Ouzel: The BLACKBIRD. 

Garden Thrush: The BLACKBIRD ; also the SONG- 
THRUSH. 

GARDEN -WARBLER [No. 145]. This name, which appears 
in the 1832 edition of Bewick, seems to have been derived 
from Gmelin's name Sylvia hortensis, which, however, had 
been wTongly applied to this species, being properly the 
ORPHEAN WARBLER. The Garden-Warbler is the 
Fauvette of old English avithors. 

Garden Whitethroat: The GARDEN- WARBLER. 

Gare-fowl or Gair-fowl : The GREAT AUK. This name 
has been made familiar by its adoption by the late Prof. 
Newton, who preferred the name to that of GREAT AUK 
(a name first applied to the species by Pennant). Gare-fowl 
is almost imdoubtedly derived from the Icel. Geirfugl. 
Newton however prefers to derive it from the Hebridean or 
Gaelic name, which is Gearhhul or Gearrhhtd, meaning 
" the strong stout bird with the spot." Sibbald mentions 
the species as " the bird called Gare." Martin (" Voyage to 
St. Kilda ") spells it " Gairfowl." 

GARGANEY [No. 292]. The name occurs in Willughby (1678) 
who derives it from Gesner, and also calls it the Summer 
Teal, which NcAvton considers the colloquial name for the 



94 DICTIOXAEY OF NAZNIES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

species — Garganey, according to him, being a book name. 
Macgillivray calls it Garganey Teal. 

Garrot : The GOLDEN EYE. Ne^^i;on says it is a French 
name first used by Griffith in 1829, and probably refers to 
its rapid flight, " one meaning of garrot being a cross-bow 
bolt." 

Garrulous Roller : The ROLLER. (Montagu.) 

Garton Greyback : The HOODED CROW. (Wold district, 
Yorkshire.) 

Gaunt: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Lincolnshire.) 
From A.Sax. ganot, an equivalent of Gannet. 

Gaverhale : The JACK SNIPE. (Devonshire.) 

Gawk : The CUCKOO. (Yorkshire.) Also occurs as Gowk in 
the same county. 

GA^\^Y: The CUCKOO. (Dorsetshire.) 

Gawthrush: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Northants.) 

Geadh blar. a Gaelic name for the BARNACLE-GOOSE; 
signifjdng " white-faced Goose." 

Gealag bhuachair. a Gaehc name for the CORN-BUNTING. 

Gealan Lin. a Gaelic name for the LESSER REDPOLL. 

GEAI.BHAG. A Gaelic name for the HOUSE-SPARROW. 

Gearradh gort. a Gaelic name for the LAND-RAIL. 

Geck : The CUCKOO. 

Ged : The JACK SNIPE. (Rutty.) 

Gegid. a Welsh name for the GREENFINCH. 

Gelvinak. a Cornish name for the CURLEW ; from its long 
bill ( =gelvin). 

Gentil Falcon or Gentle Falcon : The female PEREGRINE 
FALCON (see Falcon Gentle). 

GerCrow: The CARRION-CROW. (Craven.) 

GiACH or GiACH myniar: The CO:\mON SNIPE. (North 
Wales). 

Gibraltar Quail : The Andalucian Hemipode. (Latham.) 

GiD or GiDD : The JACK SNIPE. The former spelling occurs 
in Willughby ; the latter is given by Hett. 

GiLLEBRiDE : The OYSTERCATCHER. (West coast of Scot- 
land.) Signifies gilly or servant of St. Bride. 

Gill-hooter or Gill-howt^er : The BARN-O^VL. From A.Sax. 
jil =noctn3i, (Swainson). In Norfolk Gill-ho\\i:er : in Staf- 
fordshire it becomes " Gill-houter," according to Poole, 
" houter " being an equivalent of " hooter," and in Cheshire 
" Gil-hooter," according to Coward and Oldham. 



GAEROT — GLAUCOUS. 95 

GnxivER Wren. A Lincolnshire local name for the WEEN ; 
Hett also gives " Giller Wren," Avhich would be a con- 
traction. 

GiLLY-HOWLET or GiLLiHowxET : The BAEN-0\\Tj. (Scot- 
land.) Gilly is thought to be a diminutive of Gillian, a 
proper name. 

Giggling Curre. A west-coimtrj^ name for the immature 
GOLDENEYE. (HaAvker.) 

GiRGiRiK. A Cornish name for the PARTRIDGE. Mr. 
Harting suggests the name is imitative of its note. 

Gladdie : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Devon and Cornwall.) 
From A. Sax. (7ZafZ(/e= bright. 

Glade, Glead, Gled, Glede : The KITE. The spelling 
and derivation seem uncertain, but the name in its several 
forms is an ancient one in this countrs^ Turner (1544) 
and :\Ierrett (1667) spell it " Glede," while Willughby (1678) 
has '' Glead " as do various later -oTiters. The derivation 
is probably from A. Sax. (jlida, from glidan, to glide and move 
smoothly, this latter happening, however, to be from the 
same root as the modem " glade " (i.e. an open — hence 
sunny — part, or grassy passage, in a wood). Glade is from 
A. Sax. glced, Icel. gladhr, signifjdng something bright, 
smooth or shining, and being in fact the derivation also of 
our modem word " glad." Glede (according to Poole) is a 
Staffordshire provincialism for a red-hot cinder, and he 
thinks the red colour of the plumage may be the origin of 
its use for the kite. Such references as : — 

The cruel ire red as any glede. — The Knight's Tale. 

and, 
His arraor glitteryde as did a glede. — Chevy Chase. 

may, of course, apply to the red Kite, but are equally 
applicable to the red-hot cinder. 

Both " Gled " and " Glead " were lately still in use 
for this bird in Lincolnshire ; the latter also in West York- 
shire and perhaps other districts. " Fork -tailed Glead " 
is another provincial name, while Gray (" Birds of West 
Scotland ") gives " Salmon-tailed Gled." 

Glaisean darach. a Gaelic name for the GREENFINCH. 

GLASiAJf. A Gaelic name for the MEADOW-PIPIT and also 
the ROCK-PIPIT. 

Glas y dorlan. a Welsh name for the KINGFISHER ; lit. 
" blue (bird) of the river bank." 

GLAUCOUS GULL [No. 4.35]. The name occurs in the 1832 
edition of Bewdck, and was adopted by Yarrell in his first 



96 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

edition. It is the Burgomaster of many authors and the 
Great Grey Gull of Albin. The name Glaucous is from 
the white frosted appearance of its feathers. 

Glead or Gled : The KITE (formerly). Also a Border name 
for the HEN-HARRIER, while Swainson says it is applied 
in north Scotland to the BUZZARD. 

Glead Hawk : The KITE. (Cheshire.) 

Gleg Hawk : The SPARROW-HAWK. (Renfrew.) " Gleg " 
signifies quick-eyed. 

Glimmer Gowk : An Owl. 

GLOSSY IBIS [No. 259]. Apparently in former times a not 
uncommon visitor to our islands. The name " Ibis " 
occm's in Willughby (1678), who speaks of them in the 
plural as " Ibes." Glossy Ibis seems to occur in most 
authors, from Pennant to Yarrell. 

Gnat, Gnat Snap, Knat, or Knet. Names for the KNOT. 
Gnat is the same as Knot according to Sir Thomas Browne 
(see Newton, " Diet.," pp. 364-5). 

Gnat Hawk: The NIGHTJAR. (Hants.) 

Gnat Snapper : The BEE-EATER. 

Goat Chaffer : The NIGHTJAR. (Scotland.) 

Goat Owl : The NIGHTJAR (Montagu). Swainson says it 
is a Gloucestershire name. 

Goatsucker. A common provincial name for the NIGHT- 
JAR. The name occurs in Merrett (1667) and in Wil- 
lughby. Turner (1544) calls it by the Latin equivalent 
Caprimulgus, and says on hearsay evidence that it sucks 
the milk of the goats, making them go blind, a tale which 
occurs in Aristotle, who says that " flying to the udders 
of she-goats, it sucks them and thus gets its name. They 
say that the udder mthers Avhen it has sucked at it, and 
that the goat goes blind." Needless to say the story has 
long been refuted. 

GoBHA DHUBH NAN ALLT. A Gaelic name for the DIPPER, 
signifying " blacksmith of the stream " (Bolam). 

GoBHA uisGE or GoBHCHAN uisGE. A Gaelic name for the 
DIPPER : " uisge" signifies water. From its haimts. 

GoBHLAN GAiNBHiCH. A Gaelic name for the SAND-MARTIN- 

GoBHLAN-GAOiTHE. A Gaelic name for the SWALLOW. 

GoDWiT, GoDWiT Snipe, Godwin, Goodwin, or Godwyn : The 
BAR-TAILED and BLACK-TAILED GODWITS. The 
name Godwit is from A. Sax. god =^good and wihta= a.n 
animal, lit. " good eating." Godwit occurs in Turner (1544) 



GLEAD — GOLDEN. 97 

and in Merrett (1667) who identifies it mth the " Attagen " 
(q.v.) of older authors and says it occurs in Lincolnsliire. 
The name Goduit Snipe is more especially used to denote 
the BAR-TAJLED GODWIT, I believe. Willughby's 
'■Gcdwit, Yarwhelp, or Yarwip " is the BAR-TAILED 
GODWIT, and his "second sort of God\vit " the BLACK- 
TAILED GODWIT. GodA\-yn is used by Rutty (1772) and 
Swainson gives Godwdn as an Irish name, while Nelson and 
Clarke give it as a Redcar name for the BAR-TAILED 
GODWIT. The GodA\dt Snipe of Pennant is the BAR- 
TAILED GODWIT and his Red GodA\dt Snipe the 
BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. 
Gog, Gok. Cornish names for the CUCKOO. 
GoLDCREST : The GOLDEN-CRESTED ^VREN. 
Golden Amber, Goldfinch. Goldie, Gowdie. Local Cheshire 
names for the YELLOW BUNTING. From its yellow 
plumage. 
Golden-coloured Wren : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. 
Golden-crested Kinglet, or Regtjlus, or Wabbler : The 
GOLDEN-CRESTED W^REN. The word Regulus is from 
Cu\ier's generic name (1800), and is used by Yarrell. 
GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN [Nos. 102-103, Continental and 
British Golden-Crested Wrens]. Occurs in Willughby 
(1678) as the "Golden-crowned Wren," while Pennant 
(1766) calls it Golden-crested Wren, the crowTi having 
a conspicuous recumbent crest, yellow in front and 
rich orange behind, bordered on either side with black. 
Turner correctly describes this species imder the name of 
Tyrannus, but confuses it with the Shrikes and gives " Nyn 
Murder " as its English name, which belongs to the latter 
birds. Willughby and Ray remark, " What is spoken of the 
antipathy and feud between this bird and the Eagle we look 
upon as an old wives' fable." The legend, so I believe, 
belongs to the WREN (q.v.) and not this species. The 
British form appears to be a resident, or partially so, with 
us, while the Continental form is a migrant to our coasts. 
Golden Cutty : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Hants.) 

GOLDEN EAGLE [No. 240]. This name is first found in 
Willughby and is adopted by succeeding authors. It 
occurs in Merrett's Pinax (1667) as Aquila, " the Eagle," 
which is also given as the English name for it by Aldrovandus 
(p. 110) who names it Chryscetos. Merrett states that it 
migrates here from Ireland, where it is abundant. Turner 
(1544) has " aero's, aquila, Anglice anegle," but apparently 

H 



98 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

this is the WHITE-TAILED EAGLE. The name arises 
from the golden tinge of the pkimage, especially on the 
head and neck. From time immemorial the Eagle has 
figured as the embodiment of courage and strength, and has 
been chosen from the days of ancient Rome as the emblem 
of all the great empires of Em'ope. Trevisa (1495) says 
" the egle is a foule that selde s;v"ttyth abrood and selde 
hath byrdes." That a good deal of truth lay in this 
statement is sho'vvTi in the fact that this species does not 
lay more than two or three eggs. It was an ancient belief 
that the Eagle could look at the sim without hurt, and it 
was furthermore believed that the young Eagle wloich 
could not look at the sun without blinking was killed by 
its parents. In the aeries were fomad stones called 
" Aetites " or " eagle stones " wliich the eagles were thought 
by some to bring down from the sun to help hatch their 
eggs and by others from volcanoes, and these stones were 
formerly greatly prized for their \irtues, being thought 
to cure a variety of ills. In the Welsh Mabinogion tales 
the Eagle occurs, being deemed to be only outclassed in 
longevity by the Salmon of Uya Llyvv. Giraldus Cam- 
brensis tells us of the Eagle of Eagle Mountain (now called 
Snowclon) which was prophetic of war, and "perching on 
a fatal stone every fifth holiday, in order to satiate her 
hunger with the carcases of the slain, is said to expect Avar 
on that same day and to have almost perforated the stone 
by cleaning and sharpening her beak." In the story of 
Lien, son of Arianrhod, also, he fhes off when wounded 
in the shape of an Eagle. Several stories are extant of 
infants having been borne away by this bird to its aerie, 
and lack nothing of probability. Montagu mentions that 
in Orkney a law existed to extirpate this species by entitling 
any person who Idlled an Eagle to " a hen out of every 
house in the parish in wiiich it is killed." 

GOLDENEYE [No. 302]. The name occurs in Willughby 
(1678) and is in reference to the rich yellow colour of 
the iris. 

GoLDEN-EYED DivER : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Pro\incial.) 

Golden-eyed Duck, Golden-eyed Garrot, or Golden-eyed 
Poker : The GOLDENEYE. (Provincial.) 

Golden Gladdy : The YELLOW BUNTING. See Gladdy. 

Golden Head: The WIGEON. (East coast of Ireland.) 
Also occurs as Golden-headed Wigeon. 

Golden Maw: The GLAUCOUS GULL. 



GOLDENEYE — GOLFAN. 99 

GOLDEN ORIOLE [No. 15]. The name is first found in the 
Appendix to Pennant's " Brit. Zool." (vol. 4). Oriole, Fr. 
Oriol, from Lat. aureolus, is in reference to its golden 
colouring. It is the Golden Thnish of Edwards and the 
" Yellow bird from Bengal " of Albin. This species is 
mentioned by Tmner imder the name of Vireo, and he says 
that the English name for it is " Witwol," a name given 
by WiJlughby to the GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

GOLDEN PLOVER [No. 362]. Formerly knov^n by all the 
older authors, from Merrett and Willughby to Pennant 
(fo. ed.), as the " Green Plover " (a term now applied to the 
LAPWING). Golden Plover is found in the later editions 
of Pennant, in Montagu, and other ^vriters, and was finally 
put into use by Yarrell. The term " golden " arises from 
the yellow markings on the upper-parts in spring-plumage. 

Golden Thrush : The GOLDEN ORIOLE. (Edwards.) It is 
also a local name in Cleveland (Yorkshire) for the MISTLE- 
THRUSH. 

Golden Wren : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Albin.) 
Also the WILLOW-WARBLER (Ireland). Coward and 
Oldham also give Golden Wren as a local name for the 
SISKIN in Cheshire on the authority of Lord de Tabley. 

GOLDFINCH [No. 18, British Goldfinch]. So called from 
the bright yellow on the wings and general gayness 
of its plumage. Occm-s in Turner (1544) as " Gold finche," 
in Merrett (1667) as " Gold-finch," and in Willughby as 
" Goldfinch." The resident British form of this species 
has been separated by Hartert from the Continental form, 
hence the change of name. Swainson gives Goldfinch as 
a Shi-opshire name for the YELLOW BUNTING. 

Gold-head : The POCHARD. (North Ireland.) 

GOLDIE, GOOLDIE, GOLDSPINK, GOWDSPINK, Or GOLD LiNNET. 

North Country (Yorkshire to Scottish Border) names for 
the GOLDFINCH. Goldspink is also a name for the 
species in the North of Ireland. The same names are also 
applied in parts of Yorkshire to the YELLOW BUNTING. 

GoLDiE-wiNG. A Northumbrian name for the BRAJVIBLING. 
Sometimes rendered " Yallawing." 

Gold Tip : The SPARROW-HAWK. (Sedbergh, Yorkshire.) 

Gold-vented Thrush. Included by Yarrell on the strength of 
an example shot near Waterford in 1838, but it cannot be 
considered British. The name is foimd in Latham. 

GOLFAN. A Welsh name for the HOUSE-SPARROW; lit. 
" sparrow." 

h2 



100 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

GOLFAN tingoch: The TWITE. (North Wales) lit. "red 

rumped sparrow." 
GoLFA2f-Y-GORS. A Welsh name for the REED-BUNTING ; 

lit. " marsh sparrow." 
GOLFAN-Y-MYNYDD. A Welsh name for the TREE-SPARROW ; 

Ht. " momitaia sparrow." 
GoLFAN-YR-EiRA. A Welsh name for the SNOW- BUNTING ; 

lit. " snow sparrow." 
GOLVAN or Gylvan. Cornish names for the HOUSE-SPARROW. 
GoLVAN-GE or Gylvan-ge. Cornish names for the HEDGE- 
SPARROW. 
GooLER, Gooly, or GooL Finch : The YELLOW BUNTING. 

A corruption of Goldfinch, from the bright yellow of its 

plumage. 

GooL French: The GOLDFINCH. (Devon.) Apparently 
a corruption of Goldfinch. 

GOOSANDER [No. 312]. The name occurs in Merrett (1667) 
as Gossander, while Willughby (1678), who spells it 
Goosander, bases the species on the Merganser of Aldro- 
vandus. The female was formerly described as a separate 
species [Mergus castor of Linnseus), and is the " Dun-diver 
or Sparkling (now Sparling) Fowl " of eighteenth centmy 
authors, the male being termed Goosander or Merganser. 
Newton derives the word from Old Norse Gas and (\)nd, 
literally " goose-duck." 

GoosE Gull: The GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. 
(L-eland.) 

Goose Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Provincial.) 

GOPPOG or CopoG. A Welsh name for the HOOPOE ; lit. 
" crested." 

GoR-cocK, Gor-hen: The RED GROUSE. (Staffordshire.) 
Gorcock for this species occurs in Willughby. 

GoR Crow : The CARRION-CROW. (Oxfordshire, Yorkshire.) 
Montagu gives it as a provincial name. The derivation is 
from A. Sax. gror=carrion. 

GoRMA : The CORMORANT. Swainson thinks it an equivalent 
of " Gor Mew," i.e. Carrion Gull (but see Gormer). 

Gormer: The CORMORANT. (Northumberland.) Bolam 
thinks it a contraction of Grormorant : a guttural pronun- 
ciation. 

GoRS Duck or Gurs Duck. A name for the LAND-RAIL. 
(Huddersfield.) Swainson spells it Gorse Duck. 



GOLFAN GRASS. 101 

GoRSE-BiRD, GoRSE HATCHER, GoRSE THATCHER. Provincial 
names for the LINNET ; on account of its frequenting 
and nesting in the gorse. 

GoRSECHAT, Gorse hatch, or Gorse hopper : The WHINCHAT. 
From its partiality to gorse. 

GOSHAWTi [No. 248]. Literally " Goose-hawk," from A.Sax. 
Gos^=goose and /«a/oc^ha\vk. The name Goshawk appears 
in Merrett (1667) and in Willughby. Merrett calls the bird 
Accipiter palumbarkis after Aldi'ovandus (p. 342), who 
describes and figures this species imder the latter name. 
Tmner (1544) also alludes to Accipiter palumbarius, ex 
Pliny, but erroneously identifies it as the SPARROW- 
HAWK. Linnaeus described the species imder the names 
of Falco gentilis and F. palumbarius, and although the latter 
has been generally accepted, the name gentilis, as standing 
first, must replace it. Li falconry the name Goshawk was 
applied to the female, the male being termed Tercel or 
Tiercel (q.v.). In Ii'eland the name is also applied to the 
BUZZARD and the PEREGRINE FALCON, and in the 
Shetlands to the latter species. 

Goss Li:N^]srET or Gorse Linnet. A Yorkshire bird-catcher's 
name for a supposed variety of the LINNET, those bred 
in gorse being considered to sing better than those reared 
in hedges. 

GoiJDSPiNK : The GOLDFINCH. (Scotland.) 

Gourder : The STORM-PETREL. (Smith's " Hist, of Keriy.") 
Swainson gives Gourder or Gourdal as a Kerry name. 

Gow (=GuU) : The COABION GULL. (Aberdeen). 

GowDY Duck : The GOLDENEYE. (Orkney, Shetland, and 
East Lothian.) 

Go- West : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Redcar, Yorkshire.) 

Gowk. An old name for the CUCKOO, still very generally 
used in Scotland and also North Ireland. It occurs in 
Turner (1544) as " gouke." The derivation seems to be 
from A.Sax. geac. Nevvton, however, gives Norse g'^hk, 
Swed. gok. According to Saxbv the name Gowk is applied 
in the Shetlands to the COMMON SNIPE. 

Go^VK's Fool. A North Country name for the MEADOW- 
PIPIT, on account of the frequency with which it is vic- 
timised by the CUCKOO. 

Grand Duke and Duchess. Macgillivray gives these as names 
for the male and female EAGLE-0\VL. 

Grass-Chat : The \\^INCHAT. (West Yorkshire.) 



102 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Grass-Crake: The LAND-RAIL. (Ackworth, Yorkshire.) 
Grass Quake (Bamsley) is, perhaps, a corruption. 

Grass Drake : The LAND-RAIL. (West Yorkshire.) Gress 
Drake and Dress Drake are corruptions. 

Grasshopper Chirper. MacgiHm'ay's name for the GRASS - 
HOP PER- WARBLER 

Grasshopper Lark: The GRASSHOPPER- WARBLER. 
(Pennant.) 

GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER [No. 133]. Occurs first as the 
" Grasshopper Lark " in Pennant's " British Zoology " 
(1766 ed.), as " Grasshopper Lark Warbler " in his later 
editions, and as the GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER in 
Latham's " Sjiiopsis," but is first mentioned by Willughby 
(1678) as the "Titlark that sings like a Grosshopper " 
(p. 207). 

Grass Mumruffin : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Worcester- 
shire.) 

Grass Quail : The LAND-RAIL. (Cheshire.) 

Grass Whew. A Yorkshire name for the female \\^GEON. 
WTiew is from the note ; Grass probably refers to sea- 
grass {Zostera) of which they are very fond (Witherby). 

Grass Wren or Grass Warbler. (Cleveland, Yorkshire.) 
Names for both the \\^LLOW-WARBLER and the 
CHIFFCHAFF. 

Gray : The GAD WALL. (Willughby.) 

Great Allan or Big Allan : The POMATORHINE SKUA. 
(Yorkshire coast.) 

Great Ash-Coloured Butcher Bird : The GREAT GREY 
, SHRIKE. (Pennant.) 

Great Ash-Coloured Shrike : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
(Bewick, 1797.) 

GREAT AUK [No. 444]. The present name of this species is 
not of any antiquity. The older name is Penguin, which 
occurs in Pennant (1766), but the latter calls it Great Auk 
in the 1778 edition, as do also Latham, Lewin, Walcott, 
Montagu, etc. Willughby (1678) calls it " the bird called 
Penguin by our sea-men." Sibbald (1684) mentions it as 
" the bird called Gare " (see Gare-fowl), This fine species 
is thought to have been formerly an inhabitant of the north 
of Scotland and the Scottish Isles, yet whether it was of 
more than accidental occurrence elsewhere than in St. 
Kilda is open to grave doubt. Gould thinks it " doubtless 
existed, and probably bred, up to the year 1830," on the 



GEASS- — GREAT. 103 

northern islands of Scotland. But that this is largely 
an error is proved by the evidence of Low, Bullock and other 
writers acquainted with those islands. The last isolated 
bird believed to have occurred in St. Kilda was killed about 
1840 (see Harvie-Brown and Buckley's "Vertebrate Fauna 
of Outer Hebrides "). Montagu, writing in 1802. says that 
" it is said to breed in the isle of St. Kilda." In eai'lier 
times it appears to have been abiuidant in the North 
Atlantic islands, yet Willughby mentions that he only 
saw it in the collection of the Royal Society, and in 
Tradescant's Cabinet at Lambeth. Its last knoAvn resort as 
a breeding species was on a practically inaccessible 
island off the coast of Iceland, where it became extirpated 
in 1844. 

Great-Billei. Scoter : The SURF-SCOTER. 

Great Black-and-Whlte Duck: The COMMON EIDER. 
(Edwards.) 

Great Black-and-White Gull: The GREAT BLACK- 
BACKED GULL. (Willughby.) 

Great Black - and - White Woodpecker : The GREAT 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL [No. 434]. So called from 
the slate-black of the mantle and its large size. Occurs in 
Willughby (1678) as Great Black-and-White Gull. Pen- 
nant (1766) has the same, but in the later editions calls it 
" Black-backed Gull," as do also Le^^in, Walcott, and others. 
The name GREAT BLACK-BACKED GUI.L occurs in 
Montagu (1802), and is used by most later writers. 

Great Black Cormorant : The CORMORANT. 

Great Black Duck : The VELVET-SCOTER. (Be^\ick.) 

GREAT BLACK-HEADED GULL [No. 429]. A Mediter- 
ranean species, so called from its large size and black head. 

Great Black-Headed Tomtit: The GREAT TITMOUSE. 
(Provincial.) 

Great Black Woodpecker. This fine species was added to the 
British List by Latham, Lemn, Montagu, Donovan and 
others, on the strength of the statement of Latham that he 
had been informed that it was sometimes met with in the 
south, and in particular Devonshire. The name is found 
in Albin (ii, pi. 27), on the plate, the text-name being Black 
W^oodpecke}', 

Great Blue Haw^ : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (North- 
west Fells, Yorksliire.) 



104 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

GREAT BUSTARD [No. 450]. Occurs in Turner (1544) as 
Bustard or Bistard, and in Merrett (1687) as Bistarda or 
Bustard ; he says it is found on Newmarket Heath, and 
Salisbury Plain. Newton saj'^s it is a corruption from the 
Lat. avis tarda. Gesner calls it " Otis vel Bistarda." Wil- 
lughby (1678) has " Bustard — Otis seu tarda a\as." Hector 
Boethius (1526) has " Gustardes," and Sibbald also gives 
the popular name as " Gustard." Pennant calls it merely 
" Bustard " in his folio edition (1766), but in the later 
editions as well as by later British writers it is called Great 
Bustard. In Montagu's day (1802) this noble bird was 
still to be fovmd on the Wiltshire plains " where they are 
become very scarce within these few years." He states 
that the eggs were sought after for the purpose of hatching 
under hens : " Half a guinea is no unusual price for an 
egg, and ten to twelve guineas a pair for yoimg birds." 

Great Butcher Bird : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 

Great Cinereous Shrike: The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
(Pennant.) 

Great Coot-footed Tringa : The GREY PHALAROPE. 

(Edwards.) 
Great Corbie Crow : The RAVEN. Occurs in Bemck (1797). 

GREAT CRESTED GREBE [No. 336]. From its prominent 
size and its crest. Grebe is from Fr. gri'be. Occurs in 
Willughby (1678) as " Greater Loon, Greater Crested or 
Copped or Horned Doucker." Pennant (1766) calls it 
GREAT CRESTED GREBE. 

Great Curlew: The CURLEW. (Macgillivray.) So called 
in contradistinction from the WHDIBREL or " Half- 
Curlew." 

Great Diver : The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Cheshire.) 

Great Ducker or Greater Doucker : The GREAT 

NORTHERN DIVER. The former name occiu-s in 

Merrett and the latter in Montagu. Great Doucker appears 

still to be a local name for the species. 

Great Eagle Owt. : The EAGLE OWL. (Macgilli\-L'ay.) 

Great Eared Owl : The EAGLE-OWL. (Pennant, Montagu, 

Bewick.) 
Great Egret : The GREAT WHITE HERON. (Gould.) 
Greater Braiubling : The SNOW-BL^^TING. (Pennant.) 

Greater Butcher Bird : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
Occurs in Willughby (1678). 



GREAT — GREAT. 105 

Greater Coot. A supposed larger northern form of the 
COOT, described as distinct by WiUughby, Pennant, 
Latham, Montagu and others. It is the Fulica aterrima of 
Linnaeus. 

Greater Crested or Copped or Horned Doucker : The 
GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Willughby.) 

Greater Dabchick or Dobchick : The GREAT CRESTED 
GREBE. Greater Dobchick occurs in Edwards. 

Greater Loon: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Wil- 
lughby.) Also a local name in Norfolk and West Ireland. 
It is applied to the GREAT NORTHERN DIVER by Hett. 

Great Erne : The \^^^ITE-TAILED EAGLE. (Bemck.) 

Greater Pettych.ajs : The GARDEN- WARBLER. Occurs 
in jMontagu. Latham, Lewin and others call it the Petty- 
chaps, and Willughby and Ray's Pettychaps is also pro- 
bably this species, as well as Bewick's Fauvette or Petty- 
chaps. Newton says the name was not obsolete near 
Sheffield in 1873, while Latham records its use in Lanca- 
shire. Pennant (fo. ed., 1766) imder " Pettychaps " 
unites both the present bird and the Lesser Pettychaps or 
CHIFFCHAFF, but separated them in later editions. 

Greater Plover: The GREENSHANK (Willughbv) ; the 

STONE-CURLEW (Macgii]i\Tay). 
Greater Red-Headed Linnet : The LINNET. (Willughby.) 
Greater Redpole : The LINNET. (Montagu.) Also spelt 

Greater Redpoll. 
Greater Sea-Sw.vllow : The COMMON TERN. (Albin.) 
Greater She.^rwater : The GREAT SHEARWATER. 

(Yarrell.) 
Greater Tern : The CO]\I]MON TERN. (Pennant.) 

GREATER YELLOWSHANK [No. 393]. A North American 

species. 
Greatest Bullfinch : The PINE GROSBEAK. (Edwards.) 
Greatest Martin or Swift : The WHITE-BELLIED SWIFT. 

(Edwards.) 
Greatest Speckled Diver or Loon : The GREAT NORTHERN 

DIVER. (Willughby.) 

Great Gallinule : The MOORHEN. 

Great Grey Gull. (Willughby and Albin.) Apparently the 
immature GLAUCOUS GULL. Willughby and Ray, how- 
ever, " take it to be the Cornish Wagel," which latter name 
is a local name for the GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. 



106 DICTION AEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

GREAT GREY SHRIKE [No. 107]. So called because it is 
both the largest species of the genus and the larger of the 
Grey Shrikes. The name GREAT GREY SHRIKE seems 
to occur first in Yarrell (1843). It is the Greater Butcher 
Bird of Willughby. The name " Shrike " occurs first in 
Turner (1544) who remarks that he had seen the bird t-wice 
only in England, but more frequentlj^ in Germany, and that 
in England he found no one who knew its name except 
Sir Francis Lovell. Newton considered the name " Shrike " 
(A. Sax. AS'mc=" shrieker," der. of Mid. Eng. ''^ scriken,'' to 
shinek) probably belonged originally to the MISTLE- 
THRUSH (see Shrite and Shreitch), but the employment of 
the name for the Grey Shrike b^' Turner and also by Merrett 
(1667) and by nearly all later \\Titers has confirmed it in 
usage. Turner gives a length}^ and generally accurate 
account of this bird and notices its habit of impaling its 
prey on thorns. Willughby remarks that this species was 
formerly used by falconers to take small birds. Col. 
Thornton in his list of Falcons and Hawks used in this 
eovmtry includes " two sorts of French Pie." Yarrell 
observes that its Latin name of excubitor, or watchman, 
was given it " because fowlers in France fasten it close to 
the li\ing bird which they use as a lure. WTien the Shrike 
sees the hawk it utters a shrill cry of terror and thus gives 
notice of its enemy's approach, enabling the fowler to draw 
the string of the net and enclose the falcon, before the 
latter has time to carry off the bait." 

Great Grouse : The CAPERCAILLIE. (Pennant.) 

Great Harvest CuKLEw : The CURLEW. (Norfolk.) Swain- 
son says they are so called from their size, and because 
the birds appear in the marshes about harvest-time. 

Great Headed Poker or Wigeon : The COMMON POCHARD. 

(Provincial.) 
Great Horned Owl : The EAGLE-OWL. The name occurs 

in Willughby (1678) as " Great Horn Owl." 

GREAT NORTHERN DIVER [No. 341]. This name first 
appears in Pennant (1766), Willughby having termed it 
the Greatest Speckled Diver or Loon. Sibbald calls it 
" the Goose of our country folk called the Ember Goose, 
which is said to make its nest imder the water and also 
to hatch out its eggs there." 

Great Owl : The EAGLE-OWL. Montagu gives it as a pro- 
vincial name. 



GREAT — GREAT. 107 

Great Ox-Eye : The GREAT TITMOUSE. Occurs in 
Merrett's list. Turner has " Great Oxei." 

Great Peggy : The WHITETHROAT. (Leicestershire.) 

Great Pied Mountain Einch : The SNOW-BUNTING. 

Great Plover : The STONE-CURLEW. (Yarrell.) 

Great Purl : The COMMON TERN. (Norfolk.) 

Great Red-headed Wigeon : The COMMON POCHARD. 
Occurs in Willughby. 

GREAT REED-WARBLER [No. 135]. The name is found 
in Gould (" Birds of Europe ") as Great Sedge Warbler. 
Yarrel] (1st ed.) calls it the Thrush-like Warbler. 

Great Scart or Great Scarve : The CORMORANT. (Pro- 
vincial.) 

Great Sedge Warbler: The GREAT REED-WARBLER. 
(Gould.) 

GREAT SHEARWATER [No. 325]. The name is found in 
Yarrell (1st ed.) as Greater Shearwater. It is the Cinereous 
Shearwater of Selby and the Dusky Shearwater of Eyton. 

Great Shrike : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 

GREAT SKUA [No. 439]. Often called the Common Skua, 
but it is nowhere very common, breeding only in small 
protected colonies in the Shetlands and \isiting the other 
parts of our coasts in winter. It appears to be first men- 
tioned by Willughby and Ray, who term it " our Catar- 
racta " and identify it with the " Cornish Gannet " and 
also Holer's Skua of Clusius. They remark that " the 
Cornish Gannet doth constantly accompany the sholes of 
Pilchards, still hovering over them in the air. It pursues 
and strikes at these fish wdth that \dolence that they catch 
it AAith a strange artifice. They fasten a Pilchard to a 
board, which they fix a little under water. The Gannet, 
espjang the Pilchard, casts himself do^\^^ from on high 
upon it Avith that vehemence that he strikes his bill clear 
through the board, and dashes out his brains against it, 
and so comes to be taken." This habit, however, was 
obviously fastened erroneously on the present species, as 
it is a trait of the true GANNET. It is called Brown and 
Ferruginous Gull by Permant (1766) in the text, but " Skua " 
simply on the plate, and the writers succeeding him u]) 
to Montagu call it " Skua Gull." The name Skua dates 
from Hoier the correspondent of Clusius, who sent the 
latter a species from the Eseroe Islands under this name. 
It is probably an attempted imitation of the crj' of the 
bird. 



108 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

GREAT SNIPE [No. 408]. The name first appears in Pennant 

(1778). 

GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO [No. 215]. The name is found 
in Edwards ("Gleanings," pi. 5). It was added to the 
British List by Yarrell in 1845 (Supp. " Brit. Birds "). 

GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER [No. 211, British Great 
Spotted Woodpecker ; No. 210, Northern Great Spotted 
Woodpecker]. The name occurs first as Greater Spotted 
Woodpecker in Willughby (1678) and is also foimd 
in Pennant and succeeding authors. Yarrell and 
others call it Great Spotted Woodpecker. Hartert 
has separated the British resident-form from the 
North European form wliich visits our east coast in autumn. 

Great Swallow : The SWIFT. (Turner.) 

Great Tern : The COMIVION TERN. 

Great Tit : See GREAT TITMOUSE. 

GREAT TITMOUSE [No. 88, British Great Titmouse ; No. 87, 
Continental Great Titmouse]. The name, which arises 
from its being the largest of the British species, 
first occurs in Turner (1544), also in Merrett's list 
and in Willughby. The British resident-form has been 
separated from the Continental form, which visits our 
coasts on migration. The "saw-sharpening" note of this 
bird is said to foretell rain. 

Great Whaup : The CURLEW. (Orkney.) 

Great Wihte Egret : The GREAT WHITE HERON. 

GREAT WHITE HERON [No. 262]. This is a southern species 
which has never been more than a very rare straggler, at 
long intervals, to our islands. The name as Great White 
Heron first occurs in Willughby (1678). 
Great White Owl : The SNOWY-OWL. (Edwards.) 
Greedy Glead or Gled : The KITE. (Provincial.) 
Green-bached Gallinule. Examples, probably escaped from cap- 
tivity, of this species have been taken in our islands. 

Green-billed Gull. A provincial name for the COMMON 
GULL. 

Green Berd or Green Chub: The GREENFINCH. (Pro- 
vincial.) 

Green Cormorant : The SHAG. (Ireland.) From the dark 

green of its plumage. 
Greeney: The GREENFINCH. (Cumberiand, Forfar.) 



GREAT — GREEN. 109 

GREENFINCH [No. 17]. The name originates in the general 
green colour of its plumage. It occurs in Turner (1544) as 
" Grene finche," and in Merrett and Willughby as " Green- 
finch." 

Green-footed Gallinule or Water-Hen. Macgillivray's 
name for the MOORHEN. 

Green Grosbeak : The GREENFINCH. (Tunstall, Bewick.) 

Green-Headed Bunting : The ORTOLAN BUNTING. Occurs 
imder this name in Latham and in Brown's " New Illus- 
trations of Zoology." Montagu thought it a variety of 
the YELLOWHA^IMER. 

Green-headed Diver : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Belfast.) From 
the rich green gloss on the black feathers of the head. 

Green-headed Goosander: The GOOSANDER. (Fleming.) 

Green-headed Quaketail. Macgilli\^"av's name for the 
YELLOW WAGTAIL (see Blue-headed" Quaketail). 

Green Heron. A North American species said to have occm'red 
once in Cornwall. 

Green Ibis : The GLOSSY IBIS. 

Greenick, Green Lennart. Northumbrian names for the 
GREENFINCH. 

GREENISH WARBLER [No. 124]. An East European species 

which winters in India, where it was first described by 

Blyth as long ago as 1843. 
Greenland Dove : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. Albin says 

the name is on accoimt of its laying two eggs. 
GREENLAND FALCON [No. 232]. The Avhite form of the 

GYR-FALCON inhabiting Greenland. 
GREENLAND REDPOLL [No. 22]. A close ally of the 

MEALY REDPOLL, which has- its summer-quarters in 

Greenland. 
Greenland Turtle : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. 
Greent^and Wheatear. See WHEATEAR. 
Green-legged HoRSEM.'LfT: The GREENSHANK. (Albin, 

Bewick.) 
Green-legged Longshank: The GREENSHANK. (Macgil- 

livray.) 
Green Linnet : The GREENFINCH. (Provincial.) Greeny 

is also used in parts of Yorkshire. 
Green Olf : The GREENFINCH. (Norfolk.) Also met with 

as Green Ulf. 
Green Peek : The GREEN WOODPECEJER. (Lincohi.) 



110 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Green Plover : The LAPWING generally at the present day, 
especially in Ireland. Merrett and WiUughby both apply 
it to the Golden Plover, however, as do also Albin and 
Pennant (1766) and even Fleming (1828). 

GREEN SANDPIPER [No. 390]. The name is found in 
Pennant (1766), and originates in the olive tint of the upper- 
plumage. 

Green Scout : The SHAG. (Provincial.) 

GREENSHANK [No. 396]. So called from the olivaceous 
colour of the tarsi and feet. The name is found in Pennant 
(1766) as " Green Shank." Occurs in Willughby as the 
Greater Plover (ex Aldrovandus). 

Greenshank Snipe : The GREENSHANK. Occurs in Mac- 
gillivray. 

Green Snipe: The IONGFISHER. (Hett.) 

Green Tatler. Macgillivray's name for the GREEN SAND- 
PIPER. 

Greenwich Sandpiper: The RUFF (winter), described by 
Latham as a separate species from an example killed at 
Greenwich. 

Green-winged Teal: The AMERICAN GREEN- WTNGED 
TEAL. Also applied to the COI\E\ION TEAL. 

GREEN WOODPECKER [No. 209, British Green Woodpecker], 
The name is bestowed on account of the green of the 
upper-parts. It occurs first in Men*ett's list (1667) 
and also in Willughby. Turner (1544), who is not 
clear as to the several species of Woodpeckers, calls 
it the '.'Huhol" (=Hewhole). The legend of the 
baker's daughter who was turned into an owl by Jesus 
for having refused Him bread, has been tacked on to this 
bird by the poet Montgomery, who makes it say : — 

Thiis am I ever labouring for my bread. 
In some parts this species is kno^^n as the " Rain-bird " 
or " Rainfowl," it being believed that when their cries are 
much heard rain will follow. 

Green Wren : The WOOD- WARBLER. (Albin.) From the 
green upper-plumage. 

GREPLiNOG. A Welsh name for the TREECREEPER. 

Greve : The RED-NECKED GREBE. (Redcar, Yorkshire.) 
A corruption of Grebe. 

Grew. A Cornish name for the CRANE. 

Grey-and-White Wagtail : The WHITE WAGTAIL. (Mac- 
gillivray.) 



GREEN — OBEY. Ill 

Grey-and-Yellow Wagtail : The GREY WAGTAIL. (Mac- 
gillhTay.) 

Greyback : The HOODED CROAV (Northumberland, York- 
shire) ; from its grey mantle. 

Grey backed Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Hants. ; York- 
shire.) 

Grey-backed Curre : The SCAUP-DUCK is so called by 
gunners in parts of the south and west of England. 

Grey-bird or Grey : The LINNET (North Ireland, West- 
morland) ; the SONG-THRUSH (Sussex, Devonshire, 
Cornwall); the SEDGE- WARBLER (Arkengarthdale, 
Yorkshire). 

Grey Buzzard : The HEN-HARRIER. (Hants.) 

Grey Cheeper: The MEADOW-PIPIT. 

Grey Crane. Macgillivi-ay's name for the CRANE. 

Grey Crow or Grey Dux : The HOODED CROW. (Pro- 
vincial.) Grey Crow is a common name in Yorkshire. 

Grey Cuckoo : The CUCKOO. (Macgillivi-ay.) 

Grey Diver : The RED-BREASTED IVIERGANSER. (Islay.) 

Grey Duck : The MALLARD. (Yorkshire coast.) Also the 
GADWALL. 

Grey Eagle. A name for the \\TIITE-TAILED EAGLE- 
(Macgilli\Ta3^) 

Grey Falcon : The HEN-HARRIER. Pennant (1766) also 
describes a bird under this name, the description and 
name of which were copied bv subsequent authors to 
Montagu, but afterwards identified M-ith the PEREGRINE 
FALCON. 

Grey Felt : The FIELDFARE. (Notts.) 

Grey Flycatcher : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Mac- 
gillivray.) It is also a pro^"incial name in Yorkshire and 
elsewhere, on accoimt of its grepsh plumage. 

Grey Glead. A Scottish Border name for the HEN-HARRIER. 

Grey GoD\^^T : The BAR -TAILED GODA\TT. (Lewin.) 

Grey Goose : The GREY LAG-GOOSE. 

Grey Hawk. A name for the PEREGRINE FALCON. (Mac- 
gilli^Tay.) 

Grey-headed Duck : The KING-EIDER (Edwards) ; also 
the female GOLDE^EYE (Pennant). 

GREY-HEADED WAGTAIL [No. 76]. So called from its 
grey crown. The name occurs in Gould's "Birds of 
Europe " (1832). Also called Grey-headed Yellow Wagtail. 



112 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Grey-hen. A North CountiT name for the female of the 
BLACK GROUSE. 

Grey Heron. Macgilli\Tay's name for the COMMON HERON. 

Grey Kate or Grey Pate : The young GOLDFINCH. (North 
and East Yorkshire.) 

GREY LAG-GOOSE [No. 274]. The name appears to have 
arisen from the fact that tliis was the grey Goose that lagged 
behind the other sj)ecies Avhen they betook themselves to 
their more northern breeding-quarters. Willughby and Ray 
call it the " common Wild Goose." The name Grey 
Lag Goose first appears in Pennant (1777). It is the Grey 
Goose of some authors, and the " Grej^ -legged Goose " of 
Yarrell (1st ed.). In Scotland when Wild Geese are seen 
fl3dng north before the breeding -season, it is looked upon 
as a sign of fair, settled Aveather. 

Grey Lennart. A Northumbrian name for the LINNET. 
(Lennart=Linnet. ) 

Grey Linnet : The LINNET. A common provincial name ; 
also applied to the TWITE in parts of Yorkshire. 

Grey Long-beak: The RED-BREASTED SNIPE. (Mac- 
gilUvray.) 

Grey Night-Heron : The NIGHT-HERON. (MacgilliATay.) 

Grey Owl : The TAWNY 0\YL. (Willughby.) 

Grey Partridge : The COMMON PARTRIDGE. (MacgilKvi-ay.) 

GREY PHALAROPE [No. 398]. The name, which originates 
in its grey -and -white winter-plumage, occurs first in Pennant 
(1766) as Scallop-toe Sandpiper, but in later editions as 
Grey Phalarope. It is the " Great Coot-footed Tringa " of 
Edwards (pi. 308), upon which is based Brisson's genus 
Phalaropus, whence the name Phalarope. 

GREY PLOVER [No. 365]. The name originates in the grey- 
and-white of the mnter-plumage. Occurs first in Merrett's 
list (1667). Willughby also terms it the "Grey Plover, 
called at Venice Squatarola." The name has also been 
applied in Ireland to the GOLDEN PLOVER, and in 
Scotland to the ICNOT. 
Grey Ptarmgan : The PTARMIGAN. (Macgilli\Tay.) The 
name is only appropriate when in summer-plumage, the 
upper-parts being then freckled v^dth grey and brown. 
Grey Redstart : The REDSTART. (Edwards.) 
Grey Sandpiper : The GREY PLOVER. (Pennant.) 
Grey Shriee : Proper Iv the GREAT GREY SHRIKE, but 
also applied to the "^ LESSER GREY SHRIKE. 



GREY — GRXJGIAR. 113 

Grey Skit: The WATER-RAIL. (Devonshire.) From its 
stealthy habit of running (" skit "=to slide). 

Grey Snipe : The RED-BREASTED SANDPIPER. (Gould.) 

Grey Starling: The young STARLING. (East Lothian.) 
From its greyish-brown plumage. 

Grey Thrush: The FIELDFARE. (Scotland.) Also the 
MISTLE-THRUSH according to MacgiUivTay, while the 
SONG-THRUSH is known in parts of England as Grey-bird 
or Grey Throstle. 

GREY WAGTAIL [No. 80]. The name originates in the slate- 
grey of the upper-parts. It occurs first in Willughbj'' 
(1678). Pennant calls it Grey Water W^agtail. 

Grey Yogle : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Shetlands.) 
Yogle=Owl. 

GRIFFON-ITTLTURE [No. 254]. This is the GiyiDe or Grj^on 
of Aldi'ovandus, from which the name seems to be derived. 
It is found in Yarreil's First Supp. (1845) as an English 
.species. 

Grigear. a Cornish name for the PARTRIDGE ; also 
the female BLACK GROUSE. 

Grisard : The GLAUCOUS GLT.L. (Be\\ick.) 

f ^riselled Sandpiper : The KNOT in winter-plumage. 

Grosbeak : The HAWFINCH. (Willughby, Pennant, etc.) 
It is a frequent name for this bird in Yorkshire. 

Ground Featherpoke : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Don- 
caster). See " Featherpoke." 

Ground Huckmuck, Ground Isaac, Ground Oven : The 
^\^LLOW-WARBLER. English provincial names, in 
allusion to the structm-e and materials of its nest (Isaac is 
a corruption of " haj'jack," q.v.). 

Ground Lark : The SKY-LARK, generally ; also the CORN- 
BU^'TING (Dcncaster) ; and the MEADOWS-PIPIT 
(Cleveland, Yorkshire). 

Ground Wren: The WILLOW- WARBLER (Cheshire, 
Yorkshire, Scotland) ; the CHIFFCHAFF (Yorkshire). 

Grous : The RED GROUSE. (Pennant.) This is the ancient 
form of spelling. 

Grouse. The RED GROUSE is frequently termed Grouse 
simply. 

Grove Pettychaps : The WOOD-WARBLER. (Provincial.) 

Grugiar ddu: The BLACK GROUSE. (North Wales) lit. 
" black heather hen." 



114 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OP BRITISH BIRDS. 

Grundling : The EINGED PLOVER. (Lancasliire.) Swain- 
son thinks it equivalent to Groundling. 
Grype or Gryffon. Aldrovandus gives these as names for the 

GRIFFON-VULTURE. 
GuENOL or GuENBOL. A Cornish name for the COMMON 

WHITETHROAT. 
Guernsey Nightingale : The BLACKCAP. 
Guernsey Partridge: The RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE. 

(Montagu.) 
Guga. An Ii-ish name for the GANNET. 
Guhjbinn: The CURLEW. (Western Isles of Scotland.) 

From Gaelic guil, wailing, and hinn, music. 
Guillemot. See COMMON GUILLEMOT. 
Guinea-bird Diver : The RED-THROATED DIVER. (East 

Riding, Yorkshire.) From its speckled back resembling 

that of a Guinea-fowl. 
GuiRENAN. A Gaelic name for the BRENT GOOSE. 
Gulden-head : The PUFFIN. Willughby records it as so 

called in South Wales. 
Guler : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Norfolk.) From A.Sax 

geolu^yeWo'w . 
Gullallan. a Northumbrian name for the Skvias. 
GuLLAN. Cornish for a Gull. 
Gull-belled Tern [No. 415]. The name occurs in Montagu 

(Supp. " Orn. Diet."). 
Gull-teaser : The COIVOION TERN. Occurs in Montagu. 
Gunner : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. 
GuRADNAN. A Cornish name for the WREN. 
Gurfel: The RAZORBILL. (Pro\ancial.) 
Gustard : The GREAT BUSTARD. (Sibbald.) 
Gutter Cock: The WATER -RAIL. (Cornwall.) From its 

frequenting ditches. 
Gutter Teetan : The ROCK-PIPIT. (Orkneys.) 
Gwalch: The SPARROW-HAWK. (North Wales) lit. 

" hawk." 
Gwalch YNOs: The NIGHTJAR. (North Wales) lit. "night 

hawk." 
Gwalch y penweig. A Welsh name for the RAZORBILL ; 

lit. " herring hawk." 
GwAJ.CH Y WEiLGi. A Welsh name fcr the OSPREY, signifying 
" sea-hawk." 



GRTJNDLING — GWYLAX. 115 

GwAS Y GOG, GwDDFRO. A Welsh name for the WRYNECK 

and also the MEADOW-PIPIT. It signifies "Cuckoo's 

knave," i.e. servant. 
GwAS Y SEiEi. A Welsh name for the GOLDFINCH; lit. 

" sheriff's servant." 
G^VDDFGA:^^ or Gwddfro. Welsh names for the WRYKECK ; 

lit. " \\T\Tieck." 
GwDDFGWYN. A Welsh name for the WHITETHROAT. 
GwENNOL, GwENFOL. Wclsh names for the SWALLOW ; 

lit. " white belly." 
GwENTsroL Y BARGOD, GwENNOL Y BONDO. Welsh names for 

the MARTIN. The former signifies " eave swallow," the 

latter " house swallow." 
Gwennol-y-Glennydd. a Welsh name for the SAND- 
MARTIN ; lit. " bankside swallow." 
Gwennol-y-m6r : The COMMON TERN. (North Wales) 

lit. " sea-swallow." 
GwiCH HEDYDD. A Welsh name for the GRASSHOPPER- 
WARBLER. 
Gwilym: The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (North Wales) 

lit. •' William." 
Gwilym ddtj : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (North Wales) 

lit. " Black William." 
GwiPA, GwiPAi, or Gwepia. Welsh names for the SPxARROW- 

HAWTC. 
GwYACH fach. a Welsh name for the LITTLE GREBE ; 

lit. " little grebe." 
GwYACH GORNiOG. A Welsh name for the GREAT CRESTED 

GREBE ; lit. " homed grebe." 
Gwybedog. a Welsh name for the SPOTTED FLYCATCHER ; 

Ut. '' insect catcher." 

G^VYBEDOG BRITH, Or GwYBEDOG DDU A GWYN : The PIED 

FLYCATCHER. (North Wales) lit. " pied flycatcher." 
GwYDD bon.\r: The BEAN-GOOSE. (North Wales) lit. 

" bean-goose." 
GwYDD DALCEN GWYN: The WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. 

(North Wales) lit. " white-forehead goose." 
GwYDD DROED BiNC : The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE. (North 

Wales) lit. " pink-footed goose." 
GwYDD WYLLT : The GREY LAG-GOOSE. (North Wales) 

lit. " A\ild goose." 
GwYLAN BENDDU: The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (North 

Wales) lit. " black-headed gull." 

i2 



116 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

GwYLAN BENWEN : The KITTIWAKE. (Xorth Wales) lit. 

"' white-headed gull." 
Gwyl-\nfrech: The POMATORHIXE SKUA. (Xorth Wales) 

lit. " spotted gull." 
GwYLAN GEFNDDU FAWTi : The GREAT BLACK-BACKED 

GULL. (North Wales) lit. the same. 
GwYLAN GEFNDDU LEiAF : The LESSER BLACK-BACKED 

GLTLL. (North Wales) lit. the same. 
GwYL.\N GYFFREDiN : The COmiON GULL. (North Whales) 

lit. " common gull." 
GwYLAN GYNFFON HiR : The ARCTIC SKUA. (North Wales) 

lit. " long-tailed gull." 
GwYLAN MANAw: The MANX SHEARWATER. (North 

Wales) lit. " Manx Gull." 
Gwylanwydd: The GANNET. (North Wales) lit. "gull- 
goose." 
GwYLAN y penweig : The HERRING-GULL. (North Wales) 

lit. " herring gull." 
GwYLAN Y weilgi : The STORM-PETREL. (North Wales) 

lit. " ocean gull." 
Gwylog : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (North Wales) lit. 

" guillemot." 

Gylfinbraff. a Welsh name for the HA\^TINCH. 

Gylfingroes (Y). A Welsh name for the COABION CROSS- 
BILL : lit. " the crossbill." 

Gylfixhir. a ^^^Ish name for the COMMON CURLEW; 
lit. " long-bill." 

Gyp Starling, Gyp Starnill, Gyp, or Gypey : The STARLING. 
(Yorkshire.) 

GYR-FALCON [No. 230]. Anciently often called the Ger- 
Falcon, and erroneously Jer-Falcon. The name properly 
belongs to the female, the male being formerly called the 
Jerkin (either dim. of " Jer " or else from Jerldn, a short 
coat, hence indicating an inferior size). Willughby spells 
it " Jer-Falcon " and says it " seems to take its name from 
the High Dutch word Gyi-falco, i.e. a ravenous Falcon, or 
Vulturine Falcon " (Gyr= Vulture). Ne\\i;on thinks the 
derivation is probablj' from Low Latin Gyrofalco. Originally 
the three forms of Falco rusticolus (the GYR-FALCON, 
ICELAND FALCON, and GREENLAND FALCON) were 
confused together under the name of Gjt -Falcon or Jer- 
Falcon, under which name they will be found in Pennant, 
Lewin, and other early ^^Titers. 



G W YLAN — H AX D SAW. 117 

Gyr Faixon: The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Longdendale, 
Cheshire.) 

Hackbolt : The GREAT SHEARWATER. (Scilly Isles.) 

Hacket or Hacklet : The KITTIWAKE. (Provincial.) 

Hagdown : The GREAT SHEARWATER. (Dungarvan, Isle 
of Man ; and coast of Ireland.) 

Haggard or Haggard Falcon : The PEREGRINE FALCON 
in aduit-phimage. (Willughby.) 

Hagg.ard Hawk. In falconry, a full-grown hawk, taken in 
its unreclaimed state. 

Haggister or Hagister. An old Kentish name for the 
MAGPIE. Occurs in Scott's " Discovery of Witchcraft," 
where it is said that, " to prognosticate that guests approach 
to yovu' house upon the chattering of pies or haggisters is 
altogether vanity and superstition." 

Haigrie"^: The COMMON HERON. (Shetland Isles.) 

Hair-tail : The GARDEN- WARBLER. (Nidd VaUey, York- 
shii'e.) 

Hairij Woodpecker. An American species said by Latham, 
Montagu and others, without sufficient evidence, to have 
reached our shores. 

H-4LCYo:7: The KINGFISHER. (Poetical.) 

H.\LF-BiRD. A fowler's name for the TEAL, COMMON 
POCHARD, SCAUP-DUCK and other small ducks which 
bring lesser prices than the larger kinds. It seems to be 
proper to any land under the size of the MALLARD. It 
is used in the Fens, also in Norfolk and elsewhei'e. 

H.\LF-CuRLEW : The WHBIBREL. (Norfolk, Yorkshire.) So 
called from its being a miniature of the CO:\BrON CURLEW 
(see Half-bird). The name is also applied in Norfolk to 
the BAR -TAILED GOD WIT. 

H.iLF Nebb : The RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. (Provincial.) 
H.ALr-SxiPE : The JACK SNIPE. (Norfolk.) So called from 

its being much smaller than the CO:\IMON SNIPE. 
Half Whaup : The BAR-TAILED GOD WIT. (Forfar). An 

equivalent of Half-Curle\^'. 

Hajibijrg Grosbeak : The TREE-SPARROW. (Latham.) 

Ha^aiburg Tree-Creeper : The TREE-SPARROW. (Albin.) 

HA^AmERBLATE (or Bleat): The COIVBION SNIPE. (Provincial.) 

Handsaw: The HERON. A corruption of " Heronseugh." 
Occurs in Hamlet (act n, sc. 2) : "I know a liaAAk from 
a handsaw." 



118 DICTION AKY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIEDS. 

Haeeld: The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Orkney.) From 
haveld, the Icelandic name of the species. 

Harlan : The PINTAIL. (Wexford.) In the same comity tlie 
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER is known as Land Harlan. 

Harle : The GOOSANDER (female or young). Also the 
RED-BREASTED MERGANSER (Orkneys and Shet- 
lands.) From the Fr. name Harle. 

Harlequin. According to Hett the BUFFEL-HEADED 
DUCK is sometimes so called. 

HARLEQUIN-DUCK [No. 305]. This name was fii\st given 
by Pennant (" Ai'ctic Zoology," n, No. 490, 1785). Newton, 
however, says it Avas anglicized by Forster in 1791 from 
Linnajus's Anas histrionica. It is the Harlequin Gariot 
of Selby. 

Harley : The SWIFT. (Forfar.) 

Harpy, Harpy Duck Hawk, or White-headed Harpy : The 
MARSH-HARRIER. 

Harry Dutchman : The HOODED CROW. From the supposi- 
tion that the winter-immigrants come from Holland. 

Hasel Hen, Hazel Hen, or Hazel Grouse : The female 
BLACK GROUSE. Occurs in Merrett (1667) as " Hasel 
Hen " and in Willughby as " Hazel Hen," the latter sapng 
that it is the Attagen of Gesner (see Attagen). 

Hatcher : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provincial.) 

HAWFINCH [No. 16]. The name probably implies a partiality 
for haw-berries, but can also mean hedge-fiiich, the original 
meaning of the word haw being hedge, from A. Sax. haga, an 
enclosure. Occurs first in Willughby (1678). It is the 
Grosbeak or Haw-Grosbeak of many authors from Pennant 
to Montagu. 

Haw Grosbeak. See HAWFINCH. 

Hawk Day-Owl. Macgillivi-ay's name for the Hawk-Owls, 
now separated as AMERICAN HAWK-OWL and EURO- 
PEAN HAWK-0\VL. 

Hawk of the first coat. A falconer's term for a Hawk of 
the fourth year, when it has attained its full groAvth and 
perfection. A Hawk of the fifth year was moreover called 
" a hawk of the second coat," and so on. 

Hawk-Owl. Montagu gives this as a provincial name for the 
SHORT-EARED OWL, on account of the smallness of its 
head, Avhich gives it a somewhat hawk -like appearance, and 
Saxby gives it as a Shetland name for that species. The 
name, however, properly belongs to the EUROPEAN and 
AMERICAN HAWK-OWLS, members of the genus Surnia 



HAKELD — HEBOG. 119 

Hay-bird: The BLACKCAP (Northants.) ; the WILLOW- 
WARBLER (a general provincial name) ; the WOOD- 
WARBLER (West Yorksliire); and the WHINCHAT 
(Ryedale, Yorkshire), From the nest being composed 
principally of dry grass. 

Hay-Crake : The LAND-RAIL. (Ackworth, Yorkshire.) 

Hay- JACK. A name applied to several small birds wliich build 
nests of hay or bents, such as the WHITETHROAT, 
BLACKCAP, GARDEN- WARBLER, etc. Also occurs as 
Haychat (Northants.), Hazeck (Worcestershire) and Hay- 
sucker (Devonshii'e) . Originally Hey-suck (or Heges-sugge) 
according to Newton (see " Segge "). The Hay-chat of 
North and West Yorkshire is the WHINCHAT. 

Hay-tit: The WHITETHROAT. (Oxfordshire, Shropshire). 

Haz, Hoet, Houz. Cornish names for a Duck. 

Hazel Linnet : The LESSER WHITETHROAT. (Provincial.) 

Heathcock: The BLACK GROUSE. (North Country.) Occurs 
in Willughby. The female or Grey-hen is termed 
Heath-hen. 

Heather-bleat or Heather-bleater : The COMIVION SNIPE. 
(Beudck.) Also a provincial name in parts of the North 
of England and in Scotland and Ireland. From its familiar 
" drumming." 

Heather Lintie or Heather Lintee. A Border name for the 
TWITE. From its habit of nesting amongst the heather ; 
also applied in Scotland to the LINNET, and in Cumberland, 
Westmorland, and Yorkshire to the MEADOW-PIPIT; 
the latter being also known as Heather Cheeper. 
Heather Peeper : The COMiAION SANDPIPER. (Aberdeen.) 
Heath-poult. A New Forest name for the BLACK GROUSE ; 

lit. Heath-fowl, a name elsewhere applied to the species. 
Heath Throstle : The RING-OUZEL. (Provincial.) 
Heavy Plover. A name for the GREY PLOVER, according 
to Hett. 

Hebog chwyldro. a Welsh name for the GYR-FALCON. 

Hebog llwydlas: The male HEN-HARRIER. (North 
Wales) lit. " grey-blue hawk." 

Hebog dramor. A Welsh name for the PEREGRINE 
FALCON ; lit. " foreign falcon." Hebog gwlanog was also 
formerly applied to the " Lanner " or j^oimg Peregrine 
Falcon. 

Hebog marthin. A Welsh name for the GOSHAWK. 



120 DICTIO^'AEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Hebog yb Hedydd. a Welsh name for the HOBBY ; lit. 

" lark falcon." 
Hebridal Sandpiper : The TURNSTONE. (Pennant.) 
Hecco. An obsoJete name for the GREEN WOODPECKER, 
from A.Sax hicgan=to try. Occurs in Drayton's 
" The Owl " as " sharp neb'd hecco." 
Heckle or Heeklb : The GREEN WOODPECKER. From the 

same derivation as Hecco. 
Heckymal, Hackymal, Hackmal, Hagmal, HiCKJViAL : The 
BLUE TITMOUSE. (Cornwall and DevonsMre.) From 
the strong pecks wliich it deals with its bill, according to 
Swainson. Heek^anal is also a Dartmoor name for the 
GREAT TITMOUSE. 
Hedge-Accentor. Sometimes applied to the HEDGE- 
SPARROW, on account of its belonging to the former 
genus Accentor, and to avoid the misnomer " Sparrow." 
The name is found in Selby (1825) and was adopted by 
Yarrell (1843). 
Hedge-Betty: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provmcial.) 
Hedge-Chanter: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Macgillimiy.) 

Also a local name in Yorkshire. 
Hedge-Chat: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Northants.) 
Hedge-Chicken: The WHITETHROAT. (Pi-o\dncial.) 
Hedge-Chicker : The WHEATEAR. (Provincial.) 
Hedge-Creeper : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Yorkshire.) 
Hedge-Jug: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provinoial.) From 

the shape of the nest. 
Hedge-muvE : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Sussex.) 
HEDGE-SPARROW [No. 188, British Hedge-Sparrow ; No. 187, 
Continental Hedge-Sparrow]. The name occurs as 
" Hedge-sparr'w " in Chaucer, and as " Hedge sparrow " 
in Turner (1544), in Merrett, and in Willughby ; 
and Ave find it stated in the latter that, "In the 
nest of this bird the Cuckow is said to lay her egg, which 
the foolish bird sits upon, hatches and brings u]) the young 
one till it be fledg'd and can shift for itself." Chaucer also 
alludes to the Cuckoo in his " Parliament of Foules " as the 
" murtherer " of the Hedge-Sparrow that brought it forth. 
Turner identifies the Troglodytes of .'Etius and others A\dth 
the Hedge-Sparrow, but it is of course the WREN. 
Hartert has lately separated the resident British form from 
the Continental form, only a few examples of wliich have, 
however, yet been certainly identified here. 



HEBOG — HERMIT. 121 

Hedge Spick : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Sussex.) 

Hedge W^irbler : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (BeA\dek.) Also 
local name in Yorkshire. 

Hedgy or Hedger : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provincial.) 

Hedydd, Ehedydd, or Uchedydd. Welsh names for the SKY- 
LARK; the first two signify a "flier," the third a "high 
flier." 

Hedydd-y-coed. The Welsh name for the WOOD-LARK; 
lit. " wood-lark." 

HEEDY-CRA^v: The HOODED CROW. (Scotland.) No doubt 
a coriuption. 

Hefful, Heffald: The GREEN W^OODPECKER. (York- 
shire.) Probablj^ same as " yaffle." 

Hegrie, Hegril's skip, or Skip Hegrie : The HERON. (Shet- 
land?.) 

Helegi'G : The PLTFTN. Willughby records it as so called 
in South Wales. 

Hellejay : The RAZORBILL. (Shetlands.) Hett also gives 
" HeJligog " for this species. 

Hempie : ' The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Scotland and York- 
shire.) 

Hen-Driver. An occasional name for the HEN-HARRIER 
(Thornton.) 

HEN-HARRIER [No. 24]. Formerly a common species in our 
islands, but now rare as a breeding species. The names 
Hen-Harrier (male) and Ring-tail (female) both occur in 
Willughby (1878). Turner (1544) has "Hen harroer," 
and says, " It gets this name among our countrymen from 
butchering their fo'wls." It is related in the " Zoologist " 
that in the Hebrides it is said of any one, should he^be more 
than ordinarily fortimate on a certain day, that he must 
have seen the " clarahan luch " or Hen-Harrier. 

Hen Harroer: The HEN-HARRIER. Occurs in Turner 
(1544), and is copied from him by Aldrovandus. 

Herald : The COMMON HERON. (Forfar.) 

Herald Duck or Herald : The RED-BREASTED :\IER- 
GANSER. (Shetland Isles, Forfar.) 

Herdsman : The GREAT SKUA. (Orkneys.) Because it is 
believed to protect the yovmg lambs from Eagles (Swainson.) 

Herl : The adult male ^RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. 
(Northumberland. ) 

Her^ht Crow : The CHOUGH. From its solitary habits. 



122 dictionaey of names of british birds. 

Hern, Hernshaw, Hernseugh, Hernsew, Hajrn, Harnser. 
Harnsey : The COIVBION HERON. Vulgar contractions 
of Heronseugh. " Hern or Hernshaw " occurs in Merrett 
(1667). The fii'st four are North Country, and the last three 
East Anglian names. Whitaker gives Herring Sue for 
Nottinghamshire, and Nelson and Clarke give Heron- 
sew, Herring-sew, Heronseugh, Heron-sue, Heronshaw, and 
Heronshew for the Yorkshire districts. 

Heron. See COMMON HERON. 

Heronseugh. An old English name for the HERON, the 
precise meaning and derivation of which is doubtful. Some 
authorities derive it from the Sanskiit hansa. It occui's 
as Heron-sewe in Chaucer, which has led to the supposition 
that the " sewe " is derived from Old Eng. sewe, a dish, 
in reference to the bird as a table dainty. 

Herring Gant : The GANTLET. (Norfolk.) 

HERRING-GULL [No. 431]. The name occurs in Willughby, 
also in Pennant and succeeding writers. 

Herring Spink: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (East 
Suffolk.) So called from being often caught in the rigging 
of the boats during the North Sea fishing when on migration 
(" East AngHan," iv, p. 115). 

Hew-hole: The GREEN WOODPECKER (see Hickwall.) 
The name occurs in Turner (1544) and in Willughby. 

HiCKinAJLL. A pro\dncial name for the BLUE TITMOUSE (see 
Heckymal.) 

Hickwall: The GREEN WOODPECIvER, according to 
]\Ierrett, but Willughby applies the name to the LESSER 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER, as do also Yarrell, Bewick, 
and. other authors. Ne^vton derives the name from A.Sax 
higera or higere, lit. a laugher ; in which case the GREEN 
WOODPECKER would appear to be the species intended. 
Another form of the word is Hickway, from which Ne\vton 
thinks the names HighaAv and Hewhole may be corrupted. 

High-hoe : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Shropshire.) Occurs 
in Willughby (1678). Heigh-hawe and Hayhoe are other 
forms of the word, Avhich Newton thinks comes from 
A.Sax higera or higere (see Hickwall), but it has been 
thought to refer to the height at which the bird makes 
its nesting-holes. 

HiLLAN Piet: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Aberdeen.) Pro- 
bably " Highland Pie." 
Hill Bird : The FIELDFARE. (Scotland.) 



HERN — HOLLAND. 123 

Hill Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. (Xorthiunberland.) 

HillChack: The RING- OUZEL. (Orkneys.) 

Hill Hooter : The TAWNY OWL. (Cheshire.) 

Hill Lintie : The TWITE. (Orkneys.) 

Hill Pigeon : The STOCK-DOVE. (Cheshire.) 

Hill Plo\t:r : The GOLDEN PLOVER. (Forfarshire.) 

Hill Sp.u?row : The ]\IEADOW-PIPIT. (Orkneys and Shet- 
lands.) 

Hissing Owl: The BARN-OWT^. (Yorkshire.) From the 
liissing sound uttered at times. 

HOBBY [No. 235]. The name occurs Latinized '' hobbia " in 
Turner (1544), but in English in Willughby (1678), who 
correctly designates it " suhhuteo of Aldrovandus," a name 
applied by Turner to the female HEN-HARRIER, or 
Ringtail. Willughby remarks that the word Hobby is 
derived from its Fi'ench name (which in Old Fr. was 
Hoht.lsiod. Fr. Hohereau, or Hobreau), but Swainson thinks 
the Mod. Fr. Hohereau is from Old Provencal Alban (=white. 
from its light plumage) through Old Fr. Aiihreau. 
Aldrovandus spells it " Hobie." In addition to being a 
favourite species for hawking, this bird was formerly 
employed in what was called the " Daring of Larks," an 
ancient usage in fowling, in which a Hobby was let off 
to prevent the larks from rising wliile they were being 
netted. Among falconers Hobby was properly the name 
of the female, the inferior male being called Jack or Robin. 
In the Shetlands the name Hobby is applied to the MERLIN 
according to Saxby. 

Hobby Bird. An old Norfolk name for the WRYNECK 
according to Sir Thomas Browne, " because it comes either 
wdth, or a little before, the hobbies in the spring." 

Hobby Owl: The BARN-0\^T.. (Northants.) 

HoBiGOCH Brongoch ( Yr). A Welsh name for the REDBREAST. 

HoDDY Craw or Huddy Craw: The CARRION-CROW. 

(South Scotland.) 

HOLBOLL'S REDPOLL [No. 22]. A rare vagrant from the 
Polar regions. Of doubtful distinction from the MEALY 
REDPOLL. 

Holland Duck : The SCAUP-DUCK. (Forfarshire.) 

Holland Hawk : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. (Ballan- 
trae, Scotland.) 



124 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Holm Cock, Holm Screech, or Holm Thrush : The MISTLE- 
THRUSH (Cornwall, Devonshire, Dorsetshire) ; in Yorkshire 
" Hollin-Cock." From its partiality to the berries of the 
holly or holm (Mid. Eng. holin) and from its loud song or 
its harsh note when taking flight. 

HONEY-BUZZARD [No. 252]. Willughby (1678) thought it 
new and gave it the name of Honey- Buzzard from having 
found the combs of wasps' nests in its nest. It was however 
the Boudree of Belon (1555). Its food is the wasps and bees 
and their larvae, not their honey, a fact which perhaps 
accounted for Macgillivi'ay's attempt to change the name 
to " Bro^m Bee-Hawk." 

Hood Awl: The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Cornwall.) 
Perhaps a corruption of Wood Awl, which is i^ossibly 
again a corruption of Whetile, from A.Sax. thwitan=^io cut. 

HOODED CROW [No. 2]. The name Hooded Crow is fii'st 
used by Pennant. Willughby and Ray call it the Royston 
Crow ; Turner called it the " Winter Crow." The term 
Hooded is derived from the black head and nape contrasting 
Mith the grey of the mantle. For description of a curious 
ceremony practised by Scottish herdsmen, in which offerings 
are made to the hooded crow, eagle, etc., to induce them 
to spare the flocks, see Pennant's " Tour in Scotland," iii, 
pp. 110-11. 

The Guil, the Gordon and the Hooded Craw, 
Were the three woi-st things ^Murray ever saw, 

is a Morayshire saving (the guile, or gule, being an obnoxious 
Aveed). The CARRION-CROW is frequently called Hooded 
Crow or Hoodie in Scotland, while in the Orkneys and in 
East Lothian, according to Swainson, the BLACK-HEADED 
GLILL is loioAMi as Hooded Crow or Hooded Mew. 

HOODED MERGANSER [No. 315, American Hooded Mer- 
ganser]. The name is foimd in Selby and also in Yarrell 
and succeeding authors. 

Hooded Tern : The LITTLE TERN. From the black cYo^\n 
and nape. 

Hoodie or Huddie Craav : The HOODED CROW. (Scottish 
Borders.) 

HooLET : The BARN-OWL. (Scottish Lowlands.) Also applied 
to the TAW^^Y OWL. 

Hoop or Cock Hoop : The BULLFINCH. (Cornwall. Devon- 
slure, Dorsetshire, Somersetshire, and Upton-on-Severn.) 
It seems to be derived from the bird's whistling- 
note. The name Hoop or Houp is also applied to the 
HOOPOE (q.v.) 



HOLM — ^HORNEYWINK. 125 

Hooper or Hooper Swan : The WHOOPER SWAN. Yarrell 

calls it the Hooper. 
HOOPOE [No. 206]. The name, which is derived from its note, 
occurs in Turner (1544) as " Houupe ; " in Barlow (1655) 
as " Hoopoe : " in Merrett (1667) as " Hoopee ; " and in 
Willughby (1678) as " Hoop, or Hoopoe," while in Bailey's 
Dictionary it is " Houp." Turner says the species is 
nowhere found in Britain, but Merrett says that it occurs 
in the New Forest and in Essex, but is rare. Plot (1677) 
calls it the " Hoopoe or Hooping-bird," and Pennant 
(1766) the Hoopoe. The French name is Huppe, and 
Newton observes that although originally onomatopoetic 
it is now used to denote a crest or tuft, this secondary 
meaning having arisen from the bird's crest. Houghton 
says that the Hoopoe is the bird denoted in the Bible by 
the Hebrew word duM'phath, which is rendered " lapwing " 
in om' version (an error arising from the fact that both 
birds are crested) ; it occurs only in the list of birds for- 
bidden to be used as food hy the ancient Jews. It is also 
figured on the Egyptian monuments and appears, according 
to Horapollo, to i-epresent the quality of gratitude, while 
the Arabs have a superstitious reverence for it, as they 
believe it to possess marvellous medicinal properties, 
calling it " the doctor," and also fancj^ it is able to point 
out undergroimd wells and foimtains. It figures largely in 
Continental folk-lore, but not in English, on account of its 
scarcitj' with. us. 
Hoot Owl: The TAAVNY OWX. (Craven.) 
HoRNBiLL Bunting : The COPvN-BUNTING. (Ireland.) 
Horn-coot: The LONG-EARED OWL. (Swainson.) From 

the two erectile horn-like tufts of feathers or " ears." 
Horned Doucker or Horned Dabchick : The GREAT 
CRESTED GREBE. (Pro\ancial.) The term "homed" 
is from its crest ; Doucker signifies ducker or diver. 
Horned Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. (Provincial.) An evi- 
dent misnomer. Perhaps a mistake for Horra Goose (q.v.). 
Horned Grebe : The SLAVONIAN GREBE. (Latham.) 
Horned Lark : The SHORE-LARK. Macgilli\'Tay gives it as 

a pro\dnciaI name. 
HORNEMANN'S REDPOLL [No. 24]. A Greenland species 

which sometimes strays to our shores. 
Horner : The GOOSANDER. (Holdemess, Yorkshire.) 
Horneywink : The LAPWING. (Cornwall.) From the long 
hom-like crest. 



126 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

HoENFiNCH : The STORM-PETREL. (Pl■o^incial.) 

HoRNOUL or Horn-Owl: The LONG-EARED OA^X. The 
fii'st name occurs in Turner, the second in Willughby 
and many subsequent writers up to Bewick. Horned Owl 
is an English provincial name, and Hornie Oolet cr Hornie 
Hoolet a Scots one for the species. 

Horn-pie: The LAPWING. (Norfolk and Suffolk.) From 
its erectile crest and its pied plumage. 

Horra Goose or Horrie Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. (Shet- 
lands.) From its frequenting the Sound of Horra. 

Horse Finch: The CHAFFINCH. Montagu gives it as a 
provincial name. It is also called Horse-dimg Finch, from 
its frequenting the roads. 

Horse Gowk or Horse Gawk: The COMMON SNIPE- 
(Orkneys and Shetlands.) Because the "drumming" is 
supposed to resemble the neighing of a horse (Swainson.) 
It has also been rendered Hoarse Gowk, which implies 
another meaning. 

Horse Lark : The CORN -BLUNTING. (Cornwall.) 

Horse ]\L4.sher or Horse Smatch : The WHEATEAR. (Corn- 
wall.) 

Horse Tkrfsh : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Northants.) 

HoRTULON or Horttoane: The ORTOLAN BUNTING. 
(Albin.) 

Hofse-Martin : The MARTIN. So called from its building 
under the eaves and porches of houses. Montagu gives it 
as a provincial name. 

HOUSE-SPARROW [No. 40]. Perhaps the most common and 
well-lvnoA^Ti of British birds. The name "Sparrow" is of 
great antiquity, and is the A. Sax. Spcarwa, Goth. Sparva, 
while it is the Passer of classical writers, and occurs under 
tliis name in Aristotle, who says it is of all birds the most 
wanton. " House-Sparrow " occurs in Merrett's list (1667) 
and in Willughby (1678), but Turner (1544) calls it simply 
" Sparrow," which is now and has generally been the col- 
loquial name for the species. As regards folk-lore I do not 
find very much relating to this bird. A Yorkshire legend, 
howev^er, of the Hermit of Lindholme on Hatfield Chase, 
is to the effect that being left a.t home m hen a boy to keep 
the sparrows fi'om the corn he shut them all up in a bai'n 
A\ithoub a door, and when his pai'ents got home the birds 
were all foimd l^ang dead on the floor, and the only sparrow 
seen in the place since was a solitary one as wliite as snow 
(" Folklore Journal," December, 1883). A similar tale, 



HORXFINCH — HWYADEX. 127 

however, is related in Monmouthshire of Jolin of Rent. In 
Wiltshire, the superstition attaching to other birds in some 
other counties is held of the Sparrow, that if one taps at a 
Avindow it is said to indicate a death in the family. A 
popular belief is that if sparrows chirp a great deal wet 
Aveather will ensue (Inwards). 

House-Swallow : The SWALLOW. Occurs in Merrett and 
in Willughby. 

Hover-Hawk : The KESTREL. (Berks., Bucks., Yorkshire.) 
An equivalent of "Windhover" (q.v.), 

HowLET. An Owl (diminutive). Applied by Aldrovandus, who 
spells it in old fashion " Houulet," to the LITTLE OWL, 
and also to the BARN-OWL ; and by Willughby to the 
TAA\^Y OWL. 

HowsTER : The KNOT. (Provincial.) 

Huck-Mitck: The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE and the 
WILLOW- WARBLER. Applied to the latter perhaps in 
allusion to the somewhat slovenly appearance of its nest. 

HuFTL : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (East Riding, York- 
shire.) Swainson thinks it is fi'om its laughing note. 

HuTjE, Ula. Cornish names for an Owl. 

Hui^LOT, Hijllart, or Ullet. Local Cheshire names for the 
BARN-OWI^ ; corruptions of Howlet and Owlet. Hulote 
or Hullat is also an Orlaiey name. 

HuMMiNG-BiRD : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Red- 
car, Yorkshire.) 

Hunting Hawk: The PEREGRINE FALCON. (East 
Lothian and Che\dot Hills.) 

Hutan. a Welsh name for the DOTTEREL ; lit. " stupid." 

HuTAN-Y-MOR. A Wclsh name for the TURNSTONE; lit. 

" sea dotterel." Also applied to the RINGED PLOVER 

in North W^ales. 
HwYAD ADDFAiN. A Wclsh name for the GARGANEY. 

HwYADEN BENGOCH or HwYAD BENGOCH. W^clsh names for the 
POCHARD; lit. "red -headed duck." 

HwYADEN DDAN HEDDOG : A Welsh name for the GOOSANDER, 
lit. " toothed duck." 

HwYADEN DDu: The CO:\DION SCOTER. (North Wales) 
lit. " black duck." 

HwYADEN GOPOG or HwYADEN GOPYNOG : The TUFTED DUCK. 
(North Wales) lit. " crested duck." 



128 DICTIOXARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

HwYADWYDD GYFFBEDiN : The GOOSANDER. (Korth Wales) 

lit. " common duck -goose." 
HwYADEN lostfain: The PINTAIL. (North Wales) lit. 

" narrow-tailed duck." Hwyad gynffonfain is also given 

by Fleming as a Welsh name for this species, and signifies 

"long-tailed duck." 
HwYADEN LYDANBiG : The SHO\^LER. (North Whales) lit. 

" broad-beaked duck." 
HwYADEN LYGAD ARiAN : The SCAUP DUCK. (North Wales) 

lit, " silver -eyed duck." 
HwYADEN LYGAD AUR : The GOLDENEYE. (North Wales) 

lit. " golden-eyed duck." 
HwYADEN WYLLT : The MALLARD, or Wild-Duck. (North 

Wales) lit. " ^lld duck." 
HwYADEN YR EiTHiK : The COMMON SHELD-DUCK. (North 

Wales) lit. " gorse-duck." 
Hwyad felfedog : A Welsh name for the VEL\^T SCOTER. 

lit. " velvet duck." 
Ian- ANT 'sneachd : A GaeUc name for the SNOW-BL^TING. 
L\R DDWFR foel : A Welsh name for the COOT ; lit. " bald 

water-hen." 
Iarddwr: The moorhen. (North Wales) lit. "^ater-hen." 
Iar Gocn: The RED GROUSE. (North Wales) lit. "red hen." 
Iab goed : The PHEASANT. (North Wales) lit. "wood-hen." 
Ibis. See GLOSSY IBIS. 

Ice Bird or Iceland Auk : The LITTLE AUK. The second 
name is used on the Yorksliire coast. 

Ice Duck : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Northumberland.) 

ICELAND FALCON [No. 231]. The Icelandic form of the 
GYR -FALCON, intermediate between the Scandinavian 
tj^ical form and the GREENLAND FALCON. The 
name first occurs in Latham's " Synopsis" (i, p. 71). 

ICELAND GULL [No. 4.36]. This name according to Edmon- 
ston was the local name in Unst, Shetland Isles, for both 
this species and the GLAUCOUS GULL, or Burgomaster. 
He seems to have been the fii"st to publish the name 
(" Wem. Mem.," iv, p. 506). Yarrell also calls it Lesser 
\\'T3ite-^^inged Gull. 

Iceland Hawk : The ICELAND FALCON and GREENLAND 
FALCON. (Shetlands.) 

Iceland Scorie : The ICELAND GULL and the GLAUCOUS 
GUI.L. (Shetlands.) 



HWYADWYDD — IVORY. 129 

ICTERINE WARBLER [No. 141]. Occurs in Hewitson, 
Yarrell, and Gould as Melodious Willow Warbler, and 
^Melodious Willow Wren. The species was named Sylvia 
iclerina by Vieillot in 1817, whence it? name arises. 

Icwell: The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Northants.) See 
" Eaqual." 

Imber Diver : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. (Ireland.) 
See Immer. 

iMaiER, Immer Diver: The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. 
(Scotland.) Said to be lit. immerse, signifjdng the act of 
diving, from Lat. immersus, to plunge into. Conf. Dan. 
Imber ; Sw. Immer and Emmer ; Icel. Himbrim. The 
name was formerly written " Imber Diver " by the older 
ornithological writers from Willughby and Pennant to 
Montagu, the last, however, also gives " Immer " as 
a provincial name. Sibbald calls it the " Ember Goose." 
Be\\-ick (1804) gives " Imbrim" as a name for the species. 

Indian Gallinule. Examples of this species recorded as taken 
in our islands had no doubt escaped from captivity. 

INDIAN STONECHAT [No. 177]. This is the Indian race 

of the STONECHAT, first described bv Blvth as long ago 

as 1847. 
loLAiR BHUIDHE, loLAiR RiAMHACH. Gaelic names for the 

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE. 
loLAiR DHUBH. The Gaelic name for the GOLDEN EAGLE ; 

signif\'ing " Black Eagle." 
lOLAER uisGE. A Gaelic name for the OS PREY; lit. ''water 

eagle." 
Irish Co-\l-Titmouse. See COAL-TITMOUSE. 
Irish Dipper. See DIPPER. 
Irish NiCtHtingale. A name applied to the SEDGE-WARBLER 

in some parts of Ireland, from its habit of singing at night, 

and because the true NIGHTINGALE is unkno^Ti there. 
Isaac or Hazock : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Worcestershire.) 

A corruption of Old. Eng. heisvgge (see Bhie Isaac). 
ISABELLINE WHEATEAR [No. 173]. An Asiatic species 

which takes its name from the isabelline colour of its plumage. 

Isle of Wight Parson : The CORMORANT. (Hampshire.) 

IVORY GULL [No. 438]. The name, arising from the ivory 

whiteness of its plumage, appears in Bewick (1832) and 

Selby, and was adopted by Yarrell. It was, however, first 

called " Snow-bird " by Edmondston and by Fleming. 

Ivory Whale Gull : Macgillivray's name for the IVORY GULL. 



130 DICTIONARY OF NA3IES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Ivy Owl : The TAWNY OWL. (WiUughby.) In casual use ' 
provincially. 

Jack : Properly the JACIvDAW, A common provincialism. 
From its small size as compared with, the other Corvi (see 
JACKDAW). In the days of falconry, Jack or Jack Merlin 
was also the term for the male of the MEELIN, which is 
of smaller size than the female, as is usual in the birds of 
prey. The male HOBBY was also in the same way termed 
Jack or Robin to distinguish it from the female, termed 
Hobbv. 

Jack Baker : The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. (Surrey, Sussex, 
Hants.) 

Jack Bird : The FIELDFARE. From its cry. 

Jack-Curlew or Curlew Jack : The WHIMBREL. (Rutty.) 
lit. a small curlew. CurlcAv Jack is a Yorkshire name for 
the species. S\A'ainson applies the name, possiblv errone- 
ously, to the CURLEW. 

JACKDAW [No. 5]. Occurs in Merrett (1667). In Shakespeare 
it is " daw." Willughby has " Jack-daw." Jack (properly 
a diminution of John) is used in this connection, not as a 
nickname, but to indicate insignificance or small size (lit. 
" boy ") and is therefore an equivalent of " knave " (q.v.). 
For other instances, cf. Jack-snipe, Jack -Curlew, etc. 
Daw (Mid. Eng.) is apparently onomatopoetic. In Lanca- 
shire a Jackdaw ahghting on the A\indow-sill of a sick-room 
is considered an ill omen (Harland and Wilkinson). A 
Nor\\ich saying is : — 

When three daws are seen on St. Peter's vane together 
Then we're sure to have bad weather. 
Turner, \^Titing in 1534, says of this bird that it is " by the 
Latins named Monedula, as if it were Monetula, from the 
Moneta (money) ^^hich alone of birds, as Phny says, it 
steals . . . ^Moreover, Ovid happily describes its thievish 
habits in the following Mnes : — 

Was changed into a bird, which even now loves gold, 
Monedula, the black of foot, in plumage black arrayed." 

Jack Doucker : The LITTLE GREBE. (Shropshire.) From 

its small size and diving propensities. 
Jack Hawk : The KESTREL. (Arkengarthdale, Yorkshire.) 
Jack Hern or Jack Heron : The HERON. (Sussex.) 
Jack Ickle : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Northants.) 
Jackie Foster : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Northumber- 
land.) 
Jack-in-a-bottle : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. In 
reference to the shape of its nest. 



IVY — ^JAE. 131 

Jack Merlin : The male of the ^MERLrN" in falconry (see 
" Jack "). 

Jack Nicker, Jack-a-Nickas, or Nicker Nocker : The GOLD- 
FINCH. (Cheshire.) The first name is also found in 
Northants and Shropshire. 

Jack Plover : The DUNLIN. (North Riding, Yorkshire.) 

Jacksaw : The GREAT TITMOUSE. So caUed from its note 
in many parts of Scotland (Gray). It is also appHed 
on the Yorkshire coast to the GOOSANDER, on account of 
its saw-like bill. 

JACK SNIPE [No. 410] lit. hoij or half snipe. So called from 
its being a miniature of the CO:\DiON SNIPE. The name 
occurs in Merrett (1667), also in Willughby, who calls the 
species the " Gid or Jack-Snipe, or Judcock," and says 
he " thought it not to differ from the Snipe in kind, but 
only in sex, taking it to be the Cock-Snipe. But afterwards 
being advised by Mr. M. Lister, I found it to differ specific- 
ally : for dissecting several of these small ones some proved 
to be males, some females." Swainson says the same be- 
lief is still held in Ireland, the JACK SNIPE being beheved 
to be the male and the C0]\OI0N SNIPE the female, on 
which account it is called Jill Snipe. At Longdendale, 
Cheshire, the name " Jack Snipe " is also apphed to the 
CO^nrON SANDPIPER, and in the Shetland Isles to the 
DUNLIN. 
Jack-squealer : The SWIFT. (Upton-on-Severn.) 

Jack-straw : The WHITETHROAT (Shropshire) ; the 
BLACKCAP (Somerset). In reference to the materials 
of which the nest is composed. 

Jacob. A name for the STARLING. (Near Beverley, York- 
shire.) 

Jadreka SmPE : The BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. (Pennant, 
Latham, Le\dn, Montagu, etc.) 

Jager : The GREAT SKUA. 

Jan-Chochail. a Gaehc name for the LONG-TAILED 

DUCK. (Hebrides.) From its plaintive cry. 
Jar-bird : The NUTHATCH. (Hett.) 

Jar-owl : The NIGHTJAR. (Provincial.) From its jarring 

note and nocturnal habits. 
Jar-peg: The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Northants.) 

Baker says it is " because it stands on an old stump and 

strikes Avith its beak on a hard knot or peg, so that the 

jar is heard at a great distance," 

k2 



132 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

JAY [No. 10, British Jay; No. 9, Continental Jay; No. 11, 
Irish Jay]. Occurs in Barlow's Plates (1655), in 
Merrett (1667), and in Willughby. From Fr. Geai. 
Hartert has separated the resident British and Irish 
forms of the Jay from the Continental form, hence the 
change of name. 

Jay : The MISTLE-THRUSH is so called in many parts of 
Ireland. (Thompson.) 

Jaypie : The JAY (Notts., Cornwall, Devonshire) ; the 
MISTLE-THRUSH (Wilts.). 

Jay piet : The JAY. (Perth, and Sedbergh, Yorkshire.) 

Jay Teal : The TEAL. (Kirkcudbright.) Swainson thinks it 
is from its colour. 

Jedcock : The JACK SNIPE. (Provincial.) 

Jennie Cut-throat : The WHITETHROAT. (Roxburgh.) 

Jenny Crow. A name for the HERON according tc Swainson. 

Jenny Crijdle : The WTIEN. (Pro\'incial.) 

Jenny Heron : The HERON. (Kirkcudbright.) 

Jenny Howlet : The BARN-OWL and the TAWNY OWL. 
(North of England.) Yorkshire variations are Jinny Hullut 
and Jinny Yewlatt. 

Jenny Jay or Jinny Jay : The JAY. (North and west York- 
shire.) 

Jenny Owl : The BARN-OWL. (Northumberland.) 

Jenny Redtail : The REDSTART. (North Yorkshire.) Nelson 
and Clarke give Jenny Wrentail and Wrenny Redtail as 
local Yorkshire variations. 

Jenny Wren or Jenny. A common provincial name for the 
WREN. It is in use in Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Lancashire, 
and other coimties. Johnson (" Zoologist," 1848) also 
gives " Jenner Hen " as a Yorkshire name, and " Jinties " 
is said to be used at Bamsley. 

Jercock or Chercock: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (West- 
morland.) Perhaps a corruption of " Shercock " (q.v.), 
but Swainson thinks it to be from its harsh cry. 

Jeremy Joy (=January Joy). A Cleveland name for the 
MISTLE-THRUSH.' 

Jer-Falcon: The GYR-FALCON. Also probably formerly 
applied by falconers to the ICELAND FALCON and 
GREENLAND FALCON. The name occurs in Willughby 
(1678), and is a con-uption of Gerfalcon (or Gyrfalcon). 

Jerkin. An old falconer's term for the male of the GYR- 
FALCON. 



JAY — KELNE. 133 

Jetcock: The jack snipe. (Be\Aick.) 

Jill Snipe: The COMMON SNIPE. (Ireland.) See JACK 
SNIPE. 

Jinny Wren: The GOLDCREST. (Teesdale, Yorkshire.) 
Jenny Wren is a common provincial name for the WREN. 

JoBBiN : The NUTHATCH. (Northants.) Apparently akin to 
Nutjobber. 

JoBBLER : The WHEATEAR. (Dorsetshire.) 

Joe Ben : The GREAT TITMOUSE (Suffolk) ; the MARSH- 
TITMOUSE (East Anglia). 

JouRONGS : The ARCTIC TERN. (Gal way.) Watters says it 
signifies a cross and pee\nsh disposition. 

JuDCOCK : The JACK SNIPE (Willughby) ; also occurs as 
Juddock, a corruption. Perhaps now obsolete ; Nelson 
and Clarke, however, give Judcock as a local Yorkshire 
name for the DUNLIN. 

Kae or Kay : The JACKDAW is so called in many parts of 
Scotland, from its cry. It occurs as Kae in Sibbald, and as 
" Ka " in Turner. According to Swainson, Kae is also a 
Roxburgh name for the JAY. 

Kakera. Hett gives this as a name for the RED-THROATED 
DIVER. 

Kastrel : The KESTREL. (Turner.) 

Katabella : The HEN-HARRIER. (Orkneys.) 

Kate : The BR AMBLING. (Kent.) Occurs also in Montagu. 
Swainson gives it also as a provincial name for the HAW- 
FINCH. 

Katie Brantail or Bessie Brantail : The REDSTART. 
(Shropsliire.) 

Katie Wren : The W^REN. (Provincial.) 

Katogle : The EAGLE-OWL (see Cat Ogle). 

KaWattie: The jackdaw. (North Scotland.) Ka (=Kae) 
is from its cry. 

Kazek. a Cornish name for the GREEN WOODPECKER. 

Kedydd yr helvyg. a' Welsh name for the SEDGE- 
WARBLER. 

Keelie: The KESTREL. (Neighbourhood of Edinburgh.) 
From its loud, skrill cry (Swainson). 

Kell-Bird. The nestling of the COamON GUILLEIMOT. 
(Flamborough.) 

Kelne : The STONE-CURLEW. (East Yorkshire.) 



134 DICTION AEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Keltie : The KITTIWAKE. (Aberdeen.) 
Kentish Crow or Kentishman : The HOODED CROW. (Pro- 
vincial.) 
Kentish Dotterel : The KENTISH PLOVER. (Provincial.) 

KENTISH PLOVER [No. 360]. This species was first described 
by Latham (" SjTiops.," Supp., p. 316) from examples sent 
by Dr. Boys which Mere obtained at Sandwich, Kent, in 
1787 and 1791, hence the name. It was distinguished under 
the name of Charadrius alexandrinus by Linnaeus in 1758, 
but even as late as 1842 Fleming \\'as of opinion that it was 
only a phase of the RINGED PLOVER. Selby, YarreU, 
and later \ATiters, however, include it as a good species. 

Kerhidh. a Cornish name for the HERON. 

Kertlutock. a name for the SHOVELER (Hawker) ; also 
rendered " Kirk tullock." 

KESTREL [No. 237]. Fr. Cresserelk, Cncerelle; Old Fr. 
Quercerelle or Qnercelle. The name first appears as Kestrel 
in WiUughby (1678). It occurs in Turner (1544) as "a 
kistrel or a kastrel," and in Merrett (1667) as " a Keshrel or 
Kastrel." Pennant (1766) spells it " Kestril." In Lanca- 
shire it is pronounced kisstrill. 

Ket Crow: The CARRION-CROW. (West Riding, York- 
shire.) " Ket " signifies carrion. 

KiDDAw : The COI^IMON GUILLEIMOT. WiUughby gives it 
as a Cornish name for the species. Swainson thinks it is 
derived from skite^=to mute. 

KILLDEER PLO^^R [No. 361]. A North American species. 
The name is derived from its cry. 

KnxiEWEEACK: The KITTIWAKE. (Orkneys.) From its 

cry. 
KiLLiGREW : The CHOUGH (Charleton) ; Montagu also gives 

it as a provincial name. 

KiLLiLEEPiE : The COMMON SANDPIPER is so called in some 
parts of Scotland, from its cry. (Gray.) Also rendered Killie- 
leepsie (East Lothian). 

KiLLocKDOE : The BLACK GROUSE. (Scotland.) 

King Charles: The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Cheshire.) 

King Dfck. See KING-EIDER. 

KING-EIDER [No. 308]. The name first appears as "King 
Duck " in Pennant's " Arctic Zoology," and as King Eider 
in Fleming. It is the Greyheaded Duck of Edwards. 



KELTIE — KLXG. 135 

KINGFISHER [No. 208]. LiteraUy the chief of the fishers ; 
from A. Sax cyning, a king or chief of the tribe, and fisher. 
The name occurs in Turner (1544) as " kynges fissher " ; 
in Merrett (1667) as " Kings-fisher " and in Willughby as 
" Kingfisher," as also in most succeeding authors. A 
celebrated beHef among the ancients was that the Halcyon 
or Kingfisher made its nest of fish-bones and launched it 
upon the sea, and it was while brooding thus upon its young 
that the fabled halcyon days were enjo^'cd, when " God 
has ordered that the whole ocean should be stayed," as 
Montaigne gravely observed. This author (Essay Lxvin, 
on " Cruelty ") has given some account of the belief. Pliny 
remarks that " they breed in winter, at the season called 
the Halcyon days, Avherein the sea is calm and fit for navi- 
gation, the Sicihan sea particularly so," and that they 
"■ build their nests in the seven days before the winter 
solstice and hatch out their young in the seven following." 
Drayton wTites : — 

Then came the halcyon whom the sea obeys, 
When she her nest upon the water lays. 

He makes use of the belief five times, viz. in Xoah's Flood, 
the Elegy upon Lady Aston's departure from Spain, 
England's Heroical Epistles, and twice in the Polyolbion. 
It is also alluded to by Milton in the " H\Tnn on Christ's 
Nativity," and by Dryden. A common belief in England 
was that a dead Kingfisher, hung by a string, would alwaj^s 
turn its biU in the chrection from whence the wind blew. 
Shakespeare (King Lear, act ii, sc. 1) alludes to this beHef 
in the words : — 

. . . turn their halcyon beaks 
With every gale and vary of their masters. 

Marlow also, in his " Jew of Malta," 1633, saj's : — 
But how now stands the wind ? 
Into what comer peers my halcyon's bill ? 

That the belief has lingered to recent times is shown by the 

fact that a dead Kingfisher thus suspended may still 

occasionally, it is said, be met with in country cottages. 

Another country belief sometimes encountered is that when 

a Kingfisher is seen it is a sign of rain. 
Kingfisher : The DIPPER is so called in the Higldands and 

in parts of Ireland, its flight being supposed to resemble 

that of the KINGFISHER. Also applied to the COMMON 

TERN at Lough Neagh. 
King Harry or King Harry Redcap. A provincial name 

for the GOLDFINCH. (Suffolk, Shropshire, north and 

east Yorkshire.) 



136 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Kma Harry Blackcap: The BLACKCAP. (Norfolk.) 

Kinglet: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. 

Kio. A Cornish name for the CO^VENION SNIPE. 

Kip: The COMMON TERN. (Provincial.) 

KiPP. A local name for the Terns about Dungeness and 
Lydd. 

Kirr-Mew. a local name for the COMIVION TERN. Kirr is 
from the cry, and Mew is Old Eng. for Gull. 

Kishiefaik : The KITTIWAKE. (Orkneys.) From its cry. 

Kistrel: The KESTREL. (Turner.) 

Kit: The FIELDFARE. (Cheshire.) 

KITE [No. 250]. The name, of great antiquity, is from the 
A.Sax. cyta. It occurs in Turner (1544) as " kyte," in Merrett 
(1667) as "Fork-tailed Kite," and in Willughby (1678) as 
" Kite." This well-knoA\Ti species is now of rare occurrence 
in most parts of our islands and has long ceased to breed 
except perhaps in a few localities in Wales. Turner says that 
in his day it was " abimdant and remarkably rapacious. 
This kind is wont to snatch food out of children's hands 
in our cities and toA\Tis." Its former abundance is indeed 
perhaps best exemplified by the commonness of kite-flying 
among boys. The employment by this bird of rags and 
anything else it can possibly steal as material for its nest is 
by no means a modem trait in its character, and formerly, 
when the bird was common in England, this predilection 
appears to have been well-knowii, as may be gathered from 
the instance in the speech of Autolvcus in the " Winter's 
Tale " (act iv, sc. 2) :— 

When the kite btiilds, look to the lesser linen. 
An old popular saying, now perhaps almost beyond verifi- 
cation — in England, at any rate — is that if Kites fly high, 
fine weather is at hand. The term Royal Kite originated 
in the fact that only the King's falcons could take it, its 
powers of flight being beyond those of the lesser kinds of 
falcons. 

Kite : Used erroneously for the MARSH-HARRIER and the 
CO^OION BUZZARD (Ireland) ; the KESTREL (Shrop- 
shire). 
Kitti-ake : The KITTIWAKE GULL. (Flamborough.) 
KiTTiE or Kitty : The KITTIWAKE GULL. (East Anglia, 
Yorkshire, Banffshire.) 

KiTTiE Needie: The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Kirkcud- 
bright.) 



KING — LADY. 137 

KITTIWAKE GULL [No. 437]. Often kno^m as " Kittiwake " 
simply. The name first appears in Sibbald (1684), but 
Ray ("Itinerary," 1671) has Cattimke, derived from an 
attempted rendering of its cry. Willughby calls it " Bello- 
nius's ash-coloured Gull, called in Cornwall Tarrock," and 
under the latter name the immature bird was treated of 
up to the time of Montagu as a supposed distinct species. 

Kitty Carew : The MANX SHEARWATER. (Provincial.) 

Kitty Coot : The MOORHEN. (Dorset.) 

Kitty Wren or Kitty-me-Wren. A Border name for the 
WREN, where accoiding to Bolam it takes the place of 
the familiar name Jenny Wren. In Yorkshire it occurs 
also as "Kitty" only. 

Knife-bill: The PUFFIN. (Provincial.) 

KNOT [No. 371]. The name Knot occurs in Willughby, who 
remarks that "King Knout" is reported to have been so 
fond of them that from him they got the name of Kntos 
or Knouts. The authority for the derivation of the name 
from Canute appears, however, to rest with Camden (1607) 
who has "Knotts. i. Canuti aves." Du Bartas ("Divine 
Weekes and Wordes," 1633) calls it "Gnat-snap." Sir 
Thomas Browne has "Gnatts or Knots" (see Newton's 
" Diet. Bds." on this latter). Buffon calls it Le Canut. 
Drayton (" Polyolbion," 1613) speaks of it as — 

The Knot that called was Canute's Bird of Old. 
In mnter-plumage it was distinguished by Pennant and 
other wTiters imder the name of " Ash-coloured Sandpiper." 

Knot. The RINGED PLOVER is so called about Belfast. 
(Swainson.) 

Knot-Curlew. A name for the WHIMBREL. (Hett.) 

Krocket : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Aberdeen.) 

Kryssat. a Cornish name for the KESTREL. 

Kyte : The KITE. (Turner, Blome, ana others.) 

Kyvellak. a Cornish name for the WOODCOCK. 

Labbe : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Bevnck.) 

Lacha-bhlar. A Gaelic name for the COOT. 

Lacha chinn naine. a Gaelic name for the MALLARD. 

Lach Cholonsa. a Gaelic name for the EIDER Duck 
(=Colonsay Duck.) 

Lady Bird : The PINTAIL. (Dublin Bay.) 

Lady-fowl. Said to be a name for the WIGEON. 

Lady Hen: The SKY-LARK. (Shetlands.) Signifies "Our 
Lady's Hen." 



138 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Lady Lently : The GARDEN- WARBLER is so caUed in some 

parts of Northumberland. (Bolam.) 
Lady Snipe : The CO^OION SNIPE. (Cheshire.) 
Lady with the twelve flounces. Swainson gives this as a 

Shropshire name for the GOLDFINCH. 
LANCEOLATED WARBLER [No 134]. A Siberian species 

which has occurred recently in Great Britain. 
Land Bunting: The CORN-BUNTING. (Provincial.) 
Land Cormorant: The GOOSANDER. (Dublin.) 
Land Curlew : The STONE-CURLEW. 
Land Daw: The CARRION-CROW. (Northants.) 
Land Dotterel : The DOTTEREL (Spurn, Yorkshire.) 
Land-drake : The LAND-RAIL. (Shropshire ; Ackworth, 

Yorkshire.) 
Land H.4Rlan : The RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. (Wex- 
ford.) Harlan is a form of " Harle " (q.v.). 
Land Hen: The LAND-RAIL. (WiUughby.) 

Land Lavrock : The COMMON SANDPIPER and the RINGED 
PLOVER. (Scotland.) La\Tock=Lark. 

Land Maul : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (East Yorkshire.) 

LAND-RAIL [No. 454]. Commonly known also as the Corn- 
Crake (q.v.). Occiu'S in Willughby (1678) as Land Rail, 
Land- Hen, and Daker Hen. Most subsequent writers from 
Pennant to Montagu call it the Crake Gallinule. Montagu 
also gives Land-Rail, but as a provincial name. Rail is 
from Fr. Rule, Germ. Ealle, from Low Latin Rallus. It is 
mentioned by Turner, who calls it Crex after Aristotle, and 
gives " Daker Hen " as the English name for it. He well 
describes its cry when he says that it " in spring as well 
as early summer makes no other cr}^ among the corn and 
flax than crex, crex." In Scotland if its call is frequently 
heard it is regarded as a sign of rain. A French name is 
" Roy de Cailles " (^King of the Quails), from an old belief 
that the Quails selected a Land-Rail to lead their migrations. 
A Scots belief was that the bird did not migrate, but became 
torpid in the winter. Newton says, " formerly it seems 
to have been a popular belief in England that the Land 
Rail in autumn transformed itself into a Water Rail, 
resuming its oun character in spring." This belief seems 
to still prevail in Ireland. The Land Rail is considered a 
lucky bird on the Scottish Borders, where the saying runs : — 

The Lark, the Corn Crake, or the Grouse, 

Will bring good luck to ilka house. 



LADY — LAPWENG. 139 

Land Swallow : The SAND-MARTIN. (Hett.) 

Land-tripper : The COMMON SANDPIPER (Kirkcudbright.) 

Land Whaap : The WHIMBREL. Whaap=Curlew. 

Lang Crane : The CORMORANT. (Redcar, Yorkshire.) 

Lanner and Lanneret : The immature PEREGRINE 
FALCON, formerly considered a distinct species. Lanner 
was the name appHed to the female, the male being termed 
Lanneret. From Fr. Lanier, Lat. Laniarius, from laniare, 
to dissever. The old Lanner of falconry appears not to 
have been the Falco lanarius of Linnaeus {=Falco peregrinus), 
but a species now called Falco feldeggi (Schlegel), found 
tlu'oughout the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. 
The name occurs as " Lanar " or " Lanaret " in Merrett 
(1667), who says it is found in Sherwood Forest and Dean 
Forest, while Willughby (1678) alludes to " the Lanner 
whose Tarcel is called the Lanneret." 

LAPLAND BUNTING [No. 55]. The name is found in Gould's 
" Birds of Europe " (pt. x, 1834). It is the Lapland Lark- 
Bunting of Selby. 

Lapland L.^k-Bunting : The LAPLAND BUNTING. (Selby, 
MacgiUivray.) 

Lapland Long-spur : The LAPLAND BUNTING. So caUed 
from the length of the hind claw. 

Lappinch or Happinch : The LAPWING. (Cheshire.) 

LAPWING [No. 367]. From A.Sax. Hlenpewince, signifying 
" one who turns about in running or flight " (Skeat). Writers 
of the Middle Ages translated Lat. Ujmpa (=Hoopoe) as 
Lapwing, being deceived b}^ the crest. The name Lapwing 
occurs in Turner (1544) and in Merrett, who further calls 
it Bastard Plover and Pewit. Willughby also calls it the 
Lap^^■ing or Bastard Plover. A Lapwing 'is said to have 
brought assistance by its cries to the wounded founder of 
the old Lincolnshire family of Tyrwhitt, who assumed three 
Lapwings as his device in memory of the deliverance. 
That the story rests upon fact may be safely assumed, as 
it is the invariable practice of the birds to circle round in 
the air uttering their " pewit " cry when their haunts are 
invaded. According to Chatto, however, the Lapwing is 
regarded as an unlucky bird in the south of Scotland, the 
cause being attributed to the fact that the Covenanters in 
the reigns of Charles II and James II were " frequently 
discovered to their pursuers by the flight and screaming of 
the Lapwing." 



140 DICTIONARY OF NAjVIES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Lapwing Sandpiper : The LAPWING. (Pennant.) 

Large-billed Guillemot: BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT. 

L-^GER Spotted Eagle. See SPOTTED EAGLE. 

Largest Willow Wren : The WOOD- WARBLER. 

Large White-winged Cull: The GLAUCOUS GULL. 
(Yarrell.) 

Lark: The SKY-LARK. Occurs in Merrett (1667). In Turner 
it is "Lerk." Lark is from A.Sax. Ldivcrct, Grerm. Lerchc, 
Dan. Lcerke. 

Lark Bunting : The CORN-BUNTING. (Somerset.) 

Las air-choille. A Gaelic name for the GOLDFINCH. 
(Macgillivray) lit. "flame of the wood." Fleming applies 
it to the GREEN WOODPECKER. 

Laughing Bird : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Shropshire.) 
from its laughing note. 

Laughing Goose : The WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. (York- 
shire, Cheshire.) It occurs in Edwards. 

Laughing Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Montagu.) 
Properly, however, the name for a distinct American species. 

Laverock, Lavrock, Lerruck, or Learock : The SKY-LARK. 
An old English name foimd in Turner (1544.) From the 
same root as Lark, i.e. A.Sax. Ldwcrce. The species is stiU 
known in Scotland by one or other form of the name, and 
Swainson also gives Learock for Lancashire, while Nelson 
and Clarke give Laverock as i;sed at Sedbergh, Yorksliire. 

Lavy. a local name for the COMMON GUILLEMOT. It 
occurs in Martin's " Voy. to St. Kilda," (Also spelt Lamy.) 

Leaan : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER and the RED- 
THROATED DIVER. (Yorksliire.) A Yorkshire dialect 
rendering of Loon. 

LEACH'S FORK-TAILED PETREL [No. 320]. The name 
Leach's Petrel occurs in Jenvns, and Fork-tailed Petrel in 
Fleming and in Yarrell (1st ed.). Selby calls it the Fork- 
tailed Storm Petrel. It was named in honour of Dr. I^ach, 
who acquired the type-specimen at Bullock's sale. 

Leapy Wren. A provincial name for the AVREN. (Hett.) 

Learg. a Gaelic name in the Western Isles for the BLACK- 
THROATED and RED-THROATED DIVERS. 

Least Butcher-bird : The BEARDED TITMOUSE. 
(Edwards.) 

Least Snipe : The DU^NLIN. Montagu gives it as a provincial 
name. 



LAPWING — LESSER. 141 

Least Spotted Woodpecker: The LESSER SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. 

Least Titmouse : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Merrett.) 

Least Wnxow-WREN : The CHIFFCHAFF. (Tunstall, 
Bemck.) 

Leg Bird. A provincial name for the SEDGE- WARBLER. 
(Swainson.) 

Lemon Bird : The LINNET. (West Yorkshire.) 

Lennert. a North Country name for the LINNET. 

Lesser Ash-coloured Heron : The NIGHT-HERON. 
(Willughby.) 

Lesser Black-back: The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. 
(Yorkshire.) 

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL [No. 433]. The name refers 
to its smaller size than the GREAT BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. It first occurs in Montagu (1802) as Less Black- 
backed Gull. It is the Silvery Gull of Pennant's "Arctic 
Zoolog\^" 

Lesser BRAivrBLiNG : The SNOW-BUNTING (?). Foimd in 
Pennant (1766). 

Lesser Bustard: The LITTLE BUSTARD. 

Lesser Butcher-bird: The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. Occurs 
in Willughby (1678). 

Lesser Cob : The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. (Pro- 
vincial.) 

Lesser Crested Grebe : The BLACK-NECKED GREBE. 
(Pennant.) 

Lesser Crested Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. (Willughby, 
Pennant, etc.) 

Lesser Dun Diver : The RED-BRESTED MERGANSER. 

(Pennant.) 
Lesser Fauvette : The GARDEN- WARBLER. (Bewick 

1797.) 
Lesser God wit : The BLACK-TAILED GOD WIT. (Pennant.) 
LESSER GREY SHRIKE [No. 106]. The name is found in 

Pennant's "Arctic Zoology" and in Latham's "Synopsis." 
Lesser Guillemot: The COMMON GUILLEMOT. It was 

considered a separate species by Pennant. 
Lesser Imber : The BLACK-THROATED DIVER. (Pro- 

\incial.) 

LESSER KESTREL [No. 238]. A close ally of the KESTREL 
but smaller in size, hence the name. 



142 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Lesser Mountain Finch or Bra]\ibling : The SNOW- 
BUNTING. (WiUughby.) 

Lesser Pettychaps : The CHIFFCHAFF. (Pennant and 
Montagu.) 

Lesser Red-headed Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL 
(WiUughby, Pennant) ; also the TWITE (Rutty). 

LESSER REDPOLL [No. 23]. It is found in Montagu (1802). 
Occurs in WiUughby as Lesser Red-headed Linnet. The 
name has reference to its smaU size and red crown, or 
" poU." 

Lesser Reed-Sparrow : The SEDGE- WARBLER (?). Occurs 
in WiUughby. Montagu ascribes it to the REED- 
WARBLER. 

Lesser Saddle-back : The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. 
(Yorkshire.) From its dark saddle-shaped mantle. 

Lesser Sea-Swallow: The LITTLE TERN. Occurs in 
WiUughby and Ray. 

Lesser Snow Goose. See SNOW-GOOSE. 

Lesser Sooty Tern. A tropical species of which a single example 
is said, on somewhat imperfect evidence, to have been 
taken on a lightship at the mouth of the Thames in 1875. 

Lesser Spotted Eagle. See SPOTTED EAGLE. 

Lesser Spotted Water Rail: The SPOTTED CRAKE. 
(Bewick.) 

LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER [No. 212, British 
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker]. The name i-efers to 
the variegated black-and-white upper-plumaee and to 
its being of less size than the GREAT SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER. It occurs in Albin (1738). Hartert has 
separated the resident British race from the Continental 
forms, hence the change of name. 

Lesser Tern : The LITTLE TERN. 

Lesser Toothed Diver. A provincial name for the RED- 
BREASTED MERGANSER. (Montagu.) From its ser- 
rated biU and lesser size than the GOOSANDER. 

Lesser Tree-Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. 

Lesser Water-Sparrow : The SEDGE-W^ARBLER. 

LESSER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE [No. 276]. A very rare 
straggler, closely aUied to the WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, 
but of smaller size. 

LESSER WHITETHROAT [No. 148]. The name occurs first 
in Latham's " Synopsis " (Supp., p. 185). 



LESSER-LINT WHITE. 143 

Lesser White- winged Gull : The ICELAND GULL. (YarreU.) 
Less Titmouse : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Merrett.) Turner's 
Less Titmouse is apparently the LONG-TAILED TIT- 
MOUSE, as he says it has a long tail. Mr. Evans thought 
it to be the MARSH- or COAL-TITMOUSE. 
LEVANTINE SHEARWATER [No. 329]. A Mediterranean 
sub-species of the MANX SHEARWATER, which occurs 
casually on our coasts (see Saunders, " Manual," 2nd ed., 
pp. 741-2). It is the Ame damni'e of the Turks, who believe 
that the souls of the wicked pass into these birds and are 
doomed to wander for ever over the waters. 

Liath-Troisg. a Gaelic name for the FIELDFARE. 

Lich-fowl: The NIGHTJAR. (Cheshire and Shropshire.) 

See " Gabble-Ratchet." 
Liltie-cock or Lintie-cock : The CORMORANT. (Staithes, 

Yorkshii-e.) 
LiNBENGOCH or Llinos BEN GOCH. A Welsh name for the 

LINNET ; lit. " redheaded Linnet." In North Wales the 

name is applied to the LESSER REDPOLL. 
Ling-bird, Ling-Tit, or Lingie : The MEADOW-PIPIT. 

(Cumberland, West Yorkshire.) 
Ling Linnet : The TWITE. (Ribblesdale, Yorkshire.) 

Links Goose: The COMMON SHELD-DUCK. (Orkneys.) 
Because it frequents the " links " or sandy plains near 
the sea. 

LINNET [No. 27]. So called from its partiality for the seed of 
flax. Der. of A.Sax. Lmete^fia,x and Linet-wige=^-1isix- 
hopper, from the latter of which is derived the northern 
provincial name of " Lintwhite." The name occurs as 
*'Linot" in Turner (1544) and as " Linet " in Merrett's 
list. Plot (1677) has " Linnet," while Willughby caUs it 
the " common Linnet," as does also Sibbald. It is also 
the Greater Red-headed Linnet of Willughby and others, 
and the Greater Redpole of Montagu. According to 
Swainson, " Linnet " is a local name for the GOLDFINCH 
in Shropshire. 

Linnet Finch : The LINNET. (Provincial.) 

LiNTiE : The LINNET (Scotland) ; also the TWITE (Orkneys 
and Shet lands). 

Lintwhite : The LINNET. (Orkneys.) As an older Scottish 
name it occurs as " Lintquhit," the derivation being also 
from A.Sax. Linet-wige (see under LINNET). According to 
Swainson Lintwhite is a Suffolk name for the SKY-LARK. 



144 DICTION AEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

LiNTYWHiTE. According to Swainson the WOOD- WARBLER 
is so called " from the pure white of the under parts of the 
body." Hett gives the name to the CHIFFCHAFF. 

LiPWiNGi.E : The LAPWING. (Bedfordshire.) An equivalent 
of LAPWING, the derivation being the same, viz. A.Sax. 
hleclpwince. 

LITTLE AUK [No. 448]. The name Little Auk is first found 
in Pennant (1766). Willughby calls it the "Small black- 
and-white Diver." 

Little BnxY Bluecap : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (West 
Yorkshire.) 

LITTLE BITTERN [No. 267]. This tiny species has been known 
for about a century and a quarter as a casual summer- 
visitor. The name is foimd in Pennant as Little Bittern 
Heron. Latham (" Syn.," v, p. 66) has Little Bittern. It 
is the Little Heron of JenjTis and the Little Brown Bittern 
of Edwards (?). 

Little Black- and -White Diver : The LITTLE AUK. 

Little Black-and-White Woodpecker: The LESSER 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

Little Blackcap: The COAL-TITMOUSE. (Yorkshire.) 

Little Black-headed Tomtit: The MARSH-TITMOUSE. 
(Montagu.) 

Little Blue Hawk : The MERLIN. (Yorkshire.) 

Little Blue Rock : The STOCK-DOVE. (Notts.) 

Little-bread-and-no-cheese : The YELLOW BUNTING. 
(Devonshire.) Imitative of its song, also rendered " little- 
bit-of -bread-and -no -cheese. " 

LiTTi.E Brown-and-white Duck : The female HARLEQUIN- 
DUCK. (Edwards.) 

LITTLE BUNTING [No. 52]. This irregular visitor is so called 
from its diminutive size in comparison -with other species. 

LITTLE BUSTARD [No. 451]. The name refers to its 
inferiority in size to the GREAT BUSTARD. It is first 
found in Edwards (pi. 251), and is used by succeeding Avriters 
from Pennant to Montagu and onwards. It is the " Field 
Duck " of Albin. 

LITTLE CRAKE [No. 457]. The name occurs in Selby 
(183.3). It is the Little Gallinule and Olivaceous Gallinule 
of Montagu and others. 

Little Darr : The LITTLE TERN. (Norfolk.) 

Little Diver : The LITTLE GREBE. (Cheshire.) 



UNTYWHITE^ — LITTLE. 145 

Little Doucker : The LITTLE GREBE. (East Lothian.) 
LITTLE DUSKY SHEARWATER [No. 324]. This Petrel is 
a rare straggler to us from the East Atlantic Islands, only- 
six liaN-ing been recorded in our islands. 
LITTLE EGRET [No. 263]. The name Little Egret appears 
to have been first used by Pennant in the A]3pendix to his 
" British Zoolog^^" and is from the Fr. aigrette. Selby calls 
it Little Egret Heron. The tufts of long filiform feathers 
which spring from the middle and loA\er part of the bird's 
back are called after the bird, and have long been esteemed 
among Eastern nations as an ornament for the turban or 
head-dress. Such an " egret " Avas sent by the Sultan to 
Nelson after the Battle of the Nile, and was much valued 
by the recipient. 
Little Eten Bird : The WRYNECK. (Hampshire.) 
Little Feltyfare : The REDWING. (East Lothian.) 
Little French Woodpecker: The LESSER SPOTTED 

WOODPECKER. 
Little Gallixule : The LITTLE CRAKE. (Montagu.) 
Little Godwit. A name for the young STONE-CURLEW. 

(Hett.) 
LITTLE GREBE [No. 340]. The name Little Grebe is found 
in Pennant (1766). Willughby and Ray call it " Didappei,"'' 
and also " Dipper or Dobchick, or small Doucker, Loon, or 
Arsfoot." 
Little Grey Owl : The LITTLE OWL. (Merrett.) 
Little Guillemot. A name for the LITTLE AUK. (Hett.) 
LITTLE GULL [No. 426]. The name is foimd in Montagu 
(" Om. Diet." Supp.), it being first described by him from 
nn example shot near Chelsea. 
Little Haw^k : The MERLIN. (Cleveland, Yorkshire.) 
Little Heron : The LITTLE BITTERN. ( Jenyns.) 
Little Horn-Owl : The SCOPS OWL. (Willughby.) 
Little Magpie Diver. A name for the BUFFEL-HEADED 

DUCK. (Hett.) 
Little Nack : The LITTLE AUK. (Northumberland.) Nack 

is a corruption of Aul^;. 
Little Night Owl : The LITTLE OWL. (Selby). 
LITTLE 0\^^ [No. 222]. The name appears in Willughby 

(1678), also Pennant and all later writers. 
Little Peewit : The TWITE. (North Yorkshire.) From its 
call-note. 



146 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Little Petrel : The STORM-PETREL. (Pennant.) 
Little Pickie : The LITTLE TERN. (Forfarshire.) 
Little Red Hawk : The KESTREL. (Yorkshire.) 
Little Redpolb Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL. 
Little Ring Dottrell : The LITTLE RINGED PLOVER. 

(Gould.) 
LITTLE RINGED PLOVER [No. 359]. The name is found in 

Jenyns (1835) and also Yarrell (1st ed.) and later ^\Tite^s. 
Little Sandpiper : The LITTLE STINT ; also TEMMINCK'S 

STINT. (Montagu.) 

Little Snipe : The DLWLIN. (Swaledale and Arkengarthdale, 
Yorkshire.) 

LITTLE STINT [No. 375]. This name appears in Bewick 
(1797). It is the Little Sandpiper of Pennant, Montagu, 
Latham, etc., and the " Minute Tringa " of Selby. 

LITTLE TERN [No. 421]. " Little Tern " seems "to be first 
found in Gould's " Birds of Europe " (pt. 8, 18341. Pennant 
(1766) and succeeding authors to Yarrell (1843) generally 
call this species " Lesser Tern." It is the Lesser Sea- 
Swallow of Willughby. 

Little Whaut : The \\TIIMBREL. (East Lothian) lit. 
" Little Curlew." 

Little White Heron : The LITTLE EGRET (Willughby) ; 
also the young BUFF-BACI<a:D HERON (Montagu). 

Little Woodcock : The GREAT SNIPE. (Ireland.) 

Little Woodpecker: The LESSER SPOTTED WOOD- 
PECKER (Yorkshire) ; the TREECREEPER (Marton- 
in-Cleveland, Yorkshire). 

Little Woodpie : The LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 
(Hampshire.) The GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER 
is called " Woodpie " in the same county. 

Little Wren: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Loftus- 
in-Cleveland, Yorkshire.) 

Liver or Lever. The species intended by this name seems a 
matter cf uncertainty. Montagu (" Om. Diet.," Supp., 1813) 
is the authority for stating that it was an Ibis, called " Liver," 
and that the conjunction of the name with the "pool" 
on which it was obtained, gives rise to the name of the 
city of Liverpool. Newton was of opinion that Lever was 
the correct spelling and that the SPOONBILL was intended, 
a bird which of course frequented such places and moreover 
bred in Enofland in ancient times. Newton cites Randle 



LITTLE — LONG. 147 

Holmes's '■ Academy of Amioiy " (1688) as deriving the word 
" Lever " from Lepelaer, Leplar, and Lefler (or Lofflar) of 
Low ^nd High Dutch, which ai'e all names of the Spoonbill. 
The first-mentioned name occurs in Albin, 1738, as Leplaer, 
Low Dutch for the Spoonbill. According to Baines's ' ' Hist, 
of Lancaster " the oldest known form of the name Liverpool 
(temp. Hen. II) is " Lirpul " or " Litherpul." 

LLELA.N. A Welsh name for the BLUE TITiNlOUSE ; lit. 
" Nun." 

Lleian gynffon hir: The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 
(North Wales) lit. "long-tailed mm." 

Lleian wen : The SMEW. (North Wales) lit. " white nun." 

Llinos : The LINNET. (North Wales) lit. " Linnet." 

Llinos bexgoch leif. a Welsh name for the LESSER RED- 
POLL ; lit. " lesser red-headed Linnet." 

Llinos felex. A Welsh name for the YELLOW BUNTING ; 
lit. " yellow linnet." 

Llinos y mynydd. A Welsh name for the TWITE ; lit. 
" movmtain linnet." 

Llosteitddyx : The REDSTART. (North Wales) lit. " red- 
tail." 

Llursen or Llurs : The RAZORBILL. (North Wales) lit. 
"razorbill." 

Llwydfron: The WHITETHROAT. (North Wales) lit. 
" pale breast." 

Llwydfron fach : The LESSER ^^^IITETHROAT. (North 
Wales) lit. " little pale breast." 

Llwyd y gwrych, Llwyd y berth, Llwyd bach. Welsh 
names for the HEDGE-SPARROW : the first two signify 
" grey (bird) of the hedge," and the third " little grey 
(bird)." 

Llwyd yr hesg, Llwyd y gors : The SEDGE- WARBLER. 
(North Wales). First is "grey (bird) of the hedge," and 
second " grey (bird) of the marsh." 

Llwyd y tywod. A Welsh name for the SANDERLING ; lit. 
" grey (bird) of the sand." 

LoERENG I The adult CORMORANT. (Shetlands.) 

LoN DUBH : The Gaelic name for the BLACKBIRD. 

LoNGBiLL : The WOODCOCK. (Provincial.) From the length 
of the bill. 

Long-billed Chough : The CHOUGH. 

Long-billed Goose : The PINK-FOOTED GOOSE. (York- 
shire.) 

l2 



148 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

LONG-EARED OWL [No. 224]. The name first occurs in 
Pennant (1766). It is the " Hornoul " of Turner and the 
" Horn-Owl " of Willughby and Ray, while Fleming as 
late as 1842 calls it " Long Horn Owl" 

LoNG-HoRNED Ullat : The LONG-EARED OWL. (York- 
shire.) " Ullat "=Howlet. 

Long Horn Owl: The LONG-EARED OWL. (Fleming.) 

LoNGiE : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Shetlands.) 

LoNGiE Crane : The HERON. (Pembroke.) 

Long-legged Plover: The former name for the BLACK- 
WINGED STILT (q.v.). 

Long-legs. A provincial name for the BLACK-WINGED 
STILT. (Montagu.) Bewick also gives Longshanks. 

Long-neb (= Long-bill) : The COMMON SNIPE. (Yorkshire.) 

Long-neck: The LITTLE BITTERN (Montagu); the 
PINTAIL (Holy Island); the HERON (Sedbergh, 
Yorkshire.) 

Long-necked Heron : The HERON. (Ireland.) 

LoNGNix (Long-neck ?) : The HERON. (Chesliire.) 

Longshanks. A name for the BLACK-WINGED STILT. 
(Hett.) 

Long -TAILED Capon: The LONG -TAILED TITMOUSE. 
(Hampshire, Norfolk.) 

LONG-TAILED DUCK [No. 304]. The name first occurs in 
Edwards, and is used by almost all succeeding authors. 
Selby, however, calls it Long-tailed Hareld. It is the 
" Sharp-tailed Duck " and also " Swallow-tailed Sheldrake " 
of Willughby and Ray. 

Long-tailed Hareld. See LONG-TAILED DUCK. 

Long-tailed Labbe : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Beudck.) 

Long-tailed Mag, Longtailed Mufflin, Long-tailed Pie, 
Long-tailed Creeper, Long-tailed Chittering, Long 
Pod. Long Tom. Provincial names for the LONG-TAILED 
TITMOUSE. 

Long-tailed Mag or Long -tailed Sheldrake : The LONG- 
TAILED DUCK. 

LONG-TAILED SKUA [No. 442]. Often called BufEon's Skua, 

LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE [No. 101. British Long-tailed 
Titmouse]. The name first occurs in Merrett's list 
(1667) ; also in Willughby. The resident British form 
was first distinguished as long ago as 1836 by Blyth. 

Long tongue : The WRYNECK. (Provincial.) From its 
long projectile "tongue. 



LONG — MAALIN. 149 

LONGWHSTG or LoNGWiNGS : The SWIFT. (Cheshire, Yorkshire.) 

LoN msGE. A Gaelic name for the DIPPER : lit. " water 
blackbird." 

Loom. An equivalent of Loon. 

Loon : The Divers and Grebes (various species). From Icel. 
Lumr. The name is applied in Shetland and South Ireland 
to the RED-THROATED DIVER. Willughby and Ray 
call the LITTLE GREBE the "Small Loon," their 
" Greatest Speckled Loon " being the GREAT NORTHERN 
DIVER. Loom and Lumme are equivalents ; the former 
is applied to BRUNNICH'S GUILLEMOT. Probably 
signifjnng one A\'ho is clumsy, and perhaps connected with 
lame. (Skeat.) 

LouGH Diver : The SMEW. (Willughby.) As a provincial 
name it seems to belong to the immature male. 

LucHD FAiRGE. A Gaelic name for the STORM-PETREL 
(Western Isles) lit. " sea mouse." 

LuLEAN Finch. A name for the BRAMBLING. (Hett.) 

LuMME : The BLACK-THROATED DIVER. Occurs in 
Willughby (see Loon.) 

LuNDA : The PUFFIN. From Scand. Ltinde. Newton con- 
sidered that Lundy Island, a resort of Puffins, derived its 
name from this species. 

Lyke foule : The EAGLE-OWL. (Turner.) Printed " alyke 
foule " (?) " a lyke foule." Pliny says it is a fatal bird, of 
evil omen beyond other sorts, especially at public auguries. 

Lymptwigg : The LAPWING (Exmoor.) An equivalent of 
" Lap-vdng." From A.Sax. hledpe-wmce. 

Lyon : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. (Holy Island.) 
Also applied to other species. 

Lyrie: The MANX shearwater. (Shetlands and Orkneys.) 
Lyric is the usual name on the west coast of Shetland. 
Mr. Robert Godfrey tells me that in Fethaland " to gan 
as licht's a lyrie " (i.e. to be as easy in one's motion as a 
Shearwater) is a proverbial saying. Also spelt Lyi'e. 

Lyseoule : The EAGLE-0\ATL,. (Aldrovandus.) See also 
" Lyke foule." 

Maa or Mar : The COMMON GULL. (Kirkcudbright.) From 
A.Sax. Mcew. Icel. Mar, a gull; originally from the bird's 
cry. 

Maalin. a corruption of MERLIN. (Shetlands.) According 
to Saxbv the name is also applied in the Shetlands to the 
KESTREL and the SPARROW-HAWK. 



150 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Mackerel-bird : The WTIYNECK is so called in Guernsey 
(Cecil Smith), because it arrives at the time when mackerel 
is in season. 

Mackerel-Cock : The MANX SHEARWATER. (Rutty.) It 
is also a local name at LlejTi Island, North Wales (Forrest) 
and at Lambay Island, on the east coast of Ireland. It 
is so-called from its feeding on mackerel-fry. 

Mackerel Gant : The GANNET. (Yorkshire.) 

:\Iackerel-Gijll : The RAZORBILL (Provincial.) The 
KITTIWAKE GULL (Humber District.) 

]\IACQUEEN'S BUSTARD [No. 452]. A form of the Houbara 
Bustard, the name of which arises from its having been 
named Otis macqueeni, in honour of Macqueen, by Gray 
and Hardwicke ("Illustrations Indian Zoology.") It was 
included as British by Yarrell (1st ed.). 

:\Iaddrick Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (ComwaU.) 

MADEIR^\N FORK-TAILED PETREL [No. 321]. A very 
rare straggler. It was first recorded as British by Saunders 
("Manual" 2nd ed., p. 731). 

Madge, Mag, Maggie, Marget, or Miggy. Provincial names 
for the MAGPIE. 

]\Iadge-howlet : The TAWWY 0\Yh (Willughby) : also the 
BARN-OWL (Norfolk). 

]\Iaggie: The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Forfar.) Swainson 
says it is from its black-and-white jDlumage resembling 
that of a MAGPIE. 

Maggot. A Lincolnshire name for the MAGPIE, occuring 
also in Worcestershire as Magget. (See " Magot Pie " 
and also " Pie.") 

Mag Loon : The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Norfolk.) Sig- 
nifies " Magpie Loon." 

Magot Pie : The Md. Eng. name for the [MAGPIE, the 
latter name being a contraction. The name appears to 
have no reference to the bird's habit of picking maggots 
from the backs of sheep, being derived from the French 
Margot, a diminutive of Marquerite. but also signifying a 
Magpie, perhaps from its noisy chattering, in Avhich it 
is popularly supposed to resemble a talkative woman. 
The name occurs in this form in " Macbeth " (act iii, 
sc. 4) : — 

Augurs and understood relations have, 

By magot pies, and choughs, and rooks, brought forth, 

The secret'st man of blood. 



MACKEREL^ — ^MAOPIE. 151 

MAGPIE [No. 6]. From ]Mag, a diminutive of Margaret, 
and Fr. Pie, a Magpie. Found in Barlow's plates (1655) 
as " Magpye." Occurs in Merrett and also Willughby 
as Magpie ; Albin spells it " Magpy," and Rutty " Magpye." 
The folk-lore of our islands is tolerably rich in allusions 
to the Magpie, as are also the still, or recently-, existing 
evidences of totemism or animal-worship. Kearj'' (" Outlines 
of Primitive Belief") says that in Ireland a Magpie tapping 
at the window is taken as a death-warning ; also that 
it is imluck}' to kill one of these birds ; the latter belief 
is also met with in north-east Scotland (Gregor). Gray 
mentions a Dunbar bailie who was in the habit of turning 
back home if he encountered a pair of ^Magpies on setting 
out. Harland and Wilkinson ("Lancashire Folk Lore") 
record the belief that it is imlucky to meet a Magpie, and 
when it is seen the hat is raised in salutation and the cross 
signed on the breast or made by crossing the thumbs and then 
spitting over them. Brand (" Popular Antiquities ") makes 
it accoimted unlucky in Lancashii'e to see two ^Magpies 
together. In Devonshire, according to Dyer, the peasant, 
on seeing a single ^lagpie, spits over his right shoulder three 
times to avert ill-luck, repeating the follo\^"ing ^^ords : — 

Clean birds by sevens, 
Unclean by twos ; 
The dove in the hea\ens 
Is the one I choose. 

In parts of the Xorth of England it is said to be unlucky to 
see it cross the path in front of one from left to right, but 
luck}^ if from right to left. In the north east of Scotland 
the sight of one is considered lucky in some \'illages and 
imlucky in others (Gregor). 

A belief in the power of the MagjDie to transform itself 
into human form is recorded as among the superstitions of 
Clunie, Perthshire, imtil the end of the eighteenth century 
(Gomme). The first Magpies that migrated to Ireland are 
said to have landed in south-east Wexford, where the first 
English settlement also took place, and whence the ^Magpies 
have since spread over the island. Smith ("History of 
Cork ") says it was not knottn in Ireland seventy years 
before the time at which he A\Tote, about 1746. An old Irish 
saying in this connection is that — "Ireland will never be 
rid of the English while the Magpie remains." Barrett 
Hamilton (" Zool.," 1891, p. 247) thinks Magpies were first 
seen in Ireland about 1676 when " a parcel " landed in 
Wexford. ^lors-son in 1617 states that " Ireland hath neither 



152 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

singing nightingall, nor chattering pye, nor imdermining 
moule." 

I have heard a quaint old sajdng that : 
One's mirth, two's grief. 
Three's a wedding, fotu-'s death, 
Five's heaven, six is hell. 
Sen's the devil's ain sel'. 

Dyer gives another version of this rhyme as follows : 
One is sorrow, two mirth. 
Three a wedding, four a birth. 
Five heaven, six hell. 
Seven the de'il's ain sell. 

According to Dyer, in Morayshire it is believed that Magpies 
fl^dng near the ^^indo^^"s of a house portend a speedy death 
to some inmate, a belief which is held in other parts in 
connexion with various species of birds. Dyer says that 
" an old tradition " explains the origin of the ill-luck 
attributed to meeting a Magpie, by the supposition that it 
was the only bird that refused to enter the Ark Avith Noah, 
preferring to perch on the roof and jabber over the drowning 
world ; but of course this is an idle tale and the real reason 
must be that it is a survival of totemism. Halliwell 
(" Popular Rhymes ") relates a popular legend accoimting 
for the half nest of the Magpie, to the effect that this bird, 
once upon a time, Avas the only bird unable to build a nest, 
and that the other birds undertook to instruct her. In 
response, however, to every piece of advice the Magpie 
kept repeating " Ah ! I knew that afore," imtil their 
patience being exhausted, they left her to finish it herself, 
Avith the result that to this day the Magpie's nest remains 
incom]3lete. 

A proA'incial belief, according to Inwards, is that when 
Magpies fly abroad singly, the weather either is or will 
soon be stormy, but Avhen both birds are seen together the 
weather -will be mild. 

Magpie: The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE is sometimes so 

called, on accoimt of its long tail. 
Magpie Diver : The SMEW. On accoimt of its pied plumage. 
Maiden Duck: The SHOVELER. (Wexford.) 
Malduck : The FLTLMAR. (Shetlands.) See Mallemuck. 
Male : The KNOT. (Essex.) 
MALLARD and WILD DUCK [No. 287, MALLARD]. The 

names "Mallard" and "Wild Duck" both occur in Barlow's 

plates (1655), Mallard being the male name (Fr. malart) ; 

the female should be termed Wild Duck. The name occurs 



MAGPIE — MARSH. 153 

in Merrett's list as " Wild Duck " and in Willughby and 
Ray as the " common wild Duck and INIallard." Most 
British authors from Pennant onward call it the Wild 
Duck. 
Mallemuck. An old Dutch-mariner's name for the FULMAR. 
Now corrupted into " Mollv-mawk," and applied to various 
other species such as the BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS. 
'- Mallemucke " occurs for the Fulmar in Martin's "Voyage 
to Spitzbergen," and Be^^dck (1804) gives "Mallemoke." 
Mallemock, Mallimoke, Malmock, or Malduck are still 
Shetland names for the Fulmar, and Mollemoke or Molle- 
mawk Yorkshire names both for that species and the 
GLAUCOUS GULL. 

]\Ian-of-war Bird : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Pro\-incial.) 

MANX SHEARWATER [No. 328]. The name first occurs in 
Selby. Willughby calls it the " Puffin of the Isle of Man," 
and Edwards the " jManks Puffin." Pennant terms it the 
Manx Petrel and Montagu simply " Shearwater." 
Willughby quotes Sir Thomas Browne as sa\nng that it 
" doth as it were radere aquam, shear the water, from whence 
perhaps it had its name." 

M.ARBLE Thrush. A name for the :\IISTLE-THRUSH 
(Northants.) ; from the marble-like spots on its breast. 

Marburais-. a Cornish name for the RAVEN, 

IMarch Owt. : The SHORT-EARED 0^^^.. (Provincial.) 

Marigold Bird. This name is found in Ruttv's "Nat. Hist, 
of Co. Dublin," 1772, and seems to be 'the GOLDEN- 
CRESTED WREN, which is kno\ATi elsewhere as Mary- 
gold Finch, according to Hett. 

Marigold Finch: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WTIEN. (Pro- 
\nncial.) 

Marionette. A name for the BUFFEL-HEADED DUCK. 

(Hett.) 

^Market Jew Crow. A Comish name for the CHOUGH, and 
also the HOODED CROW, from their frequenting the 
neighbourhood of Marazion. (Swainson.) 

Marrott: The CO:\DION GUILLEMOT (South Scotland); 
also applied to the RAZORBILL in East Lothian and 
Aberdeen. It also occurs as Marrock and is derived fi'om 
Icel. Mar, from the cry of the bird. According to Swainson 
Marrot is also a name for the PUFFIN. 

Marsh Goose: The GREY LAG-GOOSE. (Pro^^ncial.) 



154 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BKITISH BIRDS. 

MARSH-HARRIER [Xo. 245]. This species, so called from 
its predilection for marshes and bogs, is the Moor-Buzzard 
of all om' earlier Miiters, from Willughby and Ray up to 
Fleming (1842). Edwards, hoAvever, has Marsh Hawk. 
Marsh Harrier seems to occur first in Selby (1825.) 
Marsh Hawk: The :\IARSH-HARRIER. (Edwards.) 
Marsh Hen: The MOORHEN. (Pro\-incial.) 
Marsh Owl : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Pro\-incial.) 
Marsh Reedling : The REED-WARBLER. (Provincial.) 
MARSH-SANDPIPER [No. 397]. An Asiatic species which 
has been taken four times in England. The name is probably 
a translation of Bechstein's name for the species {Totanus 
stagnatilis.) 
MARSH - TITMOUSE [No. 97, British Marsh-Titmouse]. 
First occurs in Willughby (1678). This form is now 
considered to be restricted to England and Whales, its 
place being taken in Scotland by the WILLOW-TITMOUSE 
(q.v.), which however also occurs along A^ith it in many 
localities in England. 
MARSH- WARBLER [No. 137]. A scarce and local summer- 
\-isitor, so called from the situations it is supposed to 
frequent, but the name is more or less of a misnomer. 
Marthin DDF. A Welsh name for the SWIFT ; literally 

" Black Martin." 
Marthin penbavl. A Welsh name for the MARTIN. 
MARTIN [No. 197]. From Fr. Martin, a proper name. 
L^sually called House-Martin in modem works. The 
first name, "Martin," occurs in Merrett (1667) and 
Willughby (1678). Turner (1544) calls this species '' rok 
martinette or chirche martnette." 
Martinet, Martinette, ]\Iartnet, Martlet : The MARTIN. 
Martinet is Fr. for the SWIFT. "Martlet" occurs in 
Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" (act ii, sc. 9): — 

. . . Like the martlet 
Builds in the weather on the outward wall. 

M.artin-oil: The STORM-PETREL is so called in Galway 
according to Swainson. It seems as though " oil-mai'tin " 
is intended. 

IVlARTiN Snipe: The GREEN SANDPIPER. (Norfolk.) 
Stevenson says it is from the \Ahite upj)er tail-coverts and 
rump forming such a contrast to its dark body. 

Martin Swallow: The :\IARTIN. (East Lothian.) 

Masked Gull: The BLACK-HEADED GIT^L. (Fleming.) 



MARSH MEADOW. 155 

MASKED SHRIKE [No. 111]. This south-west Asiatic species 
was first recorded for the British Isles in 1905, by Mr. Mcoll 
("Bull. B.O.C.," XVI, p. 22). 

Mattagess or Mattagasse : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
The name occurs in Willughby (1678), who remarks that 
it is a name borrowed from the Savoyards. It was for- 
merly used by falconers, who employed this species 
sometimes. 

Mavis : The SONG-THRUSH. From Fr. Mauvis. Probably 
not now much used, although said to be so in Yorkshire ; 
Newton thinks it Avas perhaps in England originally the 
table name of the bird. It occurs in Turner (1544) and 
in Spenser, but Shakespeare, who, as Mr. Harting has 
observed, only mentions this species three times, prefers 
our English w ord Throstle. VVillughbj'^ has " Mavis, 
Throstle, or Song-thrush." In south-west Scotland it be- 
comes " MaWe," in which form it is still in use. 

Maw" or Mew'. An old English name for a Gull ; from A.Sax. 
mcpw =^su\\. ]Maw occurs in Turner for the BLACK- 
HEADED GULL, while it is a local name in Orkney and 
Shetland for the COMMON GULL. 

Mawp: The bullfinch. (Lancashire.) Swainson thinks it 
is derived from " Al})." 

May-chick. According to Sir Thomas Browne this was a Norfolk 
name for a bird " a little bigger than a Stint, of fatness 
beyond am\" 

May-cock: The GREY PLO\^R. (Pro\nncial.) 

May-fowl, jMay-bird, or May Cuelew: The WHIMBREL. 
(Ireland chiefly.) So called from the month in which 
it arrives. May-bird is also a Norfolk name. 

Maze Finch (Maize Finch ?) : The CHAFFINCH. (Cornwall.) 

MEADOW-BL^^TING [No. 491. A south European species 
added to the British List in recent years. 

Meadow Crake : The LAND-RAIL. (Selby.) 

Meadow Drake : The LAND-RAIL. (Yorkshire and Notts). 

Meadoav Lark : The TREE-PIPIT (Montagu) ; also the 
MEADOW-PIPIT (Notts, and Hants.) 

MEADOW-PIPIT [No. 68]. The name occurs in Selby (1825). 
In prcA-ious authors it was confused with other species, and 
occurs under a variety of names. It is the Titlark of 
Pennant and other authors up to ]\Iontaeu. The latter 
author's "Field Lark or Meadow Lark " is the TREE- 
PIPIT. 



156 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Meadow Titling: The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Provincial.) 
Mealy Bird : The young LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Norfolk.) 
Mealy ^Miller's Thotib or Miller's Thumb: The LONG- 
TAILED TITMOUSE. (Yorkshire.) From its small size. 
Mealy-mouth. A Craven name for the WILLOW- WARBLER ; 
also the LESSER WHITETHROAT (North Yorkshire). 
MEALY REDPOLL [No. 21]. The name is found in Gould's 
" Birds of Europe " (pt. xi). It also occurs as Mealy Redpole, 
an incorrect spelling, as the name arises from its red head 
(or poll). 

MEDITERRANEAN BLACK-HEADED GUT.L [No. 428]. 
A Mediterranean species of much the same size as the 
BLACK-HEADED GULL, but vnth a really black head. 

MEDITERRANEAN GREAT SHEARWATER [No. 326]. 

A species of Petrel confined to the Mediterranean, but 

of which a single example was picked up at Pevensey 

Beach, Sussex, in 1906. 
Meggy: The WHITETHROAT. ^North Country.) .\n 

abbre^^ation of Margaret (?). Also occurs as Muggj". 
Melhuez. a Cornish name for the SKY- LARK. Mr. Harting 

thinks it the same as Pelhudz=" high-flight." 
MELODIOUS WARBLER [No. 142]. First recorded as 

British by Saunders (" Man. Br. Birds," 1899, p. 77). 
Melodious Willow- Warbler : The ICTERINE WARBLER. 

(Hewitson.) Gould calls it Melodious Willow Wren. 

Merle : The BLACKBIRD. Anglicization of Old. F. merle 
" a mearle, ovvsell, blackbird " (Cotgrave), from Lat. 
merula. Probably obsolete except in poetry, although 
Swainson gives it as a Scots and Irish provincial name. 
Canon Atkinson gives it as a Shakespearean name, but 
probably erroneously, as I find <mly " ouzel-cock " (Mid- 
summer Night's Dream ") and " l)lack ouzel " (Henry IV). 

MERLIN [No. 2.36]. In Old. Eng. IMarlin and Marlion, from 
Old Fr. Esmcrillon or Smirlon. The name occurs in Turner 
(1544) and in Willughby. Sibbald gives Merlin as the 
name of the female and Jack as the name of the male, 
and among falconers formerly the latter was generally 
called Jack-Merlin, Merlin being properlj^ the term for tlie 
female bird (see "Jack.") 

Merwys. a poetical Welsh name for tlie BLACKBIRD. 
Mew. An old English name for any species of Gull (see 
"Maw"). Also occurs as " Mell." 



MEADOW — MISTLE. 157 

Michaelmas Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. (Dorset.) From 

the time of its autumnal appearance in flocks at Portland. 

:\IiDDEN Crow : The CARRION-CROW (Bewick) : midden 

=refuse. " Midden Daup " is a Craven form of the name. 

Middle Spotted Woodpecker : The young of the GREAT 

SPOTTED WOODPECKER, described by Linnteus as 

a separate species, and called JNIiddle Spotted Woodpecker 

by Pennant and other A\Titers up to ^Montagu. 

Migratory Pigeon : The Passenger-Pigeon. (Eyton.) 

]VIilfran: The CARRION-CROW. (North Wales) lit. 

" carrion crow." 
Miller. An old name for the HEN-HARRIER. The name 
was applied only to the grev male birds. It appears also 
to be a local name for the WHITETHROAT, and Swainson 
savs it is a Shropshire name for the young SPOTTED 
FLYCATCHER. 
Miller's Thumb or Tom Thumb : The GOLDEN CRESTED 
WREN and the WILLOW- WARBLER (Roxburgh); 
the CHIFFCHAFF, WILLOW- WARBLER and WOOD- 
WARBLER (Yorkshire). From their small size. 
MmuTE Tringa : The LITTLE STINT. (Selby.) 
Mire-Crow: The BLACK-HEADED GULL. " (Willughby.) 
Mire-drum : The BITTERN. (Montagu and others.) Probably 

now obsolete. 
MiRE Drumble : The GREAT WHITE HERON. The name 
occurs in Merrett (1667) who applies it to Ardea alba. The 
name " iNIire Drum " has also been used for the COMMON 
BITTERN, while Turner's ]Mire Drumble appears to be 
the LITTLE EGRET. 
Mire Duck: The MALLARD. (Forfar.) 
Mire Snipe : The CONDIGN SNIPE. (Aberdeen.) 
Miret: The COMMON TERN. (Cornwall.) 
Missel-bird or Missel Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. 
Misseltoe-thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Charleton.) 
MISTLE-THRUSH [No. 156]. There seems no doubt that 
the name of this bird is a contraction of Mistletoe Thrush, 
and should be spelled " IVIistle " in place of " Missel." It 
is mentioned by Turner, who says it is particularly knoAvn 
as " Thrushe," as distinguished from the Song-thi'ush, 
which he calls " Throssel, or Ma\ds." The name " Mistletoe 
Thrush " occurs first in Merrett (1667); Charleton (1668) 
has " Misseltoe-thrush or Shreitcii," while Willughby 
calls it the "Missel-bird or Shi-ite." That "Missel" 



158 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

however is used by the latter as an equivalent of " ]\Iistle " 
(or Mistletoe), is evident from the remark (p. 187) that 
it " feeds in winter upon Holly berries, but feeds the young 
upon ' Misselto ' berries." Aristotle mentions this species 
also rnider the name of viscivorous, '' since it feeds on 
naught but mistletoe and gum." Albin (1738) spells it 
" Mizzel-bird," perhaps erroneously. Pennant (1766) says 
that " the ancients believed that the misseltoe could not be 
propagated but by the berries that had passed through the 
body of tliis bird." Newton (Yarrell, 4th ed., i, p. 620) 
says the bird " derives its name from feeding on Mistletoe 
berries, a fact knoA^Ti to Aristotle," and says the name 
should be Mistletoe Thrush, not Missel Thrush. The 
spelling Missel Thrush seems to be due to a want of know- 
ledge of the mis-spelling of the plant's name. Skeat also 
says the name is from its feeding on the berries of the 
mistletoe, which he derives from A. Sax. mistel, a dim. of inist, 
and tan, a twig, but Lees ("' Botanical Looker-out," 1842) 
suggests Old. Eng. mistion, defined b}" Jolm.son as "the state 
of being mingled," and Old. Eng. tod ov toe, a bush, i.e. "min- 
gled bush," an allusion to its parasitic nature. As is well 
known, the mistletoe was held sacred by the Druids. Its 
growth w^as ascribed to seeds transplanted from one tree to 
another by this bird. Another derivation is that given by 
Prior (" Popular Names of Brit. Plants "), w'ho says that it is 
from " A.Sax. mistiltan, from mistl, different, and tan, twig, 
being so unlike the tree it grows upon." The Mistle-Thrush 
is supposed in some localities to sing particularly loud and 
long before rain (see Storm-cock). 

MiTEY. A Shetland name for the STORM-PETREL. Mr. 
Robert Godfrey tells me he has heard it used in Fethaland 
and tliinks it may be a contraction of " Alamouti " (q.v.). 
Swain son has " Mitty." 

MiTHER o' THE MAWKiNS : The LITTLE GREBE (Stirling). 
i.e. "Mother o' the hares," signifying a witch or uncamiy 
person, from its diving capabilities (Swainson). 

MizzLY Dick : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Northumberland.) 

Moat Hen : The MOORHEN (q.v.). 

MocHRiJM Elders: The CORMORANT. (Wigtown.) From 
a loch of that name. 

Mock Nightingale: The BLACKCAP (Norfolk); the 
SEDGE-WARBLER (North Yorkshire). 

Molenek. a Cornish name for the GOLDFINCH. 

Moll Hern : The HERON. (Midlands.) 



MITEY — MOOR. 15& 

Molly mawk. See Mallemuck. 

Molly Wash-dish: The PIED WAGTAIL. (Hampshire, 

Somerset.) 

Molrooken: The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Lough 
Neagh.) 

Monk : The BULLFINCH (male). An allusion to its black 
caj) or hood. 

MONTAGU'S HARRIER [No. 246]. The name seems to occur 
first in Yarrell (1843) perhaps as a translation of Temminck's 
Busard montagu (" Man.," i, p. 76). It is so called in honour 
of Col. Montagu, as he was for long supposed to be the 
first describer of the species under the name of Ash-coloured 
Falcon (" Orn. Diet.," i, 1802). He was, however, antici- 
pated by Albin, who in 1738 published a plate of the species 
\\hich was later used by Linnaeus (" Syst. Nat.," i, p. 89, 
1758) in describing the bird under the name of Falco 
'pygargus, thus antedating Montagu. 

INIonthly Bird : The FIELDFARE. (Forfar.) Swainson 
thought it might stand for mountain bird. 

MooNiE : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN is said to be so 
called at Holy Island, while in Roxburghshire it is called 
" moon " or " muin." It is said that these names are 
derived from the frequent appearance of the bird during 
a full " Hunter's ^loon " (Bolam). Mr. Witherb}^ tells me 
•'Shiely" is a more frequent Holy -Island name for 
this bird. 

Moor Bfrd : The RED GROUSE is sometimes so called in 
Yorkshire. 

Moor Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. (Cheshire and North 
Yorkshire.) 

Moor Buzzard or More Buzzard : The MARSH-HARRIER. 
(Probably obsolete.) Formerly a common indigenous 
species before the draining of the fens and marshes, from its 
partiality to Avhich the bird takes its name, the " moor " 
being equivalent to "mire" or marsh. Willughby (1678) 
calls it the '" more-Buzzard," and later A\Titers up to Flemino- 
(1842) call it " :\Ioor-Buzzard." 

Moor Cock or Moor foa\t:. : The RED GROUSE. (Sibbald.) 
Moor-hen is also a name for the female. 

Moor Coot : The MOORHEN. (Provincial.) 

Moor Crow: The HOODED CROW. (Nidd Valley, York- 
shire.) 
Moor Dotterel : The DOTTEREL. (Whitby, Yorkshire.) 



160 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Moor Game: The RED GROUSE. (Yorkshire; and Longden- 
dale, Cheshire.) 

Moor Glead. A Border name for the HEN-HARRIER. 

Moor Hawk : The MARSH-HARRIER (formerly). 

MOORHEN [No. 460]. It is also commonly known as the 
Water Hen. Moor is from A.Sax. m(W, and was anciently 
equivalent to morass or bog, the name ha\dng therefore 
much the same meaning as Water Hen. The name Moor 
Hen occurs in Merrett (1667). Willughby spells it " More- 
hen." Turner (1544) has "water hen, or Mot hen," and 
alludes to the bird as generally haunting " Moats which 
surround the houses of the great " and fish-ponds. 

Moor Linnet or Moor Peep : The TWITE. (Cheshire.) 

Moor Peep: The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Cheshire.) 

Moor Pipit : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Northumberland.) 

Moor Pout or Moor Poot : The young RED GROUSE. (York- 
shire.) 

Moor Thrush: The RING-OUZEL. (Sedbergh, Yorkshire.) 

Moor-titling: The STONECHAT. (Willughby.) Also occurs 
in Merrett (1667) but mis-printed " Moor-titing." Moor 
Tit or Titling is still a Cleveland (Yorkshire) name for the 
species. The name is, perhaps, more often applied to the 
IVIEADOW-PIPIT in North England and Scotland. 

Morant: The MOORHEN. (Willughby.) Swainson thinks 
it signifies Moor-ent ? 

More-cock: The RED GROUSE. Occurs in Willughby. 
(Same as Moor-cock.) 

More-hen : The MOORHEN. (Willughby.) Same as Moor- 
hen (q.v.). 

Morhen : The female BLACK GROUSE (?). (Turner.) Mr. 
Evans supposed it to be the PTARMIGAN, but Turner 
says it is the bird he took to be the " Attagen " (q.v.). 

MoRiLLON. A fowler's name for the GOLDENEYE, but 
applied only to immature or female birds, which were 
formerly supposed to be of a different species. From 
Er. morillon. 

MORRA : The RAZORBILL. (North Wales. ) From its guttural 

cry. 
Morrel Hen : The GREAT SKUA. (See Murrel Hen.) 
MoRTETTER : The STONECHAT. Occurs in Turner. 
MoRWENNOL ddit : The BLACK TERN. (North Wales) lit. 

" black sea-swallow." 



MOOR — ^MOUNTAIN. 161 

MORWENNOL fach: The LITTLE TERN. (North Wales) 

lit. "little sea-swallow." 
MoRWENNOL y GOGLEDD : The ARCTIC SKUA. (North Wales) 

lit. " Arctic sea-swallow." 
]\IoscoviAN Black Game Cock and Hen : The CAPER- 

CAILLIE. (Albin, n, pi. 29, 30.) 
]\Ioss-CHEEPER or Moss-CHEEPUCK : The MEADOW-PIPIT. 

(North England and North Ireland.) 
Moss Duck : The MALLARD. (Renfrew and Aberdeen.) 
Moss Hen. A local Yorkshire name for the female RED 

GROUSE. 
Moss Owl : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Yorkshire, Forfar.) 

Swainson thought it signified Mouse Owl, and it happens 

that Mouse-hawk is a name for the species ; Nelson and 

Clarke, however, give it as a name for the species on the 

north-west fells of Yorkshire, and it might well signify its 

frequenting the mosses. 
Mot-hen : The MOORHEN. Occurs in Turner and signifies 

"Moat-hen" (see MOORHEN). 
Mother Carey's Chicken : The STORM-PETREL ; also any 

other small species of Petrel. Yarrell thought the name 

was given by Capt. Carteret's sailors, from some unkno%\ii 

hag of that name. 
Moth-Hawk or ]\IoTH-HUNTER : The NIGHTJAR. (Provincial.) 
Moth Owl : The NIGHTJAR. (Cheshire.) 
Mountain Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. (Ireland and 

Scotland, Yorkshire.) 
Mountain Bunting: The SNOW-BUNTING. (Cheshire.) 

Also occurs as a distinct species in the older writers, from 

Pennant to Montagu. 

MoLTNTAiN Colley : The RING-OUZEL. (Somerset.) " Colley " 
is from the white gorget or collar (Fr. collet). 

Mountain Finch : The SNOW-BUNTING is so called by the 
bird-stuffers of Brechin and Kirriemuir (Gray). It is also 
a Border and Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire name for the 
BRMIBLING. 

Mountain Harrier. A name for the HEN-HARRIER. 

Mountain Linnet : The TWITE. (Yorkshire.) Occurs in 
Willughby, also Pennant, etc. 

Mountain Magpie. A name for the GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 

(Montagu.) 
Mountain Ouzel : The RING-OUZEL. (North Country.) 

M 



162 DICTIOSTARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Mountain Partridge. A variety of the COIMMON PARTRIDGE. 
Mountain Spahrow. An old name for the TREE-SPARROW. 

It occurs in Albin, Pennant and Montagu, and is also a local 

Cheshire name for the species at the present day. 
Mountain Thrush: The RING-OUZEL. (Kirkcudbright.) 
Mouse Falcon. A name for the KESTREL. (Hett.) 
Mouse-Hawk. A j)rovincial name for the SHORT-EARED 

OWL (Montagu); also the KESTREL (Loftus-in- 

Cleveland, and Beverley, Yorkshire). 
MuD-DABBER or MuD-STOPPER : The KUTHATCH. (South 

England.) So called from its habit of plastering round its 

nesting-hole with mud. 
Mud Lakk. A name for the ROCK-PIPIT. (Hett.) 
Mud Plover. A name for the GREY PLOVER from its 

frequenting flats on the sea-shore. 
MuFFiE Wren : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Renfrew.) 
Muffit: The WHITETHROAT. (Scotland.) Because the 

feathers of the head and neck stand out so as to suggest 

a muffler. 
Muggy : The WHITETHROAT. (North Yorkshire.) Newton 

thinks it is possibly cognate with the latter part of G^rm. 

Grasmiicke (Grass-Midge), but perhaps it is only a corruption 

of Meggie, as Nelson and Clarke say both names are in use 

in the North Riding of Yorkshire. 
MuiR Duck (Moor Duck) : The MALLARD. (Stirling.) 
MuiR EUN (pron. muiT-yan) : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. 

(Horn Head, Donegal.) 
MuiR Fowl or Muir Hen : The RED GROUSE. (Scotland.) 
Mule : The SCAUP DUCK. (Wexford.) 
MuLFBAN, MoRFRAN. Wclsh names for the CORMORANT. The 

first signifies " shy crow," the second " sea-crow." 
MuLFRAN GOPOG, MoRFRAN GOPOG : The SHAG. (North Wales) 

lit. " crested cormorant." 
MuLFRAN wen : The GANNET. (North Wales) lit. " white 

cormorant." 
MuLFBAN werdd, Morfran werdd : The SHAG. (North 

Wales) lit. " green cormorant." 
Mullet. Willughby gives this as a Scarborough name for the 

PUFFIN. 
Mullet Hawk. An old name for the OSPREY. 
MuM-RUFFiN : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Worcester- 
shire, Shropshire.) 



MOUNTAIN — MUTE. 163 

MuR-BHUACHAiLLE. A Gaelic name for the GREAT NORTHERN 

DIVER. (Mainland) lit. " the herdsman of the sea." 
Murdering Pie : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. From its 
habit of impaling mice, small birds, beetles, etc., on thorns, 
and from its pied plumage. 
MuRRE : The RAZORBILL. Willughby gives it as a Cornish 
name for this bird. It is now more generally applied to 
the COMMON GUILLEMOT in the south-west of England 
and south Ireland, as well as on the Yorkshire coast. 
MuRREL Hen or Morrel Hen : The GREAT SKUA. (York- 
shire.) The first is used at Redcar and the second from 
Flamborough to Scarborough (Nelson and Clarke). 
Musket-Hawk or Musquet-Hawk. An old name for the male 
SPARROW-HAWK. From Old Fr. 7nousquet or mouchet, 
from mouche, a fly, an allusion to its small size. The name 
of the musket appears to have been borrowed from the 
bird, and alludes to its smaller and more hand\^ size than the 
cumbrous early matchlock. 
Mussel Cracker: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Teesmouth.) 
Mussel Crow. A name for the CARRION-CROW. (Hett.) 
Mussel Duck : The SCAUP DUCK. (Norfolk and Teesmouth. ) 

The COIMMON SCOTER. (Humber.) 
Mussel Pecker : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Belfast, Forfar.) 
MUTE SWAN [No. 273]. Swan is from A.Sax. Swan or Swon. 
The name was formerly often spelt Swarme. It occurs thus 
in the "Northumberland Household Book" and Wither- 
ington's " Order, Lawes and Ancient Customs of Swannes " 
(1632), etc. Turner (1544) has " Swan," as also has Merrett, 
Willughbj^ and later writers. The sexes are known re- 
spectively as Cob (q.v.) and Pen ; the yoimg being called 
O^gnets. This latter name, however, although now only 
applied to the young, is the old Norman name for the Swan, 
as it is also in its original Latin form, i.e. Cygnus. " Mute 
Swan " is a modem name, found in BeA\ick, Jenyns and 
Yarrell (1st ed.), but older authors call it the " Tame Swan." 
That the Swan was a royal bird until at least 1632 is 
certain. Nelson (" Laws Concerning Game," 1753) writes 
" Swan is a Royal bird, and by Stat. 22, Edw. IV, c. 6, 
None (but the King's Son) shall have any Mark or Game of 
Swans of his own, or to his use, except he have Lands and 
Tenements of Freehold worth five marks per Annum, 
besides Reprises ; in pain to have them seised by any 
having lands of that value, to be divided betwixt the King 
and the Seizor." The eggs also were protected by a separate 

M 2 



164 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

enactment from those of wild fowl (viz. ii Hen. VII, e. 17) 
which states that " None shall take out of the nest any 
Eggs of Falcon, Goshawk, Lanner or Swan, in pain of a 
Year and a day's imprisonment, and to incur a fme at the 
King's pleasure, to be divided between the King and the 
Owner of the Ground." This latter enactment was super- 
seded by an act (i Jac. I, c. 27) which reduced the pimish- 
ment to three months, or a pajrment of 20s. for each egg 
to the churchwardens for the use of the poor, while under 
our later Game Laws the offence was pimishable only by a 
fine not exceeding 5s. for each egg. 

The ancient custom of " Svvan-upping," or talcing up 
Swans for the purpose of marking them, appears to date 
from 1483 at least, when the privilege of keeping Swans 
was granted from the Crown, Swan marks {cygni notce) 
being created to denote ownership. These marks were 
notches or nicks on the bill, three for a royal bird, two for 
a nobleman's bird, etc., and a curious relic of the custom 
is to be found to-day in the number of country inns bearing 
the name or sign of the " Swan with two necks " (i.e. nicks), 
etc. These marks of owners were entered in the book or 
loll of the Master of the Game of Swans and referred to in 
case of dispute, and from time to time were held " Swan- 
herds' Courts " at which orders were made for the preserva- 
tion and ordering of Swans. At the present day the custom 
of marking still survives on the Thames between London 
Bridge and Henley : the privileged owners being the King, 
the Vintners' Company and the Dyers' Company, and the 
practice of marking the birds as soon as the young are 
sufficiently grown is annually observed, generally about the 
end of July, bj'^ the swanherds of the respective owners, the 
time occupied being about four days. At the present day 
the largest "game" of Swans in England is the great 
swannerj^ of the Fleet on the Dorsetshire coast, the property 
of Lord Ilchester. For an account of an ancient " Swan- 
pit " (for fattening these birds for the table) sur\aving at 
Norwich see Stevenson and Southwell's " Birds of Norfolk." 
For an accoimt of the folk-lore and superstitions relating to 
the Swan see under WHOOPER SWAN. 

Formerly, the most extravagant age was attributed to 
the Swan. Even our sober ornithologists Willughby and 
Ray remarked that " It is a very long-lived fowl, so that 
it is thought to attain the age of three himdred years." In 
Wynkyn de Worde's "Demands Joyous," an English version 
of an old French riddle-book, as cited by Iklr. Harting 



MUTE — NETTLE. 165 

("Birds of Shakespeare "), we find the life of a man com- 
puted at 81 years, while " the life of a goose is three times 
that of a man ; and the life of a swan is three times that of 
a goose ; and the life of a swallow is three times that of a 
swan ; and the life of an eagle is three times that of a 
swallow ; and the life of a serpent is three times that of an 
eagle ; and the life of a raven is three times that of a 
serpent ; and the life of a hart is three times that of a raven ; 
and an oak gro\veth 500 years, and fadeth 500 j^ears." This 
last computation is not so far from the truth, but the 
others are obviously absurd. 

IMuzzEL Thrfsh. a corruption of MISTLE-THRUSH. 

MwoPE : The BULLFINCH. (Dorset.) 

MwYALCHEN. A Welsh name for the BLACKBIRD, properly 
applicable to the female, the male being called "Aderjm 
ddu." 

MwYALCHEN DDWR. A Welsh name for the DIPPER ; lit. 
" water blackbird." 

MwYALCHEN Y GRAiG. A Welsh name for the RING-OUZEIi ; 

lit. "rock blackbird." 

INlYNLiR CiAF : The JACK-SNIPE. (North Wales) lit. " lesser 

peat hen." 
Nannie Wagtail: The PIED WAGTAIL. (Notts.) 
Nanny Redtail : The REDSTART. (Cleveland, Yorkshire.) 

Nanpie. a Lincolnshire and Yorkshire name for the MAGPIE ; 
in Craven it becomes " nan-piannot." Swainson also gives 
" Pie nannj^ " as a Lonsdale name. 

Nauk or Nagk : The GREAT NORIHERN DIVER. (Holy 
Island.) A corruption of Auk ; also applied to other 
Divers. Swainson also gives Naak as a Scottish name for 
the species. 

NEEDLE-TAILED SWIFT [No. 201]. This Asiatic species 
derives its name from the projecting spines at the end of 
the tail-feathers. 
Nettle-bird: The WHITETHROAT. (Leicestershire.) 
Nettle-creeper or Nettle-monger. Provincial names for the 
WHITETHROAT, and also the BLACKCAP; and said 
to be applied to the GARDEN- WARBLER in Craven. 
The REED-BUNTING also occurs as Nettle-monger in 
Morton's " Northamptonshire." The name is most appro- 
priate for the first-named bird, which chiefly frequents 
nettle-beds. 



166 DICTIONAKY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

NiAS or Nyas. a falconer's term for nestling-Hawks. Derived 
from Fr. niais, from Low Lat. Nidax. In English it is 
generally found corrupted into " Eyas " or " Ej-ess." 

XlCKA-PECKER, XlCKER-PECKER, or NiCICLE : The GREEN 

WOODPECKER. (Notts.) 

NicoL or Jack Nico : The GOLDFINCH. (North Wales.) 

NiGHTBTRD : The MOORHEN. (Sussex.) From its dark 
plumage. The name is also given to the MANX SHEAR- 
WATER about Skellig Island, because it is only seen at 
night about the rock. 

Night-Churr : The NIGHTJAR. (Pro\ancial.) From its noc- 
turnal habits and the churring noise it utters. 

Night-Crow : The NIGHTJAR. (Yorkshire, Northants., Corn- 
wall.) 

Night Hawk : The NIGHTJAR. (Fleming, Selby.) It is a 
common English provincial name for the species. 

NIGHT-HERON [No. 266]. The name seems to occur first in 
Peimant's " Arctic Zoology " (vol. ii. No. 356), the yoimg 
being described in the same work as " Gardenian Heron." 
This appears to be the bird anciently kno^^n as the Night 
Raven, under which name it is figm'ed in Albin (1738). 
Willughby, who terms the species the Lesser Ash-Coloured 
Heron, says it is called by the Germans Night Raven, 
" because in the night-time it cries with an uncouth voice." 
The scientific name Nycticorax also signifies Night Raven. 
Under the heading of the " Bittour or Bittern," however, 
Willughby writes: "This without doubt is that bird our 
common people call the Night Raven, and have such a dread 
of, imagining its cry portends no less than their death, or 
the death of some of their near relations : for it flies in the 
night, answers their description of being like a flagging 
collar, and hath such a kind of whooping cry as they talk 
of." Goldsmith (".Ajiimated Nature") confirms this by 
relating of the Bittern that he remembered " with what 
terror the bird's note affected the whole \dllage." Spenser 
also alludes to " the hoarse night raven, trompe of doleful 
dreere." The reference ma^^ of course, be to the night- 
like plumage of the RAVEN. 

NIGHTINGALE [No. 180]. The name of this piime favourite 
among song-birds signifies literally " singer of the night," 
it being the A. Sax. nihtegale (fr. niht^night and gale=a, 
singer). Prof. Skeat says the middle n is excrescent. The 
name is foimd in Chaucer's " Canterbury Tales " : Turner 
(1544) wites it " Nyght;^Tigall," while Merrett (1667) and 



XIAS — NILE. 167 

Willughby (1678) have Nightingale. Shakespeare and 
many of the other early poets allude to this species as 
Philomel (which see for an explanation of the classical 
allusion). It was locally believed, according to Dyer, 
that there were no Xightiagales at Haveiing-atte-BoAver, 
Essex, because of a legend that Edward the Confessor, 
being interrupted by them in his meditations, prayed that 
their song might never be heard again. It has also been 
said that Nightingales have never been heard in Yorkshire, 
but as a matter of fact the species does occur in that coimty, 
although larely, it being the northernmost limit of its 
range. Similarly in Devonshire the species is met with in 
the south-eastera portion of the coimty, but I tliink has 
never been known to occur in the west. Andrew Boord 
(" Book of Knowledge ") relates a curious belief that in the 
Forest of Saint Ijeonards in Sussex " there doth never singe 
nightingale, althoughe the Foreste rormd about in tyme of 
the yeare is I'eplenyshed "with nightingales ; they wyl singe 
round about the Foreste and never within the precincte 
of the Foreste." This bird was formerly popularly sup- 
posed to arrive ^\ith the CUCKOO (with which it is much 
connected in folk-lore) on the 14th of April. 

NIGHTJAR [No. 202]. This name appears to have been fixed 
for the species through its adoption by Yarrell (1843), 
although it was previously used by Bewick (1797). The 
bird occurs in iMerrett, Willughby and subsequent authors 
to Montagu under the name of Goatsucker (q.v.). IMontagu 
gives Nightjar as a provincial name. For the popular 
beliefs regarding this species, see imder " Goatsucker " and 
also " Puckeridge." In Nidderdale the country people say 
these birds embody the souls of unbaptised infants doomed 
to wander for ever in the air (according to Macquoid), and 
call them "Gabble-ratchets" (q.v.). 

Night Owl : The LITTLE OWL. aierrett.) 

NiGirr Raven : The NIGHT-HERON (q.v.). Also ascribed to 
the BITTERN. 

Night Singer: The SEDGE- WARBLER. (Ireland; Sed- 
bergh, Yorkshire.) From its singing at night. 

Night Sp.^rrow : The SEDGE- WARBLER. (Cheshire.) 
Night Swallow : The NIGHTJAR. From its nocturnal 

habits, and because it hawks flies like a Swallow. 
Night Warbler : The REED- WARBLER. (Bewick.) 
Nile-bird : The WRYNECK. (Berks., Bucks.) 



168 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Nimble-tailor: The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Slirop- 
phire.) 

Nine-killer: The RED-BACKED SHRIKE. According to 
Willughby, where this name occurs, it is a translation of 
the German Neghen-doer (Mod. G^rm. Neuntodter), a term 
applied becavise it Avas supposed to kill nine birds or other 
creatures every day. The name is, howev^er, older than 
Willughby, for it is foimd in Turner (1544) as " Nyn- 
murder," and the latter gives the German equivalent as 
"Nuin miirder " {=neunmdrder). 

Nocturnal Goatsucker : The NIGHTJAR. (Pennant.) 

Noddy : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Whitby, Yorkshire.) 

Noddy Tern. The name is found in Gould (•' Bds. Eur.," pt. 21) 
and the species was included by Yarrell (1st ed.), it being 
said, on insufficient evidence, to have occurred in our 
islands. Noddy is originally a name applied by sailors to 
the bird on account of its stupid habits ; being probably 
derived from Fr. nodden, a sleepy nodding of the head : 
hence signifying sleepy-headed or foolish, the word " noodle " 
being akin. 

Nope : The BUI.LFINCH. (Staffordshire, Shropshire.) Occurs 
in Drayton's Polyolbion xm, also in Willughby. Newton 
thinks it to be a corruption of some form of Alp (q.v.) : the 
original word perhaps being " an ope." In Dorset it 
becomes " Mwope." 

Norfolk Plover : The STONE CURLEW. Montagu gives it 
as a provincial name. It appears to have been first used 
by Pennant (1766) for the species. 

NoRiE. A Shetland name for the PUFFIN. (Saxby.) 

NoRJO.N Gizer: The MISTLE -THRUSH. (Oxfordshire.) 
The meaning is rmcertain, although Gizer is probably from 
Gise (Old.Fr. gister) signifying a pasturer, from its habit of 
frequenting fields. Swainson gives Norman Tlirush as a 
Craven name for this species. 

NORTH AMERICAN PEREGRINE [No. 234]. This species 
is almost invariably knowTi in America as the Duck Hawk. 

North Cock : The SNOW-BUNTING. (Aberdeen.) 

Northern Butxfinch : The large North European form of the 
BULLFINCH. 

Northern Diver: The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. 
(Pennant.) 

Northern Doucker : The BLACK-THROATED DIVER. 
Montagu gives it as a pro\'incial name. 

Northern Fulmar : The FULMAR PETREL. (Jenyns.) 



NIMBLE — NUTCRACKER. 169 

Northern Great Spotted Woodpecker. See GREAT 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

Northern Hareld : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. (Aberdeen. ) 
Hareld is from havdd, the Icelandic name of the bird. 

NORTHERN LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE [No. 100]. The 
Continental form of the LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. It 
was formerly called the White-headed Lone;-tailed Titmouse. 

Northern Mealy Redpoll : COUES'S REDPOLL. 

Northern Penguin : The GREAT AUK. (Edwards.) 

Northern Wellow-Titmouse. See WILLOW-TITMOUSE. 

Northern Willow-Waebler. See WILLOW- WARBLER. 

Norway Barnacle : The BARNACLE-GOOSE. (Ireland.) 

Norway Crow: The HOODED CROW. (Northumberland, 
Yorkshire, Norfolk.) From its being supposed they visit 
us in -ftinter from Norway. Northern Crow is also a 
Craven name for the species. 

Norway Duck : The SCAUP DUCK. (Belfast.) Nor^v-egian 
Teal is also a Banff name for the same species. 

Norway Nightingale. A name for the REDWING. (Hett.) 

NORWEGIAN BLUETHROAT [No. 182]. Generally knoAvn as 
Red-spotted Bluethroat. It is the Blue-throated Redstart 
of Edwards (pi. 28), the Blue-throated Robin of Be\^ick, and 
the Blue-tlii'oated Warbler of Yarrell and Jenjms. 

Nun or White Nun : The male SMEW. (Northumberland.) 
From its black-and-white plumage : Willughby calls it 
the " White Nun." Also the BLUE TITOIOUSE, from its 
banded head (occurs in Turner and Willughby). 

Nutbreaker : The NUTCRACKER. Appears to be the first 
English name given to this bird and is foimd in the index to 
Willughbj' (1678), no English name being given in the text. 

Nut-brown Bird. A name for the PARTRIDGE. (Hett.) 

N^UTCRACKER [No. 7, Thick-Billed Nutcracker; No. 8, 
Slender-Billed Nutcracker]. The name Nutcracker seems 
to be first found in Edwards's Gleanings (plate 240, 1758). 
The earliest mention of this species apj)ears to be in 
Turner (1544) who says "besides the said three kinds 
of Graculi described by Aristotle, I know a fourth, which I 
have seen upon the Rhsetic Alps , . . Now to this the 
Rhaetians have given the name of Nucifraga, from the nuts 
which it breaks with its bill and eats." The form breeding 
in Europe is now separated from the form breeding in 
Siberia and visiting Europe in winter : hence the two names. 
In Shropshire the name is applied to the NUTHATCH. 



170 DICTIONARY OF XAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

NUTHATCH [No. 86, British Nuthatch]. Occurs in Wil- 
lughby (1678). Turner (1544) has "Nut jobber " and "Nut- 
seeker." Another Old English form is " Nuthack," the name 
being derived from its habit of hacking or hammei'ing at 
nuts whioh it first fixes in the crevice of the bark of a tree. 
Hartert has separated the British resident form from the 
Continental form, hence the change of name. 

NUTJOBBER or JOBBIN, NUT TAPPER, or NUT TOPPER : The 

NUTHATCH. (England.) Equivalent of Nuthatch. 
Nyroca Duck : The FERRUGINOUS DUCK. (Selby.) Also 

called Nyroca Pochard. 
Oak Jackdaw. A name for the JAY. (Hett.) 
Oat-e,\r: The YELLOW WAGTAIL. (Hett.) See Oatseed 

bird. 

Oat-fowl: The SNOW-BUNTING. (Orkneys.) From its 
feeding on oats (Swainson). 

Oatseed-bird : The YELLOW WAGTAIL; or the GREY 
WAGTAIL in Yorkshire, according to Swainson, who saj^s 
it is because it makes its appearance about March, and is 
then more abundant in those elevated parts which are better 
adapted for the growth of oats than wheat. 

Oh dee-ar. Saxbv gives this as a Shetland name for the 
GOLDEN PLOVER. 

Oke : The RAZORBILL. A corruption of Auk (Icel. dlka). 

Old Hard weather. A name for the male GOLDENEYE, 
Also the Tufted Duck. 

Old Maid : The LAPWING. (Worcestershire.) For a possible 
explanation of this name, by a Danish belief that the Lap- 
wings are metamorphosed old maids, see " Notes and 
Queries," ser. iii, vol. x, p. 49. 

Old Man : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Cheshire.) 

Olf, Olp, or Olph : The BULLFINCH. (Suffolk and Norfolk.) 
A form of " Alp." 

Olivaceous Gallinule : The LITTLE CRAKE. (Montagu.) 

Olive: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Essex.) Mr. Miller 
Christ}'^ thinks it is a corruption of Olaf (or Olave), the name 
of the Danish King. It is foimd in Albin as a name for 
this species. 

Oolert or OwLERD : The BARN-OWL. (Shropshire.) Cor- 
ruption of Howlet. 

OossEL : The BLACKBIRD. (North Yorkshire.) A corrup- 
tion of Ouzel. 



NUTHATCH — OTTERLING. 171 

Orange-legged Hobby: The RED-FOOTED FALCON. 

(Selby.) 

ORPHEAN WARBLER [No. 144]. The name arises from 
Temminek's name for the species {Sylvia orphea) referring 
to its song. It is found in Gorild and also Yarrell 
(" Supp.," II, 1856) as " Orpheus Warbler." 

ORTOLAN BUNTING [No. 48]. From Fr. Ortolan ; in Old 
Fr. Hortolan. It occurs first in Albin (1738) as Hortulon 
or Hortulane, and as Ortolan Bunting in Pennant 
(" Arctic Zoology ") and Latham. It is also the Green- 
headed Bunting of Latham, BrowTi, Lewin, and Montagu. 

OSPREY [No. 253]. The word " Osprey " occurs in Turner 
(1544), who derives it from Aristotle and gives an accurate 
account of its habits ; and it also occurs in Aldrovandus 
(p. 191) as the English name of the bird. Willughby and 
other old authors confuse it with the " Sea-Eagle " or 
immature WHITE-TAILED EAGLE, Willughby's "Os- 
prey " being the latter species, while his " Baldbusardus 
anglorum " is the Osprey. From Lat. ossifragus, the 
Sea-Eagle or Osprey— lit, bone-breaker — from the bird's 
reputed strength and habits. In Holland's translation 
of Pliny it occurs both as ospreie and orfraie, the latter 
being sjoionymous with Old Fr. orj'raye, as in Cotgrave. 
In Shakespeare, where the bird is named twice, it occurs as 
aspray in the old texts, but is rendered osprey in modern 
editions. In " Coriolanus " (act rv, sc. 7) we get an admir- 
able simile of the Osprey's pre-eminence as a fisher : — 

. . . He'll be to Rome 
As is the Osprey to the fish, who takes it 
By sovereignty of natiire. 

Indeed, the bird's powers in this direction were so extra- 
ordinary as to lead to the belief that it possessed the 
fabulous power of fascinating the fish. Peele in 1594 
(" Battle of Alcazar," act i, sc. 1) alludes to this : — 
I will provide thee of a princely Osprey, 
That, as he flieth over fish in pools, 
The fish shall turn their glistering bellies up. 
And thou shalt take thy liberal choice of all. 

Turner also says that " Wlien the Osprey hovers in the air 
whatever fishes be below turn up and show their whitish 
bellies." As regards the then abundance of the species he 
says that " the Osprey is a bird much better known to-day 
to Englishmen than many who keep fish in stews would 
msh : for within a short time it bears off every fish." 

Otterling. a name for the C0:MM0N SANDPIPER. (Hett.) 



172 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Our Lady's Hen, An old Scots name for the WREN. 
(Swainson.; 

Ouzel, Ouizle, Uzzle, Ousel, or Ousel Cock : The BLACK- 
BIRD properly (Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, etc.) ; 
but sometimes also applied without prefix to the RENG- 
OUZEL, where that northern species predominates, the 
Blackbird on the other hand being sometimes designated 
Black Ousel. Occurs locally as Oossel or Ussel (North 
Yorkshire), and also Amzel, the latter actually seeming to 
be the correct form, as the derivation is from A. Sax. osle 
{=a'msele) the long 6 as Skeat points out standing for am 
or an, and being synonymic with Old High Ger. amsalc 
and Mod. Ger. amsel, a Blackbird. The word occur.s 
in our Mid. Eng. as osel and osul. Shakespeare ("Mid- 
summer Night's Dream ") refers to the " ousel cock, so 
black of hue, with orange-tawny bill." 

OvEN-BiRD, Oven Tit. or Ground-oven, Norfolk names for the 
Wn.LOW- WARBLER. From the shape of its nest. In 
the same county the LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE is called 
Bush-oven, from the position of its nest, vvliile it is known 
as Oven's-nest in Northamptonshire and Oven-bird or 
Oven-builder in Scotland (Stirling), 

Over-sea Bird or Over-sea Linnet : The SNOW- BUNTING. 

(Yorkshire.) 

Ox-Bird or Ox-Eye : The DUNLIN, and also the SANDER- 
LING (Kent and Essex). Perhaps from the full round 
eye, like an ox's, 

Oxen-and-Kine : The RUFF (obsolete). Appears to have 
been a name for this species about the end of the sixteenth 
century. Swainson cites references to it in the introduction 
to " Expenses of the Judge? of Assize, going the Western 
and Oxford circuits, between 1596 and 1601," reprinted in 
Vol. XIV, of "Camden Miscellany," 1857, also Carew's 
"Survey of Cornwall," 1602, p, 108, Mr, Harting in 
Intro. Rodd's " Birds of Cornwall," p, xvii, cites it (no 
doubt from Carew) as an old Cornish name " for some 
unknown small species of Avildfowl," 

Ox-Eye. A common provincial name for the GREAT TIT- 
MOUSE, Occurs in Willughby, Perhaps so called from the 
large white patch on the side of the head, resembling that 
sometimes seen on the face of an ox. It is also a Border 
name for the BLUE TITMOUSE, according to Bolam. 

Ox-eye Creeper : The TREECREEPER. Occurs in Merrett 

(1667) and also Charleton (1668), 



OUR — PAHTRICK. 173 

OYSTERCATCHER [No. 351]. Occurs in Kay (1570) and in 
Willughby (1678) under the name of Sea-Pie, and Pennant 
(1766) uses the same name, but later writers call it the 
Pied Oyster-catcher. Oyster-Catcher is first used bj'^ 
Catesby (" Nat. Hist. Carolina ") in 1731 for the American 
species, which he (probably erroneously) believed to feed on 
oysters, and was adopted in this country by Pennant. 

Oyster Plover. A name for the OYSTERCATCHER. 
(Swainson.) 

Padge, Pudge, or Pudge Owl : The BARN-O^VTJ. (Leicester- 
shire.) 

Pal : The PUFFIN. (North Wales) lit. " Polly " (for Sea- 
parrot). 

Pale-breasted Brent Goose. See BRENT GOOSE. 

PALLAS'S GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER [No. 132]. A 
Siberian species named in honour of Pallas. 

PALLAS'S SAND-GROUSE [No. 350]. Called after the explorer 
and naturalist Pallas. Sand Grouse is first foimd in Latham 
(1783) being a rendering of Pallas's name Tetrao arenarius. 
An irregular migrant from South-east Europe and Central 
Asia, the first great immigration of which to the British 
Islands took place in 1863, since when it has frequently 
\isited us. 

PALLAS'S WARBLER [No. 128]. A Siberian species of 
Willow- Warbler, named in honour of Pallas, who first 
described it in 1827. 

Palores. a Cornish name for the CHOUGH. 

Pandle Whew : The WIGEON. (Norfolk.) Whew is from 
its whistling note and pandle seems to mean a shrimp 
(Swainson). It occurs in Bewick as " Pandled Whew." 

Parasitic Gull : The LONG-TAILED SKUA. (Gould.) 

Parkers. A Fen name for the smaller kinds of wild-ducks. 

Parrot or Sea Parrot : The PUFFIN. (Yorkshire.) From 
its bill being supposed to resemble a parrot's. 

PARROT-CROSSBILL [No. 35]. So called from the bill being 
stouter and more parrot-like than that of the common form. 
It is first noticed by Pennant (" Br. Zool.," ed. 1776) and 
the name is found in Selby (1825'i. 

Parson Gull or Parson Mew : The GREAT BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. (Cheshire, Sussex, Galway.) From the contrast 
of its black coat and white under-plumage. 

Partrick, Partrig : The COMMON PARTRIDGE. (Yorkshire.) 
An equivalent. 



174 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Partridge : The general name for the COMMON PARTRIDGE. 
Old Eng. Pertriche; Scot., Patrick, Paitrick, or Pertrick. 

Passenger-Pigeon. An American species, now thought to be 
extinct, of which five British examples are on record, but 
which are presumed to have escaped from captivity. The 
name seems to have been invented by Wilson, the colloquial 
name in Xorth America having apparently been " Wild 
Pigeon." On the British side it occm's in Jenyns (1835) 
and as Passenger Tm'tle in Selby (1833). 

Passerine Owl : The LITTLE OWL. 

Passerine Warbler: The GARDEN- WARBLER. Found 
in Bewick (1797). 

Patrick or Pertick: The COMMON PARTRIDGE. (Scotland.) 

See Partridge. 

Pea-bird : The WRYNECK. (Provincial.) Swainson says it is 
from its sharp utterance of the sound " pea-pea." 

Pear-tree Goldfinch. A bird-fancier's name for a supposed 
large variety of the GOLDFINCH, reared in pear-trees. 

Pease Crow : The COMMON TERN. (Provincial.) 

Pease weep, or Peeseweep : The LAPWING. (Scotland and 
Northumberland.) From its cry. According to Swainson 
the name has also been applied to the GREENFINCH, 
because one of its notes resembles that of the Lapwing. 

PECTORAL SANDPIPER [No. 378, American Pectoral 
Sandpiper ; No. 379, Siberian Pectoral Sandpiper]. This 
species is now divided into two forms, of which the Arctic- 
American race has occurred many times in our islands, but 
the Asiatic is only knowTi to have occurred once with 
certainty. The name Pectoral Sandpiper is found in 
Jenyns, Yarrell (1st ed.) and later authors. 

Peep o' Day: A name for the LITTLE GREBE. (East 
Cottingwi th , Yorkshire . ) 

Peep: The SANDERLING. (Boulmer, Northumberland.) 
From its note. Also the MEADOW-PIPIT (Forfar). 

Peepy Lennart. a Holy Island name for the TWITE. 
(Bolam.) 

Peerie Whaup: The WHIMBREL. (Shetlands.) 

Peesnips : The LAPWING. (Cheshire.) 

Peetlark : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Cheshire.) 

Peewit : The LAPWING. (See Pewdt.) 

Peewit Gull: The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (See Pewit 
Gull.) 



PARTRIDGE — ^PELICAN, 175 

Peggy or Peggy Whitethroat : The WILLOW-WARBLER. 
(Cheshire, West Yorksliire, Shropshire.) Peggy is also 
applied to the WHITETHROAT (Notts, and Yorkshire) 
and the GARDEN- WARBLER, BLACKCAP, WREN and 
CHIFFCHAFF (Yorkshire). 

Pelican. Fr. Pelican from Lat. Pelecamis. This name, no^v 
restricted to the genus Pelecanus, appears in ancient times 
to have been applied to several other birds noteworthy 
on account of their bills, the true Pelican being in fact 
called Onocrotalus by most ancient writers from Pliny to 
Turner, while Willughby has " Pelecan, Onocrotalus sive 
Pelecanus, Aldrov." Thus we find Turner gi\ang Pelecanus 
as a synonym of the " Shovelard " or SPOONBILL, and 
he cites Hieromonus's " Pelecani " as being apparently the 
same. The Pelican of Aristophanes, however, is the Wood- 
pecker, or joiner-bird, which A\ith its bill hewed out the 
gates of " Cloud-Cuckoo-toMH." The derivation, in fact, 
is from Xleye/caw, signifjdng " to hew with an axe," and 
the Woodpecker was so called from its pecking, the Pelican 
from its large bill, and the Spoonbill from the remarkable 
shape of its bill. That some other birds were also so called 
is certain, and to which species to refer the legend of the 
Pelican feeding its yoimg ^Wth its oami blood is very im- 
certain. Houghton ("Natural History of the Ancients," 
p. 191) thinks that the legend refers to a vulture or eagle, 
and cites the story of Horapollo that the vulture, if it 
cannot get food for its offspring, opens its thigh and allows 
them to partake of the blood. He thinks the story was 
adapted and magnified from the Egj^Dtian fable bj^ the 
ecclesiastical fathers in their annotations on the Scriptures. 
Augustine, for instance, says that the male pelicans " are 
said to kill their young offspring by blows of their beaks, 
and then to bewail their deaths for the space of three days. 
At length, however, it is said that the mother bird inflicts 
a severe wound on herself, pouring the flowing blood over 
the dead young ones, M-hich instantly brings them to life." 
Many other %vriters relate the same story, with variations, 
and in some accounts the fable is that the female bird feeds 
her living j^'oimg in this maimer, in which may be traced a 
return to the EgjqDtian original. Hieronymus, whose 
Pelican is, as before mentioned, referred by Turner to the 
Spoonbill, says that " Pelecani, when they find their yoimg 
killed by a serpent, mourn, and beat themselves upon their 
sides, and with the blood discharged, they thus bring back 
to life the bodies of the dead," which of course is another 



176 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

variation of the stor5^ Whitney, in his " Choice of Em- 
blems," gives a woodcut illustration of a bird like an eagle 
piercing her breast Avith her hooked bill, surrounded by the 
young in the nest whose mouths are open to receive the 
blood ; the lines below being : — 

The pellican, for to revive her younge, 

Doth pierce her breast, and geve them of her blood. 

This fable in fact served as a symbol of Christ's love to 
men, and with the substitution of a real Pelican for the 
bird, it exists to the present day in ecclesiastical art. What 
species of bird the eagle or vulture of Whitney and other 
old writers may be is uncertain, but there is little doubt 
indeed that the substitution of the Pelican for the other 
bird in the fable is due to the erroneous idea that the name 
indicated the Pelican and not some other species. In 
fact attempts have been made to account for the legend 
by explaining that the Pelican feeds its young with the 
fish from its pouch, and that during the process the red 
Tiail or tip of the lower mandible, pressing against the 
breast, might lead an observer to suppose that the bird was 
piercing its own breast. Bartlett (-' Land and Water," April 
3rd, 1869) made an ingenious attempt to lay the origin of 
the fable upon the Flamingo, which he says disgorges a 
blood-like fluid. The Pelican is not a British bird, although 
several doubtful records of the Great ^Vhite Pelican 
(P. onocrotalus) in our islands are extant. 

Pellile : The REDSHANK. (Aberdeen.) Erom its cry. 

Pen: The female of the MUTE SWAN. (See Cob.) 

Penddu. a Welsh name for the BLACKCAP ; lit. " black 
head." 

Pendew: The HAWFINCH. (North Wales) lit. "thick 
head." 

Pengoch : The LESSER REDPOLL. (North Wales) lit. " red 
poll." Bengoch is an equivalent form. 

Penguin : The GREAT AUK. Found in Ray's " S^Tiopsis," 
also in Willughby, Edwards, and other early writers ; Ht. 
" Pin-wing." According to Nelson and Clarke " Pen wings " 
is an old Redcar (Yorkshire) name for the species. 

Penloyn: The GREAT TITMOUSE and the COAL- 
TITMOUSE. (North Wales) lit. " black head." 

Penloyn-y-gors. a Welsh name for the MARSH-TITMOUSE ; 
lit. " marsh coal head." 

Penny-bird. ;^n Irish name for the LITTLE GREBE. (Lough 
Morne ana Carrickfergus.) 



PELLILE — PHEASANT. 177 

Pen y LLwyN. A Welsh name for the MISTLE-THRUSH ; 
lit. " chief of the grove." 

Percher. a young ROOK, after it has left the nest. 

PEREGRINE^ FALCON [No. 233]. Peregrine, from Lat. 
peregnnus= wandering, is sometimes used as the name 
of the species, but it is an adjective, not a substantive. 
The name Peregrine Falcon appears in Willughby (1678) 
being anglicized from the Faico peregrmus of Aldrovandus, 
who gives a good figure of it. Ray remarks that it " took 
its name either from passing out of one country into another, 
or because it is not kno^\^l where it builds." In falconry 
the female used to be called Falcon-gentle and the male 
Tiercel-, Tassel- or Tercel-gentle (see " Tiercel "). 

Perry Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON. (Ryedale, York- 
shire.) 

Pet Maw. A name for the COMMON GULL and the KITTI- 
WAKE at Redcar, Yorkshire. 

Petrell. Pennant gives this as a Flamborough name for the 
KITTIWAKE GULL. 

Petrisen. a Welsh name for the PARTRIDGE. 

Petrisen goesgoch: The RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE. 
(North Wales) lit. " red-legged partridge." 

Pettychaps. (See Greater and Lesser Pettychaps.) 

Peweep or PiEWiPE : The LAPWING. (Norfolk.) 

Pewit or Puit : The LAPWING. A common provincial name, 
imitative of its cry. 

Pewit or Pewit Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. From 
its cry. The first occurs in Willughby and the second in 
Pennant. It occurs as "Puit" in Fuller's "Worthies" 
(p. 318). Peewdt Gull is a present name for the species 
in North Wales. 

Ph.axaroe: The GREY PHALAROPE. (Yorkshire coast.) 
A corruption of Phalarope. 

PHEASANT [No. 466]. Mid. Eng. Fesaunt and Fesaun, Fr. 
Faisan, from Lat. Phasiamis. Originally introduced into 
Europe from the banks of the River Phasis, now Rioni, in 
Colchis. The name occurs in Turner (1544) as Phesan, and 
in Barlow's plates (1655) as "Feasant." Pheasant occurs 
in Merrett (1667), and also Willughby. Plot (1677) spells it 
" Phesant." As regards its introduction into England 
nothing definite is known, except that the bird appears 
to have been kno^^Tl here before the Conquest, and Newton 
thinks that it must almost certainly have been brought 

N 



178 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

hither by the Romans. It seems to have been early imder 
protection for, according to Dugdale, a licence was gi'anted 
in the reign of Henry I to the Abbot of Amesbury to kill 
Hares and Pheasants, and that later they were artificially 
reared and fattened appears from Upton, who wrote about 
the middle of the 15th century, while Henry VIII seems 
from his privy purse expenses to have had in his household 
in 1532 a French priest as a regular " fesaunt breder," and 
in the accovmts of the Kytsons of Hengrave in Suffolk for 
1607, mention is made of wheat to feed Pheasants, Partridges 
and Quails, In ancient times Pheasants were taken in 
snares as well as by Hawks. In Barlow's prints (1655) 
this bird (called "Feasant — Phasianus") is showTi being 
pursued by a Hawk. 
Pheasant Dtjck : The PINTAIL. (Beverley, Yorkshire.) 
Philip or Phip : The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Provincial.) 
Swainson says it is from the note. It may originate, 
however, in Skelton's poem " Philip Sparrow." The names 
are also applied to the HEDGE-SPARROW. 
Phiixepene : The LAPWING. (Ireland.) 
Phillip's Fulm.\r : SCHLEGEL'S PETREL. (Godman.) 
Philomel: The NIGHTINGALE. The name is frequently 
met with in poetical and other allusions to this bird, as well 
as several times in Shakespeare, and arises from the classical 
tale (to' be met with in Ovid's " Metamorphoses," bk. vi, 
fab. 6) of the transformation of Pliilomela, daughter of 
Pandion, King of Athens, into a Nightingale. Philomela, 
finding herself deceived by Tereus, had her tongue cut 
out by him to hinder her from revealing the truth ; being 
finally turned by the gods into a Nightingale, whence the 
name of Philomela and the poetic allusion to her supposed 
sad recapitulation of her wrongs. It was formerly supposed 
that the bird sang with its breast impaled upon a thorn, 
thus accentuating " the well-tun'd warble of her nightly 
sorrow." This popular error is alluded to by Shakespeare 
in " The Passionate Pilgrim " : — 

She, poor bird, as all forlorn, 
Lean'd her breast up-till a thorn, 
And there sung the dolefull'st ditty. 
That to hear it was great pity. 
Sir Philip Sidney, also, in one of his sonnets, says that 
this bird 

Sing? out her woes, a thorn her song-book making. 
Fletcher and Pomfret, also, among the later poets, allude 
to it. 



PHEASANT — PIE. 179 

PlANET, PlEANNOT, PlANNOT, PiNOT, PyNOT, PyENATE, PiaNATE 

or Pyanet. Provincial names for the MAGPIE (North 

England), from Lat. pica. Pyanet occurs in Merrett (1667) 

and Pianet in Willughby and later authors. (See " Pie.") 
PiBHiNN (pronounced pee veen.) A Gaelic name for the 

LAPWING. (Western Isles.) From its cry. 
PiBYDD DDF : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (North Wales) 

lit. "black piper." 
PiBYDD GWYRDD : The GREEN SANDPIPER. (North Wales) 

lit. " green piper." 
PiBYDD lleiaf: The LITTLE STINT. (North Wales) lit. 

" lesser piper." 
PiBYDD llydandroed : The GREY PHALAROPE. (North 

Wales) lit. " broad-footed piper." 
PiBYDD RHTJDDGOCH : The DUNLIN. (North Wales) lit. 

" ruddy piper." 
PiBYDD Y TRAETH. A Welsh name for the COIVIMON SAND- 
PIPER, and also the SANDERLING (North Wales) ; 

lit. " piper of the sand." Another name for the first 

species in North Wales is Pibydd y dorian (= piper of 

the streamside). 
PiCAEiNi : The AVOCET. Montagu gives it as a provincial 

name. 
Pick: The BAR-TAILED GODWIT. (Norfolk.) 
PicKATEE : The BLUE TIT:\I0USE. (Notts.) 
PiCK-A-TREE. A Northumberland name for the GREEN 

WOODPECKER. (Wallis.) 
PiCKCHEESE : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Norfolk.) 
Pickerel: The DUNLIN. (Scotland.) 
PiCKE-TA or Piccatabry: The ARCTIC TERN. (Orkneys 

and Shetlands.) 
PiCKiE : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Teesdale.) 

PiCKIE, PiCKIE-BIJRNET, PlCKIE-MAW, PiCKMAW, PlCKMIRE, 

Pick-sea, or Pictarnie. Scottish Border names for the 
BLACK-HEADED GULL. 

Pictarnie: The COALMON TERN. (East Lothian, Fife.) 
Occurs in Sibbald as " Pictame." 

Pie. a provincial name for the MAGPIE. Occurs in Turner 
(1544) as "Py," and in Aldrovandus (1599) as "Pie, 
Pi J." Mid. Eng. pie or pye, from Fr. pie, Lat. pica, 
Welsh pioq, Scott, piet, a Magpie. The name is applied also 
to many other birds which present more or less of black 
and white in their plumage. (See " French Pie," etc.) 

n2 



180 DICTIONAKY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Pied Chaffinch : The SNOW-BUNTING. (Albin.) 
Pied Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Provincial.) 
Pied Curre. An old gunner's name for the GOLDENEYE 
in parts of the South and West of England. 

Pied Diver : The SMEW. (Provincial.) 

Pied Finch, Pitefinch, or Pydie : The CHAFFINCH. 
(Cheshire.) From the pied plumage of the male. Other 
variants in the Midlands are Pea Finch and Pine Finch. 

PIED FLYCATCHER [No. 116]. Appears to be found first 
in the 4th ed. of Pennant. In the folio edition it is called 
Goldfinch, as in Willughby and Edwards. 

Pied Mountain Finch : The SNOW-BUNTING. Occurs in 
Willughby and in Albin. 

Pied Oyster-Catcher : The OYSTERCATCHER. So called 
by Pennant, Montagu and other old wTiters. 

PIEd"^ WAGTAIL [No. 81]. It is described by Turner (1544) 
imder the heading of Culicilega of Aristotle, and he gives it 
the name of " Wagtale " merely. It occurs in most old 
authors as White Wagtail, Pied Wagtail first appearing in 
Bewick (1797) although its distinctness from the White 
Wagtail of the Continent was not pointed out by Gould 
until 1832. In Gaelic its name, according to Gray, is 
Breac-an-t'-sil, signifying a plaid, from the resemblance 
of its plumage to that article. In Cornwall, where it is 
known as the " tinner," one perching on a window-sill is 
said to be a sign of a visit from a stranger. Bolam gives 
it as a Border belief that the bird ought always to wag its 
tail nine times on alighting, and before beginning to run 
about or feed ; should the number be less or more, it is very 
imlucky for the person who is counting. 

PIED WHEATEAR [No. 172]. This Asiatic and South-east 
European species was first recorded for the British Islands 
in the " Annals of Scottish Natural Hist.," 1910, p. 2. 

Pied Wigeon. A provincial name for the GARGANEY and the 
GOLDENEYE. (Montagu.) 

Pied Woodpecker : The GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

(Bewick.) 

Pie-finch : The CHAFFINCH (Upton-on-Sevem) ; the HAW- 
FINCH (Notts.). 

Pie-Nanny: The MAGPIE. (Yorkshire.) 

Pienet : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Provincially.) A diminu- 
tive of " Pie." Also the MAGPIE (see Pianet). 



PIED — ^PINTAIL. 181 

PiET, Pyet, Piot, or Pyot : The MAGPIE. Turner (1544) 
has " Piot," and Merrett (1667) has " Pyot." Piet is also 
applied to the DIPPER. (See " Water-Piet.") 

PiE-WYPE or Pie-wipe : The LAPWING. (See " Wype.") 

l^GEON Felt: The FIELDFARE. (Berks., Bucks., Oxon., 
Cheshire.) From the blue-gre}^ lower-back. 

Pigeon Gull: The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Yorkshire 
coast.) 

Pigeon Hawiv : The GOSHAWK (Rutty); also the 
SPARROW-HAWK (Yorkshire). Occurs in Montagu for 
the latter species. 

Pigeon of the North. A name for the LITTLE AUK. (Hett.) 

Pigeon Plover : The GREY PLOVER. (Humber district.) 

Pigmy Curlew or Pigmy Sandpiper : The CURLEW SAND- 
PIPER. So called from its being supposed to resemble 
a miniature Curlew. Montagu includes the species under 
the name of Pigmy Curlew, which is a Norfolk name for 
the species. 

Pig mynawd. A Welsh name for the AVOCET. 

PiLA gwyrdd: The GREENFINCH. (North Wales) lit. 
" green finch." 

PINE-BUNTING [No. 44]. A bird inhabiting the pine forests 
of Siberia, wliich has lately been recorded once from Fair 
Isle (Shetlands). 

PINE-GROSBEAK [No. 32]. So called from its frequenting 
pine woods. Grosbeak is from Fr, groshec ("great bill"). 
The name is found in Bewick (1797). It is the Pine Bull- 
finch of Selby and the Common Hawfinch of Fleming, while 
Edwards calls it the Greatest Bullfinch. 

Pine Maw : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Antrim.) 

Pink, Pinkety, Pink-twink. Provincial names for the CHAF- 
FINCH. (England.) From its call-note. 

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE [No. 278]. First described and named 
by Bartlett (" P.Z.S.," 1839, p. 3), the name being adopted 
by Yarrell and succeeding authors. 

PiNNOCK : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Provincial). From its 
piping note (Swainson). The BEARDED TITMOUSE is 
also known as " Bearded Pinnock." 

PINTAIL [No. 296]. The name Pintail is first applied by 
Pennant (1766) who calls it Pintail Duck. Willughby and 
Ray call it the " Sea Pheasant or Cracker." The name 
arises from the pointed appearance of the tail, the two middle 
feathers of which are elongated and finely pointed. 



182 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

PiNUT : The MAGPIE. (Notts., Cheshire.) A corruption 

of Planet. 
PiODEN Y MoR or PioGEN Y MoR : The OYSTERCATCHER. 

(North Wales) lit. " sea-pie." 
PiOGEN, PiODEN, or PiA. Welsh names for the MAGPIE ; 

lit. " Pie." 
PiOGEN GOCH, PioGEN-Y-coED : The JAY. (North Wales.) 

The first signifies " red magpie," the second " wood magpie." 

PiOGHAiD. A Gaelic name for the MAGPIE. 

Pipe or Pope: The PUFFIN. (Cornwall.) 

Pipit: The MEADOW- PIPIT. Fr. Piyit from Lat. p?>o, 
lit. a " piper " or nestling ; pigeon is from the same root. 

Pipit Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. (Pennant.) Montagu's Pipit 
Lark is no doubt the MEADOW-PIPIT. 

Pirenet or Pirennet : The SHELD-DUCK. (Scotland.) A 
corruption of " Pied ent " ( Pied Duck). 

PiRRE : The COMMON TERN. (Ireland.) 

PiSAN Cuckoo : The GREAT SPOTTED CUCKOO. (Latham.) 

Pit Martin : The SAND-MARTIN. (Craven, Yorkshire.) 

Pit Sparrow. A local Cheshire name for the SEDGE- 
WARBLER and also the REED-BUNTING. From their 
frequenting small ponds locally called pits ; Holland also 
gives Spit Sparrow for the Reed-Bunting in Cheshire. 

Ploughman's Bird : The REDBREAST. (Lofthouse, near 
Wakefield.) 

Plover : The LAPWING, generally. From Fr. Pluvier, Old Fr. 
Plovier, probably from Lat. pluvia. rain. 

Plover's Page : The DUNLIN is so called in parts of Scotland 
and in the Shetlands (Saxby), from its habit of flving in 
company with the GOLDEN PLOVER. In the Orkneys the 
name is given to the JACK SNIPE (Dunn). 

Plum-bird or Plum-budder : The BULLFINCH. (Shrop- 
shire.) From its habit of picking the buds of fruit trees. 

Pochard, Pockard or Poker. See COMMON POCHARD. 

Poke Pudding, Poke Bag, or Pudding Bag : The LONG- 
TAILED TITMOUSE. (Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Nor- 
folk.) From the shape of the nest (poke= pocket). 

Polish Swan. An aberrant phase of the MUTE SWAN, in 
which the cygnets are white, instead of dark grey. It was 
first described by Yarrell ("P.Z.S.," 1838, p. 19) as a 
separate species. 



PINUT — POTTERTON. 183 

PoLLAiREUN. A Gaelic name for the DUNLIN in the Long 
Island ; signifying " bird of the sand-pits " (Gray). 

POMATORHINE SKUA [No. 440]. It is the " Pomerine 
Skua " of Selbv and Yarrell (1st ed.), and the Pomerine 
Gull of Gould (■" Birds of Europe," pt. ii, 1832). It is first 
noticed as a British bird in the " Sale Catalogue of Bullock's 
Collection " (April, 1819, lot 61, p. 32) where it is referred 
to as " allied to the Arctic, but greatly superior in size." 

Pool Snipe : The REDSHANK. (Willughby.) Albin calls it 
the " Poole Snipe," but the derivation is no doubt from the 
former word (pool, or pond, snipe). 

Poor Willie : The BAR-TAILED GOD WIT. (East Lothian.) 
Imitative of its call-note. Also called Poor Wren. 

Pop. a name for the REDWING according to Swainson. 

Pope. Willughby gives tliis as a Cornish name for the 
PUFFIN. The BULLFINCH is also so called in Dorset. 
SAvainson thinks in the latter case it is a derivation of 
Alp. It is also applied to the RED-BACKED SHRIKE in 
Hants. 

PoPELER. An old name for the SPOONBILL. 

Popinjay: The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Provincial.) 
Dutch Papegay. Properly a Parrot, but probably used to 
denote any brightly plumaged bird. Occurs in Turner as 
" Popiniay," and in Aldrovandus as " Popiniay " and 
" Popingay." Shakespeare has : " To be so pestered with 
a popinjay " (" Henry IV, act i, sc. 5) which has been held 
to refer to a parrot, but without any good reason, for the 
reference is obviously to the human popinjay (i.e. an idle 
fop). He elsewhere ("Cymbeline," act iii, sc. 4) speaks of a 
gaudity-dressed person as a Jay, which is, of course, equally 
a term of contempt or derision foi an over-dressed foppish 
fellow, in a word, a popinjay. A popinjay was formerly 
a gaudily-painted bird set up as a target for archers. The 
name is, or was until recently, in provincial use for the 
Green Woodpecker, which on the wing presents a clumsy 
and gaudy appearance. 

Popping W^igeon : The GOLDENEYE and the RED- 
BREASTED MERGANSER. (Drogheda Bay.) Because 
they pop up and down so suddenly (Swainson). 

Post-bird : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Kent.) On 
account of perching on a post waiting for flies. 

PoTTERTON Hen : The BLACK-HEADED GULL (Aberdeen.) 
Swainson says, on the authority of Mr. Harvie-Brown, 
that it is from a loch of that name, now dried up. 



184 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

PovEY : The BARN-OWL. (Gloucestershire.) 

Praheen Cark : The HOODED CROW. (Ireland.) Signifies 
the " hen crow." 

PRATINCOLE [No. 354]. The name first occurs in Pennant 
(ed. 1776) as a rendering of Kramer's name Pratincola 
(1756). 

Pridden pral. a west Cornwall name for the GREAT TIT- 
MOUSE and BLUE TITMOUSE ; signifies " tree babbler." 

Prine: The BAR-TAILED GOD WIT. (Essex.) From its 
habit of probing the mud for food (Swainson). 

Prinpriddle: The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Staffordshire.) 
According to Poole's Glossary. Swainson also makes it 
an equivalent of " Pridden pral " in Cornwall for the LONG- 
TAILED TITMOUSE. 

Proud-tailor: The GOLDFINCH. (Midlands.) 

Provence Furzeling. Macgillivray's name for the DARTFORD 
WARBLER. 

PTARMIGAN [No. 465]. The name is from the Gaelic 
Tarmachan. Occurs in Willughby (1678) as " White Game 
or White Partridge." Sibbald (1684) however called it 
Ptarmigan, and he is followed by most subsequent authors. 
According to Inwards it is a Scottish belief that the fre- 
quently repeated cry of the Ptarmigan low do^ni on the 
mountains during frost and snow indicates more snow and 
continued cold. 

PucKERiDGE : The NIGHTJAR. (Hants.) Newton thinks it 
is possibly connected with A. Sax. puca, a goblin or demon. 
In Gilbert White's " Observations on Birds," published in 
the "Naturalists' Calendar" (1795), it is related that in 
Hampshire, where it sometimes goes by this name, " The 
Country people have a notion that it is very injurious to 
weanling calves, by inflicting, as it strikes at them, the 
fatal distemper known to cow-leeches by the name of 
puckeridge.'''' In west Sussex and ^vest Surrey it becomes 
" Puck-bird." 

PuETT. An obsolete Cheshire name for the LAPWING. 
(Holland's " Glossary.") 

PUFFIN [No. 449]. The word is apparently a diminutive 
(=puffing) and was possibly given at first to the young of 
this bird, ^hich for long was known only by various local 
names in different parts of the coast. The name would 
therefore a]oply to the do^ny covering of the young birds, 
e.g. a diminutive of "puff" or "puffy." The Welsh 



POVEY — PURRE. 185 

name, however, for this bird is Pwffingen, but whether 
derived from the English name or whether it is the origin 
of the English name needs investigation. It occurs in 
Kay, or Caius (1570), as the " Puphin or Pupin," and he 
accounts for the name by remarking that " this bird our 
people call the Puphin, we say Pupin from its ordinary 
cry of ' pupin.' " Albin, Edwards, Pennant and later 
writers call it the Puffin, ^hich spelling is found in 
Willughby (1678), but that the name was not a general 
one in the latter writer's day is shoA\'n by his referring to it 
as " the bird called Coulterneb at the Earn Islands ; Puffin 
in North Wales ; in South Wales Gulden-head, Bottle-nose 
and Helegug ; at Scarburgh, Mullet ; in Cornwall, Pope ; 
at Jersey and Guernse}'. Barbalot." Swainson gives Puffin 
as an Antrim name for the RAZORBILL. 

PuFFiNET. Albin gives it as a Earn Island name for the 
BLACK GUILLEMOT. 

Puffin of the Isle of Man : The MANX SHEARWATER. 
(WiUughby.) 

Puffin of the Isle of Wight : The PUFFIN. (Edwards.) 

PuGGY or JuGGY Wren : The WREN. (West Surrey.) 

PuiT : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Norfolk.) Found in 
King's "Vale Royall " (1656). From its note (see PeAvit 
Gull). Also the LAPWING (East and South coasts), 
being a corruption of " Pewit." 

Pump-borer: The LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 
(Shropshire.) " Because the noise it makes is like that 
produced by boring with an augur through hard wood " 
(Swainson). 

Puphin or Pupin : The PUFFIN. (Caius.) 

Purple Gallimde. Examples of this exotic species obtained in 
our islands are usually regarded as escaped birds. 

PURPLE HERON [No. 261]. The name is found in Jenyns 
(1835) and succeeding authors, and is derived from 
Linnseus's name for the species {Ardea purpurea). Latham, 
Lewun, \^'alcott, ^Montagu and other old writers call it the 
" African Heron." It is the Purple-crested Heron of 
Bewick and the Crested Purple Heron of Selby. 

PURPLE SANDPIPER [No. 385]. The name is derived from 
the purplish gloss on the upper-parts, and is first found in 
Montagu (1802). It is the Selninger Sandpiper of Latham 
and Pennant, and the Purple or Rock Tringa of Selby. 

Purre. An old name for the DUNLIN in Avinter-plumage 
(Norfolk, Yorkshire.) Occurs in Willughb3\ 



186 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

PuERE Maw : The ROSEATE TERN. (Carrickfergus.) From 
its hoarse cry. Maw is an equivalent of Gull. 

Puttock: The KITE and also the COMI^ION BUZZARD 
Turner and Merrett apply it to the former, while Willughby 
applies it to the latter bird, to which also it was until 
recently applied in Essex, where half a century ago it was 
not such a vara avis in that county as the Kite. Montagu 
also gives it as a provincial name of the Common 
Buzzard, but Bewick, who spells it Puttok, applies it 
to the Kite. It appears also to have been sometimes 
applied to the MARSH-HARRIER. It is a contraction 
of " poot-hawk," lit. " pullet-hawk," pool signifying poult 
or pullet. Also sometimes spelt " Puddock." 

PwFFiN. A Welsh name for the PUFFIN, of which it is, perhaps, 
the original. 

PwFFiN MAN AW or PwFFiNGEN Fanaw. Welsh names for the 

MANX SHEARWATER ; lit. " Manx Puffin." 
Pygmy Curlew. See " Pigmy Curlew." 

Pysg Eryr. a Welsh name for the OSPREY, signifying 

" Fish eagle." 
Pysgotwr : The KINGFISHER. (North Wales) lit. "fisher." 

QUAIL [No. 468]. From O.Fr. Quaille (Mod. Fr. Caille). The 
name occurs in Turner (1544) as " Quale : " Merrett and 
Willughby have Quail. As instancing the immense migra- 
tions of former times it may be related that Pliny credits 
them with being a danger to sailors, as he says they often 
settle on the sails, and that always at night, and so sink 
ships. 

QuAiLziE. An old Scots name for the QUAIL. 

Quaketail. a name invented by Macgillivray for the group 
of " yellow " wagtails (Budytes), as distinguished from the 
PIED WAGTAIL and its congeners which he called 
" wagtails." 
Queest, Quest, Quist, Quisty. Provincial names for the 
RING-DOVE. Occurs in Merrett (1667) as " Quist " and 
in Montagu as " Quest." It is also found corrupted to 
Quice, Queeze, or Quease. From Lat. questus. (See also 
Wood Quest.) 
Queet. a name for the COOT. (Swainson.) 
QuEEZE : The RING-DOVE. (Cheshire.) (See Queest.) 
QuET : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Aberdeen.) 
QuHAiP. An old Scots form of " Whaup " (CURLEW). 



PURRE — RAVEN, 187 

Quick me dick : The QUAIL. (Oxfordshire.) Imitative of 
its call-note. 

QuiCKSTART : The REDSTART. (Ii-eland.) 

QuiNK or QuiNCK-GoosB. A fowler's name for the BRENT 
GOOSE : thought to be from its note. 

Quis : The WOODCOCK. (Wiltshire.) 

RADDE'S BUSH- WARBLER [No. 129]. An Eastern Siberian 
species named in honour of Radde, who described it in 
1863. 

Rafter or Rafter Bird : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER is 
so called from its nesting on rafters in old buildings. 
(Montagu.) 

Rah. : The LAND-RAIL. Occurs in Willughby as the " Rail 
or Daker-hen." Sometimes also used for the WATER- 
RAIL. 

Rain-bird, Rain-fowl, or Rain-pie : The GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER. (Provincial.) " Rayn byrde " is found in 
Turner, " Rainfowl " occurs in Willughby, and Wallis tells 
us it was so called in Northumberland. It is still a country 
belief that when the cry of this bird is much heard rain 
will follow. 

R.4IN Goose: The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Caithness, 
Orkneys and Shetlands.) From its cry being thought to 
foretell rain. 

Ralph. A name for the RAVEN. (Swainson.) 

Ralphie : The CORMORANT. (Whitby, Yorkshire.) 

Ramage-Hawk. In falconry a yoimg hawk that can fly and 
prey for itself. Ramage is also used to denote a wild or 
coy hawk. 

Rantock : The GOOSANDER. (Orkneys.) 

Rat-bird, Rat-hen : The WATER-RAIL. (Sedbergh, York- 
shire.) 

Ratch: The little auk. (Shetlands.) Probably a corrup- 
tion of Rotch or Rotchie. 

Rat Goose : The BRENT-GOOSE. Swainson thought it to be 
from its note (" rott.") 

Rattle-thrush: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Yorkshire.) From 
its harsh note. 

Rattle-wings. A fowler's name for the GOLDENEYE. 
(Norfolk.) 

RAVEN [No. 1]. From A. Sax. hroefn, hrefn, a Raven : in Mid. 
Eng. becoming raven, the initial Ji being dropped. Skeat 
says it is derived from the cry and has no connexion with 



188 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

the word raven, to plunder or devour voraciously. The name 
appears in Turner (1544), also Merrett and all later writers. 
Turner states that " in places wdth less space, and where 
there is not room for many, Ravens dwell only in pairs, 
and, when their j^oung have just gained power of flight, 
the parents first banish them from the nest, and later 
drive them out of the whole neighbourhood." Willughby 
states, on hearsay, that the Raven was formerly capable 
of being " reclaimed and trained up for fowling after the 
manner of a hawk." Kay, or Caius, also says that he saw 
in the year 1548, two white ravens from the same nest in 
Cumberland, which were trained for bird-catching just like 
hawks. The Raven was a sacred bird of the Druids. 
O'Curry (" Manners and Customs of Ancient Irish ") has 
found that it was domesticated on account of the auguries to 
be obtained from its croakings. The same belief in its gift 
of prophecy prevails among the Icelanders. It is also 
well known as an old Anglo-Saxon emblem. The Raven 
is a familiar bird in the Norse mythology, as Woden's bird : 
two Ravens, one black and one white, sit upon his shoulders 
and tell him all that passes in the world below. In the 
Welsh " Mabinogion " the hero Owein, son of Urien, is 
accompanied by an army of Ravens, which attack his 
enemies. In the Irish legend also Cuchullaind had two 
magic Ravens which announced to him the coming of his 
foes. It was by the means of this bird that Flokki, in the 
Norse saga, discovered Iceland. There is a belief among 
the Cornish fishermen that King Arthur is still living in 
the form of a Raven, changed by magic into that shape, 
and that he \\dll some day resume his own form (" Notes and 
Queries," ser. i, viii). Hawker (" Echoes from Cornwall ") 
has, however, fastened the same belief upon the Chough. 
An ancient superstition was that the Raven neglected her 
young after they were hatched. According to Glanville 
(" De Proprietatibus Rerum," 1483) the young are fed with 
the " dew of heaven " until they are fledged and have 
black feathers. Izaak Walton says that the Raven " leaves 
her yoimg ones to the care of the God of nature, who is 
said in the Psalms (cxLvn, 9) to feed the young ravens 
that call upon Him ; and they be kept alive and fed 
by a dew or worms that breed in their nests ; or some 
other ways that we mortals know not." Shakespeare 
(" Titus Andronicus," act ii, sc. 3) alludes to this when he 
says : — 

Some say that ravens foster forlorn children. 
The whilst their own birds famish in their nests. 



RAVEN — REDBREAST. 189 

Its association with the story of Noah's Ark is known to 
all. The Romans, who consecrated the Raven to Apollo, 
regarded it as a foreteller of good or evil. In somewhat 
later times, it became in England very generally accepted 
as a bird of ill-omen. ]t is thus frequently alluded to in 
Shakespeare. In " Othello " (act iv, sc. 1) we find a refer- 
ence to its fl\'ing over a house in Avhich there is sickness 
being an omen of death — 

As doth the Raven o'er the infectious hoase, 

Boding to all. 

Marlowe (" Jew of Malta ") alludes to the same superstition. 
Accordinor to Dyer the belief is still held in Cornwall that 
the croaking of a Raven over the house bodes evil to some 
member of the family. Ravens' feathers are said to have 
been used by witches, and Shakespeare (" Tempest," act i, 
sc. 2) has : — 

As wicked dew as e'er my mother brush'd 
With raven's feather from unwholesome fen. 

In Rowlands's " More Knaves Yet " (ca. 1613) allusion 
is made to a curious belief that if a Raven cries just overhead 
" some in the Towne have lost their virtue." Drayton 
also alludes to " the black night-raven's throat " as boding 
ill. According to Inwards it is a popular belief that if 
Ravens croak three or four times and flap their wings fine 
weather is expected. 

Raven or Raven Crow. According to Ncl on and Clarke the 
CARRION-CROW is so called in parts of Yorkshire. 

Ray's Wagtail. See YELLOW WAGTAIL 

RAZORBILL [No. 443]. Occurs first in Merrett (1667). 
Willughby mentions it as " The bird called Razorbill in 
the West of England, Auk in the North, Murre in Cornwall." 
Sibbald calls it the Auk and saj^s it is " the Scout of our 
country folk " (i.e. the Scots). 

Razor-grinder : The NIGHTJAR. (Norfolk.) From its 
Jarring note. 

RED-BACKED SHRIKE [No. 112]. The name, which is 
derived from the bright red-brown mantle, seems to occur 
first in Pennant (1766) as " Red-back't Butcher Bird," 
which in later editions is changed to Red-backed Shrike. 

Red-billed Heron: The BUFF-BACKED HERON. (Pen- 
nant.) 

REDBREAST [No. 185, British Redbreast, No. 184, Continental 
Redbreast]. Properly a contraction of the old English name 
"Robin Redbreast." Modem \mters have, however, pre- 
ferred the name Redbreast to the much more popular name 



190 DICTION AEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Robin. In the older name Robin Redbreast (under which 
it occui's in Turner, Willughby, Sibbald, and other old 
writers) the word Robin is, it is said, a nickname, but even 
if so there is no more reason to drop the Robin than to 
drop the Mag in Magpie, and revert to the old word Pie. 
Another instance is to be found in Jackdaw, although in 
this case the Jack is not a nickname as sometimes supposed 
(see JACKDAW). The name Redbreast alone occurs first 
in Merrett's list (1667), and although increasingly frequent 
in books in modem times it has never taken the place of 
the name Robin colloquially. For other information on the 
species see under Robin. Dr. Hartert has separated the 
British resident form from the Continental, which occurs 
on migration, hence the change of name. 

Red-breasted Duck : The FERRUGINOUS DUCK. (Lewin.) 

RED-BREASTED FLYCATCHER [No. 118]. So called from 
the orange-red colour of the throat and breast. 

Red-breasted Godwit : The BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. 
(Bewick.) 

Red-breasted Goosander: The RED-BREASTED MER- 
GANSER. (Edwards.) 

RED-BREASTED GOOSE [No. 281]. The name first occurs 
in Pennant's " Arctic Zoology " (ii, p. 571). It is derived 
from the chestnut-red of the chest and sides of neck in the 
adult. 

Red-breasted Linnet : The LINNET (in spring-plumage). So 
called from the crimson colour of the breast. 

RED-BREASTED MERGANSER [No. 313]. So called from 
the reddish-brown of the lower-neck and upper-breast. 
The name occurs in the later editions of Pennant, as also 
in Montagu, but in the folio edition of Pennant (1766) the 
species is called " Lesser Dun Diver," Edwards, however, 
has Red-breasted Goosander. The name Merganser is 
first found in Gesner (" Hist. Anim.," 1555). 

Red-breasted Moor Tit : The STONECHAT. (East Cleveland, 
Yorkshire.) 

RED-BREASTED SANDPIPER [No. 386]. So-called from 
the pale chestnut tint of the under-parts while in breeding- 
plumage. It is the Red-breasted Snipe of Eyton, and the 
Brown Snipe of earlier authors. 

Red-breasted Shoveler : The SHOVELER. (Bewick.) 

Red-breasted Snipe : The RED-BREASTED SANDPIPER ; 
also the BAR-TAILED GODWIT, in spring-dress. (Mon- 
tagu, " Om. Diet.," Supp.) 



EED — RED. 191 

Red-breasted Snipe-Tattler : The RED-BREASTED SAND- 
PIPER. So called because it resembles both the snipes 
and the " tattlers." 

Redcat : The GOLDFINCH. (North England.) From its red 
front , also applied to the LINNET when in spring-plumage 
^Wth red cro^n, and to the LESSER REDPOLL at Ack- 
worth, Yorkshire, 

Red Cock : The RED GROUSE. (Tunstall MS., 1780.) 

Red Coot-footed Trinoa : The RED-NECKED PHALAROPE 
(female) is so called by Edwards. 

Red Craking Reed-Wren. A name for SAVI'S WARBLER. 

RED-CRESTED POCHARD [No. 297]. The name is found 
in Selby. It is the Red-crested Whistling Duck of Yarrell 
(1st ed.) who fii'st recorded the species in 1828 (" Zool. Jnl.," 
n, p. 492). The name arises from the rusty-red colour of 
the crested head. 

Red Duck : The FERRUGINOUS DUCK. (Pennant.) 

Red-eyed Poker : The CO^CVION POCHARD. (Provincial.) 

RED-FOOTED FALCON [No. 239]. The name, which originates 
in the bright brownish red of the tarsi and feet, appears in 
the fii'st edition of YaiTell. It is the Red-legged Falcon of 
Jenjms and Eyton, and the Orange-legged Hobby of Selby. 

Red-fronted Swallow: The SWALLOW (Macgillivray). 

Red-fronted Thistle-finch : The GOLDFINCH. (Macgil- 
livray.) 

Red Ga3ie : The RED GROUSE. Occurs in Willughby. 

Red Godwit: The BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (Pennant, 
Montagu) ; BAR-TAILED GODWIT (Selby). 

Red Godwit Snipe: The BLACK-TAILED "^ GODWIT, in 
spring-plumage. (Pennant.) 

RED GROUSE [No. 464]. Pennant, in his folio edition, calls 
it Grous only, but in his later editions " Red Grous," the 
final e being quite modem. Occiu-s in Willughby (1678) 
as " Red Game, Gor-cock, More-cock," while Sibbald (1684) 
calls it " Moor-Cock, or Moor-fowl." It is believed in 
Scotland that the gathering of Grouse into large flocks 
indicates snow. Their approach to the farm-yard is a sign 
of severe weather — frost and snow. WTien they sit on 
dykes in the moor, rain only is expected (Inwards). 

Red Hawk : The KESTREL. (Stirling and Yorkshire.) From 
its rufous plumage. Also the PEREGRINE FALCON in 
first year's plumage. 

Red-head : The CO^IMON POCHARD. (Yorkshire.) 



192 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Red-headed Butcher-bird: The WOODCHAT SHRIKE. 

(Albin.) 
Red-headed Finch : The LINNET (Pennant) ; the LESSER. 

REDPOLL (Swainson). 
Red-headed Pochard : The COMMON POCHARD. (Selby.) 
Red-headed Smew : The female SMEW. (Pennant.) It is 

a Holy Island name Tor the yoimg. 
Red-headed Sparrow: The TREE-SPARROW. (Albin.) 

Nelson and Clarke give it as a Linton-on-Ouse (Yorkshire) 

name. 
Red-headed WiGEON : The COMMON POCHARD. (Pennant.) 

Li local use in Cheshire and Northumberland. 
Red Hoop : The BULLFINCH. (Dorset.) 
Red Kite: The KITE. (MacgiUivray.) 
Red Lark: The AMERICAN WATER-PIPIT. Occurs in 

Edwards (" Gleanings," pi. 297), Pennant, etc. 
Red-legged Crow : The CHOUGH. The name used by 

Pennant, Lewin, Latham, Walcott, Montagu and other old 

wi-iters. Nelson and Clarke give Red-legged Daw as a local 

Yorkshire name. 
Red-legged Falcon : The RED-FOOTED FALCON. 
Red-legged Godwit : The SPOTTED REDSHANK. 

(Be-\\dck.) 
Red-legged Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Ireland.) 

Also Red-legged Pigeon Mew in Norfolk. 
Red-legged Horseman : The REDSHANK. (Albin.) 
Red-legged Jackdaw : The CHOUGH. (North Ireland.) 
RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE [No. 469]. The name first 

occurs in Willughby (1678). It was not formerly an 

indigenous species in our islands, having first been intro- 
duced in Suffolk about 1770, while it has since spread 

throughout the south-eastern coimties. 
Red-legged Sandpiper or Snipe : The REDSHANK. (Pro- 

vincially.) The former name is also applied to the RUFF 

(mthout its ruff). Red-leg is also a Norfolk name for the 

Redshank, and Red-legs a Yorkshire one for the same species. 
Red Linnet: The GOLDFINCH (Cheshire); the LINNET 

(Hampshire, West Yorkshire) ; the LESSER REDPOLL 

(West Yorkshire). 
Red Lobe-foot : The RED-NECKED PHALAROPE. (Selby.) 
Red-neck : The COMMON POCHARD. (Cheshire.) 
Red-Necked Bernicle-Goose : The RED-BREASTED 

GOOSE. (MacgilUvray.) 



RED — ^RED. 193 

RED-NECKED GREBE [No. 338]. This name, which arises 

from the red fore -neck, first occurs in Pennant's "Arctic 

Zoology." and is the name used by most subsequent authors. 

Red-necked Nightjak. See ALGERI.\N RED-NECKED 

NIGHTJAR. 
RED-NECKED PHALAROPE [No. 399]. This name seems 
to occur first in Sowerby's " British Miscellany " (1805) ; 
it having been the " Red Phalarope " of the older authors, 
including Pennant, Latham, LeA\in, Walcott and Montagu, 
and the Red Lobe-foot of Selby. Edwards figures both 
male and female, calling the former " Cock Coot-footed 
Tringa " and the latter " Red Coot-footed Tringa." The 
name originates in the red patch on each side of the neck 
of the adult in summer-plumage. 
Red-necked Sandpiper : The DUNLIN (immature- or winter- 
plumage). Occurs in ]Montagu. 
Red Owl : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Dartmoor.) From 

the pale orange of its lander plumage (Swainson.) 
Red Partridge : The RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGE. (Mac- 

gilli\Tay.) 
Red Pt.aj^migan : The RED GROUSE. (Jemois.) 
Red-ruzhp : The REDSTART. (East Cleveland, Yorkshire.) 
RED-RUMPED SWALLOW [No. 196]. So called from its 
rusty-red lower-back. It Avas first recorded as British in 
1906, when a small party occurred at Fair Isle, Shetlands. 
Red Sandpiper : The IvNOT. (Pennant, Montagu, etc.) 
Swainson gives it as an Irish name, and Nelson and Clarke 
as an obsolete Yorkshire name. 
REDSH.^NK [No. 394]. The name " Redshank " is foimd in 
Willughby, and occurs in Turner (1544) as " Redshanc " 
and in Merrett as " Red Shanks." Turner seeks to identify 
the species M-ith the Hsematopodes of Pliny, which is, of 
course, the OYSTERCATCHER. Albin calls it " Totanus 
or Redlegged Horseman " and " Poole-Snipe." 
Redshank. A name for the FIELDFARE. (Swainson.) 
Red-shan-k Gull : The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Ireland.) 
Red-sided Thrush : The REDWING. (Macgilli\Tay.) 
Red-spotted Bluethroat. See NORWEGIAN BLUE- 
THROAT. This species seems to occur first in Edwards 
(pi. 28) as " Blue-throated Redstart." The grounds on 
which the authors of the " Hand-List " changed the name 
of this species to " Norwegian Bluethroat " appear to have 
been to distinguish it from the Lapland and other forms. 



194 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

REDSTART [No. 178]. From A.Sax. reAd (red) and stewt (tail). 
Turner (1544) calls it " rede tale." The first use of the 
name Redstart I find is in Merrett's list (1667) and 
he gives " Red-tail " as an equivalent name. Willughby 
gives Redstart only, the A.Sax. name ha\dng thenceforth 
taken the place of the later English one. 

Redster or Redstare. Yorkshire names for the REDSTART. 

Redtail. a Yorkshire name for the REDSTART (q.v.). 

RED-THROATED DIVER [No. 344]. So called from the 
red upper-throat. The name appears in Edwards, in 
Pennant (8vo ed.), and in most later wTiters. In the 
folio edition of Pennant (1766) it is called "Red-necked 
Diver." It is the Speckled Diver of older authors. 

RED-THROATED PIPIT [No. 69]. So called from the pale 
chestnut of the throat and breast. 

Red Thrush: The REDWING. (Midlands.) 

REDWING [No. 159]. So called from the orange-red colour 
of the sides and under Aving-coverts. Macgillivray's name 
" Red-sided Thrush " would really be more appropriate. 
Formerly called the Wind Thrush (q.v.). The name Red- 
wing appears first in Willughby (1678) ; Sibbald (1684) 
calls it "Red wing or Wind-Thrush." Swainson gives 
Red\ving Mavis as a Forfar name. 

Red-winged Starling. A North American species of which 
examples (no doubt escaped from captivity) have been 
taken in this country. The name is found in Albin (1738) ; 
it is included by Yarrell (1st ed.). 

Redwing Felfer or Redwing Throlly. Yorkshire names for 
the REDWING. 

REED-BUNTING [No. 53]. Frequents streams and rush- 
covered groimd rather than reeds. Occurs in Turner (1544) 
as " Rede Sparrow " and in Merrett and Willughby as 
"Reed Sparrow," as also in Pennant (1766). The name 
Reed-Bunting appears to occur first in Montagu. Yarrell 
calls it Black-headed Bunting (an unfortimate choice), which 
has led to confusion with the non-indigenous species so 
named. 

Reed Bunting. Swainson says this was an Essex name for 
the BEARDED TITMOUSE. 

Reed^ Chucker . A name for the REED- WARBLER . 

ReedVauvette : The SEDGE- WARBLER. (Bewick, 1797.) 

Reedling : The BEARDED TITMOUSE. (Norfolk.) 



REDSTART — ^RING. 195 

Reed-Pheasant. A Norfolk name for the BEARDED TIT- 
MOUSE, in allusion to its long tail. 

Reed-Sp-ARROW. An older name for the REED-BUNTING ; 
still used provincially in Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire and 
elsewhere. 

REED- WARBLER [No. 136]. So called from its frequenting 
reed-beds. The name appears as Reed Wren in Latham 
("S\Ti.," Supp., p. 184) and as Reed Warbler in Peimant 
(1812 ed.). It is also sometimes called Reed Tit. 

Reefogue. An Irish name for the HEDGE-SPARROW. 

Reel-Bird or Reeler. Local names for the GRASSHOPPER- 
WARBLER, from the resemblance of its song to the noise 
of the reel used bv the hand spinners of wool. According 
to Newton SAVI'S W^ARBLER (now extinct in the Fens) 
was formerly also knoAMi as the " Night Reel-bird." 

REEVE: The female of the RUFF (q.v.). It occurs in 
Leland's " Collectanea " as " Ree," and in the Northum- 
berland " Household Book " (1512) as " Rey." 

Rhegen yddwr: The WATER-RAIL. (North Wales) lit. 
" water crake " ; also called Rhegen y Gors, or marsh 
crake. 

Rhegex yr yd. a Welsh name for the LAND-RAIL ; lit. 
" corn-crake." 

Rhonell GOGH. A Welsh name for the REDSTART ; signi- 
iying " red-tail." 

Rhostog coch. a Welsh name for the BAR-TAILED GOD WIT ; 
signifying " ruddy god^it." 

RiABHAG-CHOiLLE. A Gaelic name for the WOOD-LARK. 

Richardson's Skua. An alternative name for the ARCTIC 

SKUA. It seems to occur first in Selby. 
RICHARD'S PIPIT [No. 65]. The name is found in Selby 

(1825). It was first recorded by Vigors from an example 

taken near London in 1812. 

RiCHEL-BiRD : The LITTLE TERN. (Montagu.) 

Rind Tabberer : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Pro^dncial.) 

RiNE. A Cornish name for the QUAIL. 

Rine bird : The WRYNECK. (West Surrey.) On account of 
its arriving at the time the oak bark is stripped (" rine "= 
rind). 

Ring Bird, Ring Bunting: The REED-BLtnTING. From 
the white collar. 

o2 



196 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

RING-DOVE [No. 345, Wood-Pigeon]. So called from the 
white patch on each side of the neck. Also known as Wood- 
Pigeon, but this latter name is inappropriate, having 
frequently been applied to the STOCK-DOVE, and the 
attempt to revert to it in the " Hand-List " is therefore un- 
fortunate. Turner (1544) has " Ringged Dove," while 
Merrett wTites it " Ring Dove " as does also Sibbald. 
Willughby calls it the "Ring Pigeon," Pennant (1766) 
has " Ring-dove," and this name is used by nearly all 
subsequent authors. Dyer relates a North Yorkshire belief 
that once upon a time the Cushat or Ring-dove laid its eggs 
upon the ground, while the Peewit or Lapmng made its 
nest on high ; but one day they agreed to exchange their 
localities for building. Hence the PeeA\it now expresses 
its disappointment as follows :— 

Peewit, Peewit ! 

I coup'd my nest and I rue it. 
The Cushat, however, rejoices that she is safe out of the 
reach of mischievous boys : — 

Coo, coo, come now. 

Little lad 

With thy gad. 

Come not thou. 
A Suffolk legend is that the Magpie once imdertook to teach 
the Wood-pigeon how to make a more substantial nest, 
but the latter kept repeating her cry of " Take two, Taffy ! 
take two ! " until the Magpie, after insisting that one was 
enough at a time, finally gave up the attempt in a passion. 
Pigeons were regarded in former times in England as 
portents of death, and a sick man who had a desire to eat 
of one was supposed to foretell his o^\'Tl death (De Kay). 
Martial says of their flesh that : — 

Ringed doves make a man's loins slow and dull, 
Who would be lusty should not eat this bird. 
But it is not improbable that he referred to the small Collared 
Turtle-dove and not our northern species. The Ring-Dove 
is not so gentle as popular fancy Mould have it. Montagu 
relates that he once bred up, to live together "in perfect 
amity, a common Pigeon, Ring-Dove, White Owl and 
SparroAv Hawk ; of which the Ring-Dove was master." 
Ringed Blackbird, Ring Blackbird, Ringed Thrush, or 
Ring Thrush: The RING-OUZEL. From the wliite 
gorget. Macgillivray calls it the Ringed Thrush, and Fleming 
the Ring-Thrush. 
Ringed Dotterel or Ring Dotterel : The RINGED 
PLOVER. The second form is in use on the Scottish 
Borders. 



RIXG — RIVERSIDE. 197 

Ringed Guillemot. A supposed variety of the CO^MjVION 
GUILLEMOT described in Yarrell (Lst ed.) as a separate 
species. It is the Bridled Guillemot of Gould. 

RINGED PLOVER [No. 358]. So called from its black 
pectoral band. The name first occurs in Pennant's " British 
Zoology " (8vo ed.). It is the Sea Lark of Wilkighby, Albin, 
Pennant (fo. ed., 1766) and other old ^Titers. 

Ring-eyed Scout : The Ringed Guillemot. (Yorkshire.) 

RiNGLESTONEs. A name used bv Sir Thomas Brornie for the 
RINGED PLOVER. Skeat "thinks it may refer to the bird's 
habit of " ranging " the stones for its nest. Swainson 
refers it to the bird's " white collar." 

Ring-neck : The RINGED PLOVER. (Yorkshire.) 

RiNG-XECKED DucK. See American Scaup. 

Rixg-necked Loon: The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER. 
(East Lothian, Cork Harboiu'.) 

Ring-necked Pheasant. A variety of the PHEASANT. 

RING-OUZEL [No. 162]. The name arises from the conspicuous 
white gorget or crescent on the breast. " Ring-Ouzel " 
first occurs in Willughbj^ (1678) and was adopted bj^ most 
succeeding authors. 

Ring-tail or Ring-tailed Kite : The female HEN-HARRIER, 
from the brown-banded tail. The former name occurs 
in Turner and Willughby, and the latter in Merrett. 
Swainson gives Ring-tail as an East Lothian name. Col. 
Thornton's " Stangelor Ringtail " is perhaps the KESTREL. 

Ring-tailed or Ring-tail Eagle : The GOLDEN EAGLE 
(immature). Willughbj' and Ray describe a " Golden 
Eagle \\-ith a white ring about its tail," which they " take 
to be specifically the same " as the Golden Eagle. 
It was for long considered a separate species, however, 
and Linnaeus describes it as Falco Julvus. Pennant figured it 
in 1766 ("' Brit. Zool.," fo. ed.) under the name of Ringtail 
Eagle, and ^lontagu in 1802 deemed it a good species. 

Ring-Thrush : The RING-OUZEL (see Ringed Blackbird). 
Ring-Whistle : The RING-OUZEL. (Teesdale, Yorkshire.) 
RippocK or Rittock: The CO:\DION TERN. (Orkneys.) 

Swainson derives it from the Icel. rit-ur. 
Rising Lark : The SKY-LARK. (Northants.) From its 

soaring while singing. 
River Pie : The DIPPER. (Ireland.) From its haimts and 

pied plumage. 
Riverside Bunting : The REED-BL^TING. 



198 DICTIONARY OF NAilES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

River Swallow : The SAND-MARTIN. (Yorkshire.) 

Rixy: The CO^OION tern. (East Suffolk.) 

Road Goose or Rhode Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. The 
latter form is a Yorkshire name. Perhaps from its cry 
("rott"). 

Roarer. Swainson gives this as a Border name for the BARN- 
OWL. 

RoBERD or RoBiNET. Names for the CHAFFINCH. (Swainson.) 

Robin. An alternative name for the REDBREAST, and a con- 
traction of the Old English name " Robin Redbreast " (see 
Redbreast). The present name is an anglicization of 
the French Robin, a proper name, in fact a diminutive of 
Robert. Robin is still in use with us provincially as a 
Christian name. It is one of the most familiar of English 
birds, and occurring most frequently in our folk-lore and 
literature. The most familiar of all rhjmies on this bird 
is, of course, the well-kno\\Ti " Death of Cock Robin." A 
Derbyshire children's rhyme on the death and resurrection 
of Cock Robin commences : " Cock Robin is dead and 
lies in his grave." It is, however, of little value in the 
Robin cycle ("Folklore Journal," December, 1883). For 
a note on a Breton song. " Les Noces du Roitelet," nar- 
rating the AAcdding of the Robin and Wren, see the same 
journal for May, 1883. This song, in which all the birds 
bring presents or perform ser\'ices, is similar in many 
respects to the English rhyme " The Wedding of Cock Robin 
and Jenny Wren." A couplet still heard at times on the 
same imscientific union runs : " The Robin and the Wren 
are God's Cock and Hen." Or, according to Mr. Dyer's 
version : — 

The Robin and the Wren 
Are God Almighty's Cock and Hen : 
Him that harries their nest, 
Never shall his soul have rest. 

An old belief was that the Robin and Wren, and more 
particularly the former, had a habit of covering, mth leaves 
or moss, imburied bodies, a belief arising no doubt from 
the old story of the " Babes in the Wood." The supposed 
habit is, however, alluded to by Drayton and by Webster. 
The superstitions relating to this bird are many. In some 
parts of Northamptonshire it is still held in veneration, 
and its killing is regarded in the light of sacrilege. This 
aversion to its killing obtains, in fact, in many parts of the 
country, the feeling being traceable to the bird's attempt, 
according to one legend, to draw the nails, and according 



RIVER — ROCK. 199 

to another, to pluck a spike from the Crown of Thorns at 
the Crucifixion, and receiving a di'op of blood in the effort, 
from which the red colour of its breast arises. I have found 
the same reluctance to kill attaching in Canada to the 
American Robin (or red-breasted Thrush) ; the super- 
stition ha\'ing been transferred A\ith the name. Another 
Northamptonshire belief is that the Robin taps thrice at 
the Anndow of a room in which a sick person lies before the 
death of the inmate. The belief in a Robin coming into 
a house being a sign of death has been recorded from 
Bath ('"Folklore Journal," December, 1894). In Scotland 
(according to Dalyell), the Robin is considered a lucky token. 
In Yorkshire it is believed that if a Robin is killed the 
slaj'^er's cows ^^i\\ give bloody milk. In Cornwall it is 
thought to be unlucky to hunt the Robin or the Wren. 
Another belief met with in some parts is that the Robin's 
song is of ill omen when heard by a sick person, Avhile a 
curious superstition recorded in Chamber's " Book of Days " 
(vol. I, p. 678) is to the effect that a Robin dving in one's 
hand causes it to always shake afterwards ; this also exists 
as a Berkshire belief. According to Bolam it is a common 
Border belief that if the Robin sings from imdemeath a bush 
it \\-ill rain, but if he mounts to the top of a bush to sing, 
a fine day may be expected. Swainson says a Suffolk 
rhyme is : — 

If the Robin sings in the bush. 

Then the weather will be coarse ; 

But if the Robin sings on the bam, 

Then the weather will be warm. 

RoBix. The male of the HOBBY was formerly so called some- 
times by falconers, according to Col. Thornton. 

Robinet: The Robin or redbreast ; lit. " little Robin." 

Robin goch : The REDBREAST. (Xorth Wales) lit. "red 
robin." 

RoBix Hawk. A name for the CROSSBILL. (Hett.) 

Robin Redbreast. The old English name of the Robin (see 
REDBREAST). Saxby savs it is also a Shetland name 
for the WREX. 

Rock Blackbird or Rock Starling : The RIXG-OUZEL. 
(Ireland and Stirling.) 

ROCK-DOVE [Xo. 347]. The name arises from its more exclu- 
sively frequenting cliffs and caves than its congeners. 
Willughby calls it the " Common Wild Dove or Pigeon." 
Montagu (1802), who employs the name Rock Dove for it, 
unites the STOCK-DOVE with it under the mistaken 



200 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

impression that they were one and the same species. In 
Northumberland the name is sometimes applied to the 
Stock-Dove on accomit of its nesting at times on crags, 
while Svvainson gives Rock Dove as an Irish name for the 
BLACK GUILLEMOT. 

EocKET-DovE : The STOCK-DOVE. (Gunnergate-in-Cleveland.) 
From the rocket-like flight as it leaves the ivy-clad trees 
(Nelson and Clarke). 

Rock Grouse. A name for the PTARMIGAN. 

Rock Hawk : The MERLIN. (Provincial.) From its habit 
of perching on rocks. 

Rockier : The ROCK-DOVE. ^Montagu gives this as a pro- 
vincial name for the species. It is also spelt " Rocker." 

Rock Lark: The ROCK-PIPIT. (Montagu.) It is a Brid- 
lington (Yorkshire) name for the species. 

Rock Lintie : The ROCK-PIPIT. (Aberdeen.) 

Rock-Martnet : The SWIFT. (Merrett.) 

Rock-Ouzel: The RING-OUZEL. (Lancashire and Yorkshire.) 
Willughby gives it as a Derbyshire name for the same 
species. It is applied to the DIPPER at Longdendale, 
Cheshire. 

Rock-Pigeon : The ROCK-DOVE. (Flamborough and Bemp- 
ton, Yorkshire.) Nelson and Clarke state that the STOCK- 
DOVE is there called Rock-Dove. 

ROCK-PIPIT [No. 72]. The name is found in Selby (1825). 
It is the Rock Lark of Montagu, the Dusky Lark of Le\\-in 
and Pennant, the Sea Lark of Walcott and the Sea Titling 
of Fleming. 

Rock Plover : The GREY PLOVER. (Wexford.) 

Rock Sandpiper : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Northum- 
berland.) 

Rock Sparrow: The TREE-SPARROW. (Cheshire; and 
Halifax, Yorkshire.) 

Rock Starling : The RING-OUZEL. (Roxburgh.) 

ROCK-THRUSH [No. 165]. First described and named by 
Vigors (" Zool. Jnl," ii, p. 396). Its home is in the mountain 
ranges of South and Middle Europe, hence its name. 

Rock Tringa : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Selby.) 

Rocus. A Gaelic name for the ROOK. 

Rodge, a name for the GADWALL. (Swainson.) 

RoDNA-HiNLEN. A Cornish name for the LAPWING. 



ROCKET — ROOK. 201 

ROLLER [No. 207]. From Fr. Rollier. The name, which is 
found in Willughby, appears to originate with Gesner (1555) 
who says it was so called near Strasburg from its habit of 
rolling or turning over in its flight. 

Rood Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. Swainson thinks it is 
from its cry (" rott "). 

ROOK [No. 4]. Occurs in Aldrovandus (1599) as "Roock," 
and in Merrett (1667) and also Willughby as Rook. Turner 
describes it as probably the frugilega of Ai'istotle, but gives 
no English name. Shakespeare also mentions it (as a bird 
of ill-omen) in " Macbeth " (act ni, sc. 4). It is probably 
so named from its colour, rook (A. Sax. kruc) being equivalent 
to smoke-black ; rooky is adjectivally used to denote this. It 
is an equivalent of the German rauch, smoke. Some authori- 
ties have, Mdth much less reason, preferred raucus, from the 
bird's hoarse note. In some parts of the coimtry, according 
to Swainson, it is believed that Rooks forsake their home 
on the do^Mifall of the family, or death of the heir of the 
estate ; this belief prevailing in Northumberland, Rvitland 
and Cornwall. Dyev also says that it is a very prevalent 
notion in the North of England that " when Rooks desert 
a rookery \\iiich they have tenanted for a number of years, 
it foretells the coming downfall of the family on whose 
property it is." It is supposed that in earlier times owners 
of estates prided themselves on attaching the Rooks to 
them because they were regarded as " fowls of good omen." 
The Rook is one of the most commonly believed in as a 
weather prognosticator among birds. When it hangs about 
home or flies up and do\ATi or especially low, rain or wind 
may be expected ; when it "tumbles " or drops in its flight 
it is taken as a sure sign of rain. In cormexion A\ith this 
Dr. Jenner's lines may be cited — 

And, see yon rooks how odd their flight. 

They imitate the ghding kite, 

And seem precipitate to fall. 

As if they felt the piercing ball — 

" Twill surely rain — I see with sorrow 

Our jaunt mast be put off to-morrow." 

If the birds feed busily and hurry over the ground in one 
direction, and in a compact body, a storm \vill soon follow. 
When thej^ sit in rows on dykes and palings wind is looked 
for ; while when going home to roost if they fly high the next 
day will be fair, and vice versa (InAvards). A Devonshire 
saying is that if Rooks stay at home, or return in the middle 
of the da\-, it A\ill rain ; if thej' go far abroad, it will be fine. 



202 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

ROSEATE TERN [No. 418]. The name is found in Montagu 
(" Om. Diet.," Supp.). So called from the pink tinge on 
the under-parts. 

ROSE-COLOURED STARLING [No. 14]. This name is found 
in the 1832 edition of Bewick. It is generally called Rose- 
coloured Pastor, from the prevailing colour of its plumage 
and from Temminck's generic name (pastor) for it, and under 
this name it occurs in Selby (1825). BcAvick (1797) has 
Rose-coloured Ouzel (probably a rendering of Buffon's 
" Le Merle couleur de Rose "). 

Rose Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL (Yorkshire) ; also 
the LINNET (in spring-plumage). Occurs in Fleming 
for the first-named species. 

Rose-Lintie. a Border name for the LINNET (Lintie:=Lin- 
net). Swainson says it is a Lowland name for the LESSER 
REDPOLL. 

Ross's Gull or Ross's Rosy Gull. See WEDGE-TAILED 
GULL. 

Rosy Bullfinch. Now called SCARLET GROSBEAK. 

RoTCHE, RoTcn, or Rotchie : The LITTLE AUK. Rotche is 
a frequent name for the species, especially among sailors, 
and originates, apparently, in its cry, Avhich has been 
syllabled as " rot-tet-tet." According to Gray this species 
is called Rotchie by the seafaring people on the shores of 
East Lothian and Fifeshire. 

Rotherock. An old Orkney name for the BARNACLE-GOOSE. 

RoTT Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. From its cry (" rott "). 

Rough-Footed Eagle. See SPOTTED EAGLE. The name 
occurs in Charleton and in Latham, but belongs to the 
Lesser Spotted Eagle. 

ROUGH-LEGGED BUZZARD [No. 242]. The name first 
appears as Rough-legged Falcon in the Appendix to Pen- 
nant's "British Zoolog}'." Fleming and Yarrell have 
Rough-legged Buzzard. 

Round-Berry Bird ; The RING-OUZEL. (Connemara.) From 
its fondness for the berries of the rowan or mountain 
ash (Swainson). 

Row-DOW or Roo-Doo : The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Northants.) 

ROYSTON Crow. The Old English name for the HOODED 

CROW, but still in use in the northern counties. It is 

foimd in Merrett (1667), and also Willughby, Albin and 

Pennant (1766 ed.). The latter in later editions calls it 



ROSEATE — RUSH. 203 

Hooded Crow. Turner (1544) calls it the " Winter Crow." 
Albin say? it is so called from having been seen in numbers 
in winter about Royston and Newmarket. 

Ruhy-croumed Wren. This American species, of which two 
examples were said to have been shot near Loch Lomond in 
1852, is not considered to have a place on the British List. 

Ruddock: The REDBREAST. (Cornwall and Yorkshire.) 
Occurs in Merrett and Willughby. From A. Sax. rudduc. 
Swainson also gives " Reddock " for Dorset. 

Ruddy Plover : The SANDERLESTG. Adult male in summer- 
plumage. (Swainson.) 

RUDDY SHELD-DUCK [No. 286]. Occurs in Selby (1833), and 
also in Yarrcll (1st ed.) as the Ruddy Shieldrake. It is 
the Ruddy Goose of Bevvdck. 

RUFF and REEVE [No. 370]. Derivation of Reeve is thought 
to be from A. Sax. gerefa, literally one in authority, perhaps 
so called from the pugnacious habits of the males. A 
wood-reeve was anciently the overseer of a wood. The 
name is foimd in Willughby as " The Ruff, whose female 
is called a Reeve '' ; in Merrett as " Rough and Reev," 
perhaps a mere phonetic spelling (but see below). The 
name Ruff is invariably applied to the male bird, the 
female being called Reeve. According to Willughby, 
"' They breed in Summer time in the Fens of Lincolnshire 
about Crowland," but it is, alas, now nearly a thing of the 
past for them to breed an\'where in England. Newton 
observes that it is " at present luiknoAvn whether the 
bird was named from the frill (Elizabethan) or the frill 
from the bird. In the latter case the name should possibly 
be spelt Rough {cf. ' rough-footed ' as applied to fowls with 
feathered legs) as in 1666 ^Merrett (' Pinax,' p. 182) had it." 

Ruffed Bustard. A name for MACQUEEN'S BUSTARD. 

Rufous-backed Egret: The BUFF-BACKED HERON. 

(Gould.) 
Rufous Turtle-Dove. An Asiatic ally of our TURTLE-DOVE 

w^hich has occuri'ed in Yorkshire. 

RUFOUS WARBLER [No. 152]. The name is found in 
Latham. ('' Sjti.," iv, p. 431). It occurs in Gould (" Birds 
of Europe ") and Yarrell (" Supp." ii, 1856) as Rufous Sedge 
Warbler. Deriv^ed from the Rufous-brown plumage. 

Runner : The WATER-RAIL. (Sedbergh, Yorkshire.) 

Runt : The WREN. (Near Huddersfield.) 

Rush- Warbler. A name for the REED-WARBLER. 



204 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Rtjsset-pated Chofgh. Shakespeare mentions (" i\fidsummer 
Night's Dream," act in, sc. 2) : — 

Russet pated chouglis, many in sort. 
Rising and cawing at the gun's report. 
The term " russet-pated " has aroused a good deal of con- 
troversy. Mr. Harting considers it to refer to the JACK- 
DAW, and a few years ago in the " Zoologist " he defended 
at some length his opinion that " russet " might denote the 
grey nape of this bird. Professor Ne^vi;on, on the other 
hand, seems to have preferred to read it " russet-patted " 
(i.e., red-footed), making the passage refer to the CHOUGH. 
Mr. Harting has shov^n (as will he seen in the present work 
under " Chough ") that the word " chough " did not always 
apply to Pyrrhocorax graculus ; yet on the other hand he 
admits that Shakespeare in other cases refers always to 
the Jackdaw as the " daw." 

Russet Wheatear : The BLACK-EARED WHEATEAR. 
The name is found in Latham, and it is figured bv Edwards 
(pi. 31). It is also called Russet Chat. 

RUSTIC BUNTING [No. 51]. The name is an anglicization of 
Pallas's name Emheriza rustica. 

SABINE'S GULL [No. 423]. The name is found in Jenyns and 
was adopted by Yarrell and succeeding authors. It is the 
Sabine's Xeme of Eyton. 

Sabine's Snipe. A melanism of the COM^ION SNIPE, for long 
supposed to be a distinct species. It was first described 
by Vigors in a communication to the Linnean Society 
(" Trans.," vol. xiv), from a bird shot in Queen's Count^^, 
Ireland, in 1822, while many others have been obtained 
from time to time. 

Sadcock, Sedcock, Sedgecock, Settcock. Local Cheshire 
names for the MISTLE-THRUSH. (Coward and Oldham.) 

Saddle-back : The GREAT and LESSER BLACK-BACKED 
GULLS. (Yorkshire.) From the saddle-shape of the dark 
mantle. Swainson gives Greater Saddle-back as an Irish 
name for the former. 

Said Fool. A Shetland name for the LESSER BLACK- 
BACKED GULL. (Saxby.) 

St. Cuthbert's Duck : The COMMON EIDER. (Northumber- 
land.) 

St. George's Duck : The SHELD-DUCK. Occurs in Montagu. 

St. Kilda Wren. See WREN. 

Saith : The MISTLE-THRUSH. The name occurs in Merrett 
(1667). 



RUSSET — SATIN. 205 

Saixypecker: The CHIFFCHAFF and also the WILLOW- 
WARBLER. (Ireland.) " Sally " signifies sallow (=willow.) 
Swainson saj^s it is also an Irish name for the SEDGE- 
WARBLER. 
Sand-backie : The SAKD-MARTIN. (Foifar.) 
Saxd-cock : The REDSHANK. (Bewick.) 
Sand Dotterel : The RINGED PLOVER. (Humber.) 
SANDERLING [No. 372]. Cognate with Icel. Sanderla. The 
name occurs in Willughby (1678) and in most succeeding 
authors. 
Sand Lark, Sandy, or Sandy Laverock : The RINGED 
PLOVER. (Northumberland.) The last name is also 
used in the Orkneys and Shetlands. Sand Lark is apjDlied 
in Scotland to the COMAION SANDPIPER, and in 
Ireland to the SANDERLING, also at Bridlington to the 
ROCK-PIPIT. 
Sandlark of the Shore : The DLTS'LIN. (Ireland.) 
SAND-MARTIN [No. 198]. The name occurs in Merrett's list 

(1667), also in Willughby and most subsequent authors. 
Sand Mouse : The DL^XIN. (Westmorland.) 
Sand Pigeon : The STOCK-DOVE. (Cheshire.) 
Sand Runner : The DUNLIN. Also the RINGED PLOVER 

and the SANDERLING on the Humber. 
Sand Snipe: The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Cheshire and 

West Yorkshire.) 
Sand or Sandy Sw.allow : The SAND-MARTIN. (Provincial.) 

Sandy is a Teesdale name. 
S-AND Thrush. A name for the DIPPER. (Hett.) 
SANDWICH TERN [No. 417]. The name is found in Latham's 
" S\'Tiopsis " (VI, p. 356), it being commimieated to him by 
Boys of Sand\\ich, Avhence the name. 
Sand Wigeon : The GADWALL. (Essex.) 
Sandyhead. a name for the COMMON POCHARD. 
Sandy Laverock or Sandy Loo : The RINGED PLOVER. 

(Orkney and Shetland.) 
Sandy Lavrock : The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Scottish 

Borders.) 
SARDINIAN WARBLER [No. 149]. Of this South European 
species an example was obtained near Hastings in Jime 
1907. 
Satin Grebe : The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. From the 
silky plumage of the under-parts. 



206 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

SAVI'S WARBLER [No. 131]. This species was first recorded 
from the Cambridgeshire Fens in 1840 and was loiown to 
breed there up to the year 1856. It was named in honour 
of Savi, the Italian ornithologist, \vho first described the 
species in 1824. The name appears in Yarrell (1843). 

Saw-beer: The GOLDEN PLOVER. Mr. Robert Godfrey 
informs me that this name is used " in one locality Ijdng 
to the south of the Pentland Hills in this covmty (Md- 
Lothian) and is distinctly an effort to sjdlable the wail of 
the bird." It recalls Saxby's version " Oh dee-ar." 

Sawbill: The GOOSANDER and the RED-BREASTED 
MERGANSER. (Scotland, Yorkshire, and Northumber- 
land.) Also occurs as Saw-neb (Aberdeen) for both species 
and Sawbill Wigeon (Galwaj^) and Sawbill Duck (York- 
sliire) for the RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. 

Sawfinch, Sawfitch, Sawfiler, Saw-sharpener, Saw- whet : 
The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) So called from 
its song resembling the sound of saw-sharpening. According 
to Swainson, in some parts of the country these notes are 
considered to portend rain, but Bolam says that on the 
Border the reverse is the belief. 

Scald Crow : The HOODED CROW. (Ireland.) 

ScAi.E Drake : The SHELD-DUCK. (Orkneys.) 

ScAixop-TOED Sandpiper : The GREY PHALAROPE. (Pen- 
nant, 1766.) 

ScAMEL. Occurs in Shakespeare (" The Tempest," act n, sc. 2) 
and has been erroneously surmised to be intended for 
" stannel " (the KESTREL), q.v. Mr. H. Durrant tells me 
that in Norfolk the female of the BAR-TAILED GOD WIT 
is known as the " scamel." Swainson gives " Scammel " 
as a Norfolk name for the Bar -Tailed Godwit. Newton 
thinks it a misprint for " Seamel " (i.e. Sea-Mew) or 
" Stannel " (a Kestrel). 

Scandinavian Chiffchaff. See CHIFFCHAEF. 

SCANDINAVIAN ROCK-PIPIT [No. 73]. This Scandinavian 
form of our ROCK-PIPIT is known to occur in our Islands 
on migration. It was first recorded as British by Booth. 

ScARBH (pron. scarrav) : The SHAG. (Western Isles of Scotland.) 

Scare-crow : The BLACK TERN (Willughby) ; the 
HOODED CROW (Montagu). 

Scarf: The SHAG (Shetlands) and also the CORMORANT. 
From Gael, scarhh, Icel. Skarfr. Swainson, however, derives 
both Scarf and Scart from A. Sax. scega, a beard, derivate 
of SHAG. 



SAVl's — SCOTCH, 207 

SCARLET GROSBEAK [No. 31]. Formerly kno\\-n as the 
Rosy Bullfinch. 

ScART or Skart : The SHAG. (Orkneys and Shetlands.) From 
the Gaelic scarhh. Also applied to the CORMORANT. 
(Lanes., Northumberland, North Ireland.) 

SCAUP-DUCK [No. 301]. The name occurs in Willughby 
(1678) and in Pennant and succeeding authors. Montagu 
observes that " it is supposed to take its name from feeding 
on broken shells, called scaup." Scalp (Old D. schelpe, 
Old Fr. escalope) signifies a shell. It is called Scaup 
Pochard by Selby. 

ScATjRiE, ScoRiE, or ScOEEY : The young of the HERRING- 
GULL. (Orkney's.) In Shetland applied to any young 
gull according to Saxby. 

ScHiNz's Sandpiper : BONAPARTE'S SANDPIPER. (Eyton.) 

SCHLEGEL'S PETREL [No. 330]. A South Pacific species 
recently recorded as British (" P.Z.S.," 1908, p. 433). 

Scissors-grinder : The NIGHTJAR (Norfolk and Suffolk.) 
From its jarring note. 

ScLAvoNiAN Grebe. See SLAVONIAN GREBE. 

Scobby: The CHAFFINCH. (Cornwall, North Yorkshire.) 
Hett also gives " Scol^p3^" In Staffordshire " cobby " 
signifies in good form or spirits. 

Scolder: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Orkney.) From Icel. 
Skjoldr, piebald. Also occurs as " Shelder." 

ScooPER or Scooping Avocet : The AVOCET. Scooper occurs 
in Charleton (1668). The name Scooping Avocet is first 
fomid in Pennant (1776). Montagu ha=; Scooping Avoset. 
The term " Scooping " is from the bird's habit of scooping 
its food (marine worms, Crustacea, etc.) out of the mud or 
sand by means of its peculiarly shaped bill. 

Scoot or Scout : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Northum- 
berland , Yorkshire . ) 

ScoppER-BiLL. A local Norfolk name for the SHOVELER. 

SCOPS OWL [No. 226]. This tiny si^ecies was formerly called 
Scops-eared Owl, under which name it occurs in Latham, 
etc. It is the " Little Homed Owl " of Montagu (" Orn. 
Diet.," Supp.). 

ScoRiE or ScoREY. See Scaurie. 

Scotch Canary : The YELLOW BUNTING. From its yellow 
colour. 

Scotch Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. (Flamborough.) 



208 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Scotch Nightingale: The SEDGE-WARBLER. From its 
singing at night. 

Scotch Wren : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Pennant.) 

Scoter: The CO^VOION SCOTER. (Pennant, Montagu, etc.) 

Scottish Crested Titmouse. See CRESTED TITMOUSE. 

Scottish Crossbill. See COINIMON CROSSBILL. 

ScouL. A Cornish name for the KITE. 

ScouLTON Pewit or Scoulton Pie : The BLACK-HEADED 
GULL. (Norfolk.) From its breeding at Scoulton Mere. 

Scout : The CO]\mON GUILLEMOT (Yorkshire and Scot- 
land); also applied to the RAZORBILL (Scotland). 
Sibbald mentions the latter vmder the name of Auk, " the 
Scout of our coimtry folk." Willvighby prints it Skout, 
and gives it as a Yorkshire name. The word as used is of 
Scandinavian origin and signifies to drive away. Also a 
Earn Island name for the PUFFIN. 

SCOUTIALLIN, ScOTJTY-ALLAN, or ScOUTY-AULTN : The ARCTIC 

SKUA. (Orkney and Shetland.) 

ScRABER : The LITTLE AUK. (St. Kilda.) Also the MANX 
SHEARWATER (Hebrides); and the BLACK GUIL- 
LEMOT (Hebrides, East Lothian). Said to be from its 
Norwegian name, skrabe, or scraper, because it scrapes a 
hole in the sand for its nest. 

ScRAYE : The COMMON TERN. From its cry. 

Screamer, Screecher, Screech Martin, Squealer. English 
provincial names for the SWIFT, from its harsh screaming 
note. 

Screaming Owl : The BARN-OWT.. (Yorkshire.) 

Screch y coed, a Welsh name for the JAY ; lit. " Mood 
screech." 

Screech, or Screech Thrush : The MISTLE -THRUSH. So 
called from its loud song. Screech-bird or Screech-Thrush 
is also a Stirling name for the FIELDFARE. 

Screech Hawk: The NIGHTJAR. (Berks, and Bucks.) 

Screech Owl, Scrich-owle, or Scritch-owl. Properly the 
BARN-OWL. Sibbald applies the name to the TAWNY 
OWL. The former occurs in Merrett (1867) as the " Screech 
or Screeching Owl." In old English the name owl occurs 
as " Oule," "Ouul," or "Ule," the latter being the Saxon 
name. In Rowland's "More Knaves Yet" (ca. 1613) 
occurs : — 

Wise Gosling, did but heare the scrich-owle crye, 
And told his wife, and straight a pigge did dye. 



SCOTCH — SBA. 209 

Drayton also alludes to the poiDular belief in the unluekiness 
of the " sciitch-owl's dismal note." That a Screech Owl 
" hooting " near the house is a sign of death has been 
recorded as a Berkshirebelief(" Folklore," December, 1894), 
while in Reed's " Old Plays " (vi, p. 357) we find :— 
When Screech-owls croak upon the cliimney tops, 
It's certain that you of a corse shall hear. 

ScREMERSTON Crow^ : The HOODED CROW. (Roxburgh.) 

From the large numbers which frequent the sea-shore in the 

neighbourhood of that place (Swainson). 

Screw or Devil Screw : The SWIFT. (Ackworth, Yorkshire.) 

ScRiACHAG CHOILLE. A Gaelic name for the JAY ; lit. " wood 

screech." 
Scribbling Lark: The YELLOW BUNTING. (Cheshire, 
Yorkshire, Korthants.) From the scribble-like markings 
on its eggs. Also occurs as Scribbler. 
Scull. A name for the GREAT SKUA. 

ScuTTv. A Hampshire and Sussex name for the WREN. Pro- 
bably for " Cutty." (See " Cutty Wren.") 
Sea- Auk: The RAZOR BH^L. (Scarborough.) 
Sea-blue bird of March : The KINGFISHER. (Poetical.) 
Sea Cock : The GREY PLOVER. (Waterford.) 
Sea Crow\ A provincial name for the CORMORANT 
(Montagu); the RAZORBILL (Orkney and Shetland); 
the COMMON GULL (Yorkslure) ; the BLACK-HEADED 
GULL (Cheshire, Yorkshire); the HOODED CROW 
(Northumberland, Yorkshire); the CHOUGH (keland). 
According to Swainson the name has also been applied 
to the GREAT SKUA. 
Sea Dottrel: The TURNSTONE. (Willughby.) Bewick 
gives Sea Dotterel. It is also an obsolete name for the 
RINGED PLOVER. 
Sea-Dove. A Scots name for the LITTLE AUK. 
Sea Dovie : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Forfar.) 
Sea-Eagle: The OSPREY ; also the WHITE-TAILED 
EAGLE. The two were much confused by the older 
authors. Occurs as " Sea Eagle " in Merrett (1667) who 
says it is notably found in Cornwall, and also in Willughby, 
but the latter adds the name " Osprey." Pennant and later 
WTiters have " Sea Eagle, or Osprey," but their Sea-Eagle 
is generally the immature White-Tailed Eagle. Even 
Montagu in 1802 describes the Cinereous or White-Tailed 
Eagle, the Sea Eagle (Falco ossifragus, Linn.) and the 
Osprey. rSee WHITE-TAILED EAGLE.) 



210 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Sea Gitl or Sea Cob: The COMMON GULL. (Merrett.) 
Turner (1544) also has " Se-cob or see-gell," and he tells 
us the species is so named from coxmtrymen likening their 
cries to the word " cob." 

Sea Gull : Properly the COMIMON GULL, but loosely applied 
to any species of Gull. The name occurs as "Sea Gull" 
in Barlow's plates (1655). 

Sea-Gfll Hawk: The HEN-HARRIER. (Connemara.) 

Sea Hen : The young or female of the COMMON SCOTER 
(Northumberland); also the COMMON GUILLEMOT 
(Northumberland, Durham and East Lothian). Occurs in 
Albin for the latter species. 

Sea Kittie : The KITTIWAKE GULL. (Norfolk and Suffolk.) 
Sea-Lark : The RINGED PLOVER. (Merrett to Pennant.) 
Still a provincial name. Also applied sometimes to the 
ROCK-PIPIT; the SHORE-LARK (Yorkshire); the 
DUNLIN (Cheshire, North Ireland, Scotland) ; and the 
SNOW- BUNTING, SANDERLING and the TURNSTONE 
(Ireland). 
Sea Linnet: The SNOW-BUNTING. (Cheshire.) 
Sea Lintie : The ROCK-PIPIT. (East Lothian.) 
Seamas rtta'. A Gaelic name for the PUFFIN. (Western Isles) 

lit. " Red James." 
Sea Maw or Sea Mew : The HERRING-GULL, the COMMON 
GUT.L and the BLACK-HEADED GULL (Scotland) ; also 
the COaiMON GULL (Yorkshire). 
Sea Mouse : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Northumberland.) 
Bolam says it is an occasional name for the species from the 
fearless manner in which the bird runs about the weed- 
covered rocks within a few feet of the intruders. Also 
a name for the DUNLIN (Lancashire and Dumfries). 
Sea Nanpie : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Yorkshire.) 
Sea Parrot : The PUFFIN. (Northumberland, Yorkshire, 

Norfolk.) 
Sea peek : The DUNLIN. (Forfar.) 

Sea pheasant : The LONG-TAILED DUCK (Northumberland, 
Yorkshire) ; also the PINTAIL (Hampshire, Yorkshire and 
Dorsetshire). Occurs in Willughby for the latter species. 

Sea-Pie : The OYSTERCATCHER was formerly so called, by 
the older writers from Willughby to Pennant. It is still 
a common provincial name for the species. 

Sea-piet: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Northumberland.) 



SEA — SE>n. 2 1 1 

Sea Pigeon : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Holy Island and 
Ireland.) The name is applied to the ROCK-DOVE in 
Ireland, and the GREY PLOVER (Yorkshire). 

Sea Pilot : The OYSTERCATCHER. Swainson thinks it is 
a corruption of Sea-piet. 

Sea Plover: The GREY PLOVER. From its frequenting 
the sea-shore. 

Sea Snipe : The DUXLIN (North England, Scotland) ; also 
the KNOT (Dublin). 

Sea-Swallow : The COM^ION TERN, ARCTIC TERN and 
LITTLE TERN. (Provincial.) Occurs in Willughby and 
Ray for the first-named, who also call it Hirundo marina. 
The salmon fishermen in the West of Ireland believe that 
when the sea-swallows are numerous salmon will also be 
plentiful. According to Hett, the name is sometimes 
applied to the STORIM-PETREL. 

Seathor. a Cornish name for a Diver or Grebe. 

Sea Titling : The ROCK-PIPIT. (Fleming.) 

Sea-Turtle : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Willughby.) 

Seave-cap: The REED-BUNTING. (Thirsk, Yorkshire.) 
" Seave "=rush. 

Sea- Woodcock : The BAR-TAILED GODWIT. (Montagu.) 
It is a Shetland name for the Godwits. 

Sedge-bird or Sedge- Wren : The SEDGE-WARBLER. 
(Provincial.) Sedge Marine is also a Norfolk name, and Seg- 
bird a Yorkshire one. Sedge-bird occurs in Albin (1738). 
MacgilU\Tay calls it Sedge-Reedling. 

SEDGE-WARBLER [No. 139]. This species is mentioned by 
Willughby under the name of Salicaria and is the Willow- 
Lark of Pennant (ed. 1766), while it is called Sedge Warbler 
in his "Arctic Zoology" (n, p. 419) and in later authors. 

Seed-bird: The COMMON GULL. (Scotland.) From its 
habit of following the plough. Also the PIED WAGTAIL 
(Yorkshire). 

Segge or Heges-sugge. An old name for the HEDGE- 
SPARROW (and perhaps other small birds). From A.Sax. 
Sugge, Old Eng. heisugge. Swainson gives it as a Devon 
name. 

Selninger Sandpiper : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Latham.) 

SEMI-PALMATED SANDPIPER [No. 384]. An Arctic- 
American species, first recorded for England in 1907. 

p2 



212 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Sentinel Shrike. A name sometimes given to the GREAT 
GREY SHRIKE ; it exists also in its specific name excubitor 
(i.e. a sentinel) and in the names by which this Shi'ike 
is known in several comitries on the Continent. It origin- 
ates from the bird's habit of sitting sentinel-mse on an 
exposed perch, and from its marvellous powers of vision 
it was commonly made use of in the days of falconry as 
a sentinel to detect the approach of a wild hawk ; it is 
in fact still so employed in Holland. 

SERIN [No. 28]. Sometimes called the Serin Finch. From 
Fr. seri7i, probabl}^ from Lat. siren, on account of its song. 
It occurs in Willughby as the " Serinus of Gesner," 

Serfla. a provincial name for the RED-BREASTED MER- 
GANSER. (Montagu.) 

Set-Hammer. A Teesmouth fowler's name for the BAR- 
TAILED GODWIT. 

Seven-coloured Linnet: The GOLDFINCH. (Shropshire.) 

Seven Whistler : The WHDIBREL ; from the clear whistling 
note, supposed to be repeated about seven times. 

Shad-bird : The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Shrewsbury) ; 
because before the erection of weirs at Worcester the shad 
used to ascend the river about the middle of April, the 
time of the arrival of the Common Sandpiper (Jackson, 
•' Shropshire Word-Book," p. 372). 

SHAG [No. 317]. Often called the Green Cormorant. The 
name " Shag " first appears in MeiTett, who says 
Cormorants are so called in Cornwall. Willughby also 
terms it " the Shag, called in the North of England the 
Crane." Pennant calls it " Shag Cormorant." From 
Icel. skegg=the beard, from skaga=^to protect ; so called 
on account of the recurved crest of feathers with which 
the head is adorned in spring-plumage. 

Shagga: The CORMORANT, also the SHAG. (Cornwall.) 
See SHAG. 

Shake : The REDSHANK. (Connemara.) From the constant 
nodding of its head while on the ground (Swainson). 

Shaking Pettychaps. A name for the WOOD-WARBLER. 
(Hett.) 

Sharpie: The BLACK-HEADED GULL. (Bridhngton, 
Yorkshire.) 

Sharp-saw: The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Norfolk.) From its 
" saw-sharpening " notes. 

Sharp-tailed Duck. Montagu gives this as a provincial 
name for the LONG-TAILED DUCK. 



SENTINEL — SHELL. 213 

Sharp-tailed Island (= Iceland) Duck : The LONG-TAILED 
DUCK. (Willughby.) 

She.^-tail: The COM^ION TERN. (Orknej-s.) 

Shearwater : The MANX SHEARWATER. (Montagu.) Also 
the GREAT SHEARWATER. 

Sheelfa, Shilfa, Sheely. Local names for the CHAFFINCH, 
supposed by some to be from the variegated plumage of 
the male (shell, or shield=pied or variegated.) The first 
two are North England and Scots names, while Sheely is a 
Northamptonshire and Yorkshire name. 

Sheely, or Shiely. Mr. Witherby tells me that this is a 
Holv Island (Northumberland) name for the GOLDEN- 
CRESTED \VREN. 

Sheeprack: The STARLING. (Northants.) 

Sheep's Guide : The GOLDEN PLOVER. (Longdendale, 
Cheshire.) 

Sheep's-head-and-pluck : The RED-THROATED DIVER. 
(Bridlington.) From a supposed resemblance. 

SHELD-DUCK [No. 285]. The name (from sheld=parti- 
coloured) occurs in Me'rrett's list (1667) as " Shell Drake " ; 
he gives it as a Norfolk name, but there is no certainty 
that it was intended for this species. Willughby and Ray 
call it " Sheldrake or ' Burrough Duck,' called by some 
Bergander," and observe that " They are called by some 
Burrow Ducks, because they build in Coney-burroughs ; 
by others Sheldrakes, because they are parti-coloured." 
They, ho\^'ever, merely cite Bergander as found in Ald- 
rovandus. 

Shelder: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Shetlands.) 

SheldFowl: The SHELD-DUCK. (Orkneys.) 

Sheldrake : The SHELD-DUCK. Swainson says it is also 
a Waterford name for the SHOVELER. 

Shell or Skell : The SHELD-DUCK. (Yorkshire.) 

Shell-, Shel-, or Sheld-Apple : The CHAFFINCH (Stafford- 
shire and Northumberland.) Occui'S in Turner (1544) as 
" Sheld-appel." Swainson thinks the " sheld " means 
parti-coloured as in SHELD-DL^CK, and that the " apple " 
is a form of Alp (q.v.). Merrett, Willughb}^, Pennant, 
BcAvick and other authors apply the name, hoAvever, to the 
CROSSBILL, and much more appropriately, as the latter 
species literally shells apples, cf. Carew ("Survey of Corn- 
Avall," p. 73, 1602) who says : " Not long since there came a 
flock of birds into Cornwall, about harvest season, in bigness 



214 DICTIOXAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

not much exceeding a sparrow, which made a foul spoil 
of the apples. Their bills were thwarted crosswise at the 
end, and with these they would cut an apple in two at one 
snap, eating only the kernels." In this case, of course, 
the meaning ascribed to the name by Swainson and others 
is incorrect. 

Shellcock, Shercock. Local Cheslrire names for the MISTLE- 
THRUSH. (Coward and Oldham.) 

Shell Duck: The SHELD-DUCK. (Lancashire.) The 
GOOSANDER is so called on the Shannon. 

Shell-turner. A name for the RINGED PLOVER. (Hett.) 

Shep or Sheppy : The STARLING. (North and West Yorl<- 
sliire.) 

Shepster, Shepstare, or Shepstabling : The STARLING. 
Equivalent to Sheep-Stare and Sheep-Starling. The first 
is a Cheshire, Yorkshire, and Northern Counties name, the 
second and third are Craven (Yorkshire) names. 

Shercock. A Lancasliire and Yorkshire name for theMISTLE- 
THRUSH. The etjonology is doubtful ; it may be, how- 
ever, that "sher" is a corruption of shire (A. Sax. seer) as in 
sJfprif^, hence the literal signification Avould be " cock of the 
shire." Hett gives " Shirley Cock " for the same species. 

Sheriff's Man : The GOLDFINCH. (Shropshire.) From its 
bright plumage, suggesting a showy livery. 

Shetland Wren. See WREN. 

Sheildrake: The SHELD-DUCK. (Pennant.) 

Shipster, Ship-Starling. Yorkshire names for the 
STARLING ; ship is a corruption of sheep. 

Shoe-awl or Shoeing-horn : The AVOCET. From the shape 
of its bill. 

Shooi : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Shetlands.) Imitative of its 
cry. 

Shore-bird : The SAND-MARTIN. Occurs in Merrett and 
also in Willughby. 

SHORE-LARK [No. 64]. The name is found in Gould's " Birds 
of Europe." 

Shore-Sandpiper : The GREEN SANDPIPER (?) Occurs in 
Bewick. 

Shore Snipe: The COIVIMON SANDPIPER. (Perth.) 

Shore Teetan : The ROCK- PIPIT. (Orkneys). 

SHORT-EARED OWL [No. 225]. The name first occurs in 
Pennant (1706). 



SHELLCOCK — SIBERIAN. 215 

Short-heeled Field Labk : The TREE-PIPIT. (Montagu.) 
Because the hind claw is not so long as the toe itself. 
Svvainson says it is a Scottish provincial name. By 
inference the SKY-LARK is the Long-heeled species. 

Short Horn Owl : The SHORT-EARED OWL. (Fleming.) 

SHORT-TOED LARK [No. 59]. The name is found in Gould's 
" Birds of Europe " (pt. xv, 1835). 

Short-winged Wood-Wren. A name for the CHIFFCHAFF. 
(Macgillivray.) 

Shoulfall: The SNOW-BUNTING. (Sibbald.) 

Shovelard. An old name for the SPOONBILL. Occurs in 
Turner (1544) and in Merrett (1667) ; also occurs as Shovelar 
and Sholard. 

Shovel-bill : The SHOVELER. From its spatulated bill. 

SHOVELER [No. 295]. The name arises from the spatulated 
or spoon-shaped terminal part of the bill. It is found in 
Willughby and most succeeding authors. 

Shred Cock : The FIELDFARE. (Shropshire.) 

Shriek or Shreek : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. An equi- 
valent of Shrike (q.v.). 

Shrieker : The BAR-TAILED GODWIT and BLACK-TAILED 
GOD WIT. (Norfolk.) 

Shriek Owl : The SWIFT. (Pro\ancial.) 

Shrike. Usually the GREAT GREY SHRIKE. Occurs in 
Turner for this species. 

Shrillcock : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Cheshire.) From its 
loud song. 

Shrimp-catcher : The LITTLE TERN. (Norfolk.) 

Shrite or Shreitch : The MISTLE-THRUSH. The first occurs 
in Willughby (1678), and the second in Charleton (1668) 
and Sibbald (1684). The former name, at any rate, is a 
pro\incialism still in use. The derivation appears to be 
from A. Sax. Scric, to screech (see Shrike). Svvainson spells 
it " Skrite." 

Shuffle-wing: The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Craven.) So 
called from its ])eculiar shake or fluttering of the wdngs. 

Siberian Chiffchaff. See CHIFFCHAFF. 

SiBERLAN Goose : The RED-BREASTED GOOSE. (Bewick.) 

Siberian Pectorai. Sandpiper. See PECTORAL SANDPIPER. 

Siberian Ruby-throat. This species is a relative of the well- 
known " Bluethroats," and of the Nightingales. It is 
said to have been observed at Westgate-on-Sea, but is not 
vet admitted to the British List. 



216 DICTIONABY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

SiBiLOUs Bush-hopper. A name for the GRASSHOPPER- 
WARBLER. 

SiDANGYNFFON. A Welsh name for the WAXWING. 

SiFFSAFF : The CHIFFCHAFF. (North Wales). Imitative of 
its song. 

SiGLDiGWT. A name for the PIED WAGTAIL and WHITE 
WAGTAIL in South Wales ; lit. " shake-tail." 

SiGLEN felen: The YELLOW WAGTAIL. (North Wales) 
lit. " yellow wagtail." 

SiGLEN LLWYD : The GREY WAGTAIL. (North Wales) lit. 
" grey wagtail." 

Silk Tail : The WAXWING. It seems to occur first in the 
" Phil. Trans." for 1685, p. 1161. 

Silver-eyed Guillemot or Silver-eyed Scout : The Ringed 
Guillemot. The latter is a local name among the West of 
Scotland fishermen (Gray), and is given as a Yorkshire 
name by Nelson and Clarke. 

Silver Grebe: The RED-THROATED DIVER. (Kent.) 
According to Swainson. 

Silver Owl : The BARN-OAAO.. (Forfar.) 

Silver Plover : The GREY PLOVER. (Cheshire, Yorkshire, 
and Scotland.) 

Silver Pochard : The SCALT-DUCK. (Yorkshire.) 

Silvery Gull: The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL 
(Pennant) ; also the HERRING-GULL (Ireland). 

Singing Titlark. A name for the TREE-PIPIT. 

SISKIN [No. 19]. The derivation is probably from the Dan. 
Sidsken, or Swedish Siska, a chirper. The name " Siskin " 
occurs in Turner (1544), also in Merrett and Willughby. 

Sithe-bill : The GLOSSY IBIS. (Willughby.) 

SiT-YE-DOWN : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) Imi- 
tative of its note. 

Skait-bird: The ARCTIC SKUA. (Old Scots.) Perhaps 
from skite=:to mute. 

Skeel Duck or Skeel Goose : The SHELD-DUCK. (Scot- 
land). Occurs in Sibbald as Skeeling Goose. 

Skeer Devil or Skir Devil : The S\VIFT. (Devonshire, 
Somersetshire.) 

Skeldrake : The SHELD-DUCK (Be\^dck.) Also the OYSTER- 
CATCHER. (Orkneys.) From the parti-coloured plumage. 

Skell Duck : The SHELD-DUCK. (Northumberland, York- 
shire.) 



SIBILOUS — SKY. 



217 



Skip-hegrie. a name for the HERON. (Montagu.) 

Skirl or Skirl Cock : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Derbyshire.) 
An equivalent of Shrill. 

Skirl Crake: The TURNSTONE. (Shetlands.) From its 
shrill cry. 

Skirr : The ARCTIC TERN, COMMON TERN and LITTLE 
TERN. (Ireland.) 

Skite: The yellow bunting. (Aberdeen.) Skite=to mute. 

Skitter-brottie : The CORN-BUNTING. (Orkneys.) Swain- 
son thinks it is from its resorting to corn-stacks in winter : 
skiiR being to mute, and hrothies, the cross-ropes of the roof 
of a stack. 

SkittyCock orSKiTTY Coot: The WATER-RAIL. (Devonshire, 
Cornwall, Somersetshire) : from " skit "=to slide. Also the 
SPOTTED CRAKE (Devonshire) and the MOORHEN 
(Somersetshire). 

Skooi or Shooi : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Shetlands.) From its cry. 

Skout. See Scout. 

Skrabe : The MANX SHEARWATER. (BcAvick, Montagu.) 
See also Scraber. 

Skua or Skua Gull : The GREAT SKUA. Also others of the 
Skuas ; from the cry. 

Skuttock or Skiddaw : The CO:\DION GUILLEMOT. (East 
Lothian and Northumberland.) From skite=io mute. 

SKY-LARK [No. 62]. Foimd in Willughby (1678) who terms 
it " Skie-Lark," Turner (1544) merely calling it " Lerk." 
Albin has Sky Lark : Pennant (1766) and later authors call 
it Skylark. In ^lid. Eng. the name lark occurs as larke 
and laverock : from A.Sax. Idiverce, lavercp, most probably 
for lcewwerca=tTaitoT or guilew^orker. The reason why 
one of the most cherished of British birds should have 
received so bad a name at the hands of our Saxon forefathers 
seems somewhat obscure. It is considered an auspicious 
token in Orkney, Avhere it is known as " Our Lady's hen " 
(Dalyell). It is a popular belief that if larks fly high and 
sing"^ long, fine weather may be expected (Inwards). 
Chambers (" Popular Rhymes of Scotland") gives a curious 
rhyming version of the lark's song as follows : — 
Up in the lift go we, 
Tehee, tehee, tehee, tehee ! 
There's not a shoemaker on the earth 
Can make a shoe to me, to me ! 
Why so, why so, why so ? 
Because ray heel is as long as my toe. 
The reference in the last line is to the bird's long hind claw. 



218 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Slab. A North Country name for the WRYNECK. (Swainson.) 

Slate-backed Throstle : The FIELDFARE. (Yorkshire.) 

SLAVONIAN GREBE [No. 337]. Occurs as " Sclavonian 
Grebe " in Montagu's " Om. Diet." (1802) and the name is 
often so spelt. It is the Homed Grebe of Latham and the 
" Black-and-white Dobcliick " of Edwards. 

Sleightholme Throstle: The SNOW-BUNTING. (Arken- 
garthdale, Yorkshire.) 

SLENDER-BILLED CURLEW [No. 407]. A West Siberian 
species of which three examples were obtained in Kent in 1910. 

Slender-billed Nftcracker. See NUTCRACKER. 

Slight Falcon. An old falconer's name for the PEREGRINE 
FALCON. (Sebright.) 

Sly Goose: The SHELD-DUCK. (Orkneys.) From its crafti- 
ness. Sly Duck is also a Yorkshire name for the species. 

Small Barred Woodpecker: The LESSER SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. (Provincial.) 

Small Brown Gull : The immature COiVIMON TERN. (Pen- 
nant.) 

Smaix Curlew. A name for the BLACK-TAILED GOD WIT ; 

also the ESKIMO-CURLEW. 
Small Diver : The SLAVONIAN GREBE. (Humber.) 
Small Doucker : The LITTLE GREBE. (East Lothian.) 
Small Ducker : The LITTLE GREBE. (Yorkshire.) 
Smaller Redpoll Linnet : The LESSER REDPOLL. 

(Macgilliviay.) 
Small Grey Goose : The BEAN-GOOSE. (ProWncial.) 

Occurs in Montagu. 
Small Maa : The COMMON GULL. (Shetlands.) Maa= 

Mew or Gull. 
Small Purl : The LITTLE TERN. (Norfolk.) 
Small Spotted Water-hen : The SPOTTED CRAKE. (Pen- 
nant.) 

Small-Straw. A Yorkshire name for the smaller warblers 

which build nests of dried grass, etc. 
Small Wood-Pigeon: The STOCK-DOVE. (Northumberland.) 
Smalster: The WHITETHROAT. (Cheshire.) Perhaps a 

corrujjtion of " Small Straw." (See below.) 
Smastray (=Small Straw) : The GARDEN- WARBLER. 

(Cheshire.) Small Straw is a name for this bird, as well 

as the WHITETHROAT and other species, in Yorkshire. 

From the materials used for the nest. 



SLAB — SNORTER. 219 

Smatch or Smatche : The WHEATEAR. Occurs in Turner 
(1544) and MeiTett. Newton says it is an equivalent of 
Chat. 

Smee Duck : The SMEW. (Norfolk.) Also applied in the same 
county to the WIGEON and the COIVDION POCHARD. 

Smeorach. a Gaelic name for the SONG-THRUSH. Graham 
thought it to be from smehr, to grease, " probably from the 
smoothness of its liquid notes." 

Smeu, Smeuth, or Smooth: The WILLOW- WARBLER. 
(Stirling.) 

SMEW [No. 314]. In Willughby (1678) the name Smew occui-s 
in the text (p. 338), the species being described, however, 
imder the heading of " White Nun," which NevHon thinks 
is the male name, from the hooded appearance of its head, 
Smew being the female. Pennant, however, gives Smew as 
the male name, and " Lough Diver " as the female. The 
name Smew Merganser is also applied to this species. 

Smoky : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (Northumberland.) " As 
mild as a Smoky " is a local proverb. 

Smool. a name for the HEDGE-SPARROW. (Hett.) 

Sm^DAN. A Gaelic name for the RING-DOVE. 

Snabby : The CHAFFINCH. (Kirkcudbright.) 

Snaith or Snyth: The COOT. (Orkneys.) From Icel. 
Snaud-ur=ha^e, in reference to the bare frontal plate. 

Snake-bird : The A^^YNECK. (Southern English coimties.) 
Perhaps from the hissing noise it makes when disturbed 
while sitting, or else from its habit of t^visting its head and 
neck. 

Snapper : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Swainson.) 

Snent. a Ber^^ick name for the DL^NLIN and other small 
shore-birds : a corruption of Stint. 

Snipe: The CO^kBION SNIPE. (Mei-rett and Willughby.) 
Also the general colloquial name for the species. 

Snipe-billed Sandpiper: The RED-BREASTED SAND- 
PIPER. 

Snipe Hawk : The MARSH-HARRIER. (South of Ireland.) 

Snipen : The COM]\ION SNIPE. (North Wales.) An equiva- 
lent of " Snipe." 

Snippick or Snippack : The COMMON SNIPE. (Orkoiey and 
Shetland.) 

Snorter : The \^^IEATEAR. (Dorset.) Swainson thinks it 
is from its ciy. 



220 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Snow-bird. A name for the SNOW-BUNTING (North 
England and Scotland) ; also the FIELDFARE (Shi-op- 
shire) ; and the IVORY GULL (Fleming). 

SNOW-BUNTING [No. 56]. From its inhabiting the Polar 
Regions and its Avhite winter-plumage. Occurs in Sibbald 
(1684) as " Snowfleck and Shoulfall," and in Edwards as 
" Snow-bird." 

Snow-chick. A name for the PTARMIGAN. (Hett.) 

SNOW-FINCH [No. 39]. An Alpine species which has lately 
occurred in our Islands. The name is found in Latham 
(" Syn.," m, p. 264). 

Snow-Finch : The Snow Bunting (Dumfriesshire.) 

Snowflake or Snaw Fowl : The SNOW-BUNTING. (Orkney 
and Shetland.) The name occurs in Sibbald as Snowfleck. 
Montagu gives Snow Fowl as a provincial name. Swainson 
also gives " Snow Flight " as a name for the species. Saxby 
gives " Snaa Fool " (^Snow Fowl) for the Shetlands. 

SNOW-GOOSE [No. 279, Snow-Gocse ; No. 280, Greater 
Snow-Goose]. So called from its inhabiting the Ai'ctic 
Regions and from its white plumage. It was described by 
Pallas imder the name hyperboreus, which implies its Arctic 
habitat. The smaller form is the one which has occurred 
irregularly in small numbers in Ireland, but the Greater, 
or Greenland, form has only been obtained once. 

Snow Lark Bunting : The SNOW-BUNTING. (Macgillivray.) 

SNOWY-OWL [No. 218]. This species, so called from its 
Arctic habitat and its wliite plumage, occurs in Edwards 
pi. 61) as the " Great White Owl." Snowy Owl occurs in 
Pennant's " Arctic Zoology " and in Latham. MacgilHvray 
calls it Snowy Day-Owl. 

Snfff-headed Wigeon. a name for the C0I\OI0N POCHARD. 
(Swainson.) 

Snyth : The COOT. (See Snaith.) 

SocAN EiRA : The FIELDFARE. (North Wales) lit. " snow 
wallower." 

SOCIABLE PLOVER [No. 366]. A rare straggler from south 
Russia and west Asia. The name is derived from the 
name gregarius conferred on it by Pallas in 1771. 

Sod. a Forfar name for the ROCK-DOVE. (Swainson.) 

SoFLiAR. A Welsh name for the QUAIL ; lit. " stubble-hen." 

Solan Goose or Soland Goose : The GANNET. Occurs in 
Barlow (1655) and Merrett's list as " Soland Goose," and 
in Turner (1544) as " Solend Goose." Willughby has 



SNOW — SPADGE, 221 

" Soland Goose." The derivation appears to be from the 
Gaelic suilear, meaning quick-sighted, from Suil=eye, and 
gheur^shsirip. Skeat, however, preferred Icel. Sula or 
iSulan (the n being the definite article). 

SOLITARY SANDPIPER [No. 391]. A North American 
species, originally described by Wilson, who conferred on 
it the name soUtariiis from its solitary habits. 

Solitary Snipe: The GREAT SNIPE. So called from its 
being commonly met with in this comitry singly. The 
name occurs in Be\A-ick (1804). 

Solitary Thrush : The STARLING (immature). Occurs in 
all old authors as a separate species, so called from its 
greyish-bro^vn plumage, somewhat resembling that of a 
thrush, and its supposed solitary habits. It mil be found 
described as a British species in the Supp. to Montagu's 
■' Om. Diet.," 1813. 

Song Linnet. A Yorkshire name for the LINNET. 

SONG-THRUSH [No. 158, British Song-Thrush; No. 157, 
Continental Song-Thrush]. So called from its pre-eminence 
as a songster. The name was fii'st used by Merrett and 
also occurs in Willughby and in most modem authors. 
Hartert has recently separated the resident British form 
from the Continental form, which visits our coast on 
migration. In "Science Gossip" (vol. in, p. 141) a popu- 
lar belief regarding this bird is referred to, to the effect that 
it acquires new legs and casts the old ones when about ten 
years old. 

SOOTY SHEARWATER [No. 327]. This Petrel, a near ally 
of the GREAT SHEARWATER, is so called from its 
sombre plumage. 

SOOTY TERN [No. 422]. The name, which originates in the 
sooty-black of the upper-parts, is found in Jardine's edition 
of Wilson (vol. in, 1832). 

Sore-hawks. A falconer's term for hawks of the first year, 
taken while still retaining immature-plumage. Said to be 
from Fr. soret, signifying a dusky colour, but Newton 
thinks it aldn to " sorrel," and properly applicable to 
those with reddish plumage. 

Southern Sandpiper : The KNOT, when changing to summer 
plumage. (Hett.) 

SOUTH EUROPEAN GREY SHRIKE [No. 108]. A southern 
form of the GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 

Spadge or Spadger: The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Northern 
counties.) A vulgar corruption of Sparrow. 



222 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Spar-Hawk or Spur-Hawk: The SPARROW-HAWK. 
( Aberdeenshire . ) 

Sparlin-fowl or Sparkling-fowl : The GOOSANDER (female). 
The first form occurs in Willughby and the second in 
Pennant, Montagu, etc. 

Sp.irrow : The HOUSE-SPARROW. From A.Sax. Spmrwa, a 
sparrow. Occm's in Turner, and is the general English name 
for the species, House-Sparrow being a book-name chiefly. 

SPARROW-HAWK [No. 249]. Probably from A.Sax. Sjwarwa 
(Sparrow) and Hafoc (Hawk), Mid. Eng. Hauk. The 
name "Sparrow-Hawk" occurs in Merrett's Pinax (1667), 
where it is called Accipiter fringillarius et nisus, after Aldro- 
vandus (pp. 345-7). Turner's " sparhauc " is the GOS- 
HAWK. In falconry the name Sparrow-Hawk was formerly 
used to denote the female, the male being termed " Musket " 
or Musquet Hawk (q.v.). 

Sparrow Owl. A name for the LITTLE OWL. (Hett.) 

Sparve : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (West Cornwall.) From 
A.Sax. spmrwa, a sparrow. 

Spear Sparrow. The female REED-BUNTING is so called 
in Hampshire. (Swainson.) 

Spear Wigeon : The RED-BREASTED MERGANSER, (co. 
Kerry.) 

Spease or Speethe : The KN'OT. (Holy Island.) Also applied 
there to the BAR-TAILED GOD WIT. It originates from 
the bird's wheezj^ note when on the ground. 

Specht or WoDSPECHT. Turner gives this as the English name 
of a Woodpecker, apparently the LESSER SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. (See Speicht.) 

Speckled Dick : The GOLDFINCH. (Shropshire.) 

Speckled Diver or Loon : The RED-THROATED DIVER. 
Occurs in Pennant, Latham, etc. Given also as a pro- 
vincial name for the BLACK-THROATED DIVER by 
Montagu, who, however, misprints it " Speckled Zoon." 

Spectacled Goose : The GANNET. (Provincial.) From the 
bare circle of skin surroimding the eye. 

Speel-the-tree. a name for the TREECREEPER. (Hett.) 

Speicht or Speight (corrupted also to Spite as in Wood-Spite) : 
The GREEN WOODPECKER generally. From Crer. 
SpecJif. 

Speikintares : The COMMON TERN. (Ross-shire.) 

Speir she' AG. A Gaelic name for the SPARROW-HAWK. 
The latter word is properly wi'itten seabkag (^a hawk). 



SPAR — SPOONBILL. 223 

Spence. a Shetland name for the STORM-PETREL. It is in 
use in the Island of Yell. Swainson gives the name as 
Spency for the Shetland Isles and the same spelling is given 
by Montagu, while Saxby prints it Spencie. 

Speug, Spiug, or Speout. Names for the HOUSE-SPARROW. 
See also Spug. 

Spider-catcher: The WALLCREEPER. Occurs in Wil- 
lughby. 

Spider-diver : The LITTLE GREBE. (Provincial.) 

Spink. An English pro\dncial name for the CHAFFINCH. 
From its note. Occurs in Turner (1544). Also applied in 
Yorkshire to the YELLOW BUNTING. 

Spinner : The NIGHTJAR. (Wexford.) 

Spirit Duck : The BUFFEL-HEADED DUCK. From its 
quickness in di\dng. 

Split Straw: The WHITETHROAT. (Cheshire.) 

Spog-ri-tom: The LITTLE GREBE. (Western Isles of 
Scotland.) 

SPOONBILL [No. 258]. Anciently called Popeler, Shovelard, 
or Shovelar, and perhaps "Liver " (q.v.), the name Spoon- 
bill having been transferred to this species from the Shoveler 
Duck, the bills of both birds being spatulate at the end. 
Although now only a scarce and irregular visitor to our 
shores, the Shovelar or Popeler is recorded as breeding in 
several places in Norfolk about the year 1300, where it no 
doubt continued to do so for two or three centuries, while 
Mr. Harting has sho\vn that in 1523 it is recorded as breeding 
on the Bishop of London's property at Fulham (" Zool.," 
1886, p. 81), and also in 1570 in West Sussex (ib., 1877, 
p. 425). The latest record of its breeding in England 
appears to be Sir Thomas Browne's statement that it 
"now " {ca. 1662) bred at Ttimley in Suffolk. Turner, how- 
ever, who calls it merely " Shovelard," says nothing about 
its breeding A^th us in his day, and in fact says little about 
it beyond repeating the legend of Aristotle and Pliny that 
it devours biggish shell-fish and casts them up again when 
dead and gaping to pick and eat them. He also repeats the 
tradition of Hieronymus that when they find their young 
killed by a serpent they " mourn and beat themselves upon 
their sides, and AAdth the blood discharged they bring back 
to life the bodies of the dead," which is one of the legends 
later attributed to the Pelican, owing to the confusion of 
names, the present species having formerly been so called 
(see PELICAN.) 



224 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Spoonbill or Spoon-be ax : The SHOVELER. (Norfolk.) 
Coward and Oldham give Spoonbill as a local Cheshire 
name. 

Spoonbill Duck: The SCAUP-DUCK. (East Lothian.) 
SPOTTED CRAKE [No. 455]. The name is found in Yarrell 
(1st ed.). It occurs as the Small Spotted Water Hen in 
Pennant (fo. ed. 1766), and as Spotted Gallinule in the 
later editions. It is the " Wyn-kemel " of Willughby. 
Bewick calls it the Water Crake, and it is also known as 
"Spotted Rail" or "Lesser Spotted Water Rail." The 
names are derived from the small Avhite spots sprinkled over 
the plumage. 
Spotted Duck : The HARLEQUIN-DUCK. (Hett.) 
SPOTTED EAGLE [No. 241]. This form (A. maculatus) occurs 
under the name of " Spotted Eagle " in Latham's " Synopsis " 
(I, p. 13). It is sometimes called the Larger Spotted Eagle. 
The name " spotted " arises from the huffish spots on the 
plumage of the immature bird. The closely allied Lesser 
Spotted Eagle does not appear to have occurred in the 
British Islands. 
Spotted Falcon : The PEREGRINE FALCON. Occurs in 
Montagu. Spotted-winged Falcon is a name for the same 
species found in Latham. 

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER [No. 114]. The name Spotted 
Flycatcher is first given by Pennant (1776) to this species ; 
the word Flycatcher, as an Anglicization of Muscicapa 
dates back, however, to Ray. The name " spotted " 
originates in the numerous striations on head and imder- 
parts, giving it a spotted appearance. 

Spotted Guillemot : The BLACK GUILLEMOT (winter). 

Spotted Heron : The immature NIGHT-HERON. (Latham.) 

SPOTTED REDSHANK [No. 395]. The name appears to 
occur first in Pennant's " British Zoology " (8voed.,No. 186) ; 
in the folio edition he calls it Spotted Sandpiper. It is the 
Spotted Snipe of Latham and Lemn, and the Dusky Sand- 
piper of Selby. The names are derived from the general 
spotted appearance of the plumage. 

SPOTTED SANDPIPER [No. 388]. The name is found in 
Pennant and succeeding authors to Yarrell, and originates 
in the blackish spots on the under-parts, especially the 
breast. 

Spotted Skitty: The SPOTTED CRAKE. (Devonshire.) 
Skitty is from skit=to slide : from its stealthy habits. 



SPOONBILL — STANCHEL. 225 

Spotted Snipe. The SPOTTED REDSHANK is so called by 
many old authors. 

Spotted Stapling: The STARLING. (Macgillivray.) 

Spotted Water-Hen : The SPOTTED CRAKE. 

Spowe : The WHDIBREL. From Icel. Sp6i. Stevenson 
gives this as an ancient Norfolk name for the species. 

Sprat Loon or Sprat borer : The RED-THROATED DIVER. 
(Essex, Yorkshire.) Hett gives Sprat Lumme as a name 
for the BLACK-THROATED DIVER. Swainson gives 
Spratoon as a Norfolk name for the former species. 

Spratter: The C0:\BI0N guillemot. (Hampshire.) From 
its fondness for small fry (Swainson). 

Sprig-tail: The PINTAIL. (Provincial.) 

Spring Dotterel : The DOTTEREL. (Yorkshire.) 

Spring Wagtail: The YELLOW WAGTAIL. (Yorkshire.) 
From its migratorj?^ nature. 

Sprite : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Suffolk.) Probably 
a corruption of Specht (q.v.). 

Spug, Sprug, Sprong, Sprig, Spuhdie, Spyng : The HOUSE- 
SPARROW. (Scotland.) Spug is also a Nottinghamshire 
name for the species, Spuggy a Yorkshire, and Sprig and 
Spug Northumberland names. 

Spurre : The CO^BION TERN. (North Ireland.) From its 
cvy. 

Spur-winged Goose. Examples of this tropical African species 
are sometimes obtained in our islands, but as it has been 
introduced here they can hardly be genuine visitors. The 
name is found in BcA^ick, Yarrell and other authors. 

SQUACCO HERON [No. 265]. The first mention of the name 
is to be found in Willughby (1678) who calls it " the Heron 
which they call Sguacco in the Vallej^s of Malalbergo," 
and who derives the species from Aldrovandus. The modem 
spelling Squacco dates from Latham and is perhaps a mis- 
spelling of Sguacco. Montagu (" Om. Diet.," Supp.) spells it 
" Sguacco." 

Squawking Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Isle of Wight.) 

Squeak Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Wiltshire.) 

Squealer: The SWIFT. (Cheshire.) 

Stag : A Norfolk name for the WREN ; also the male RUFF 
until it acquires its wattles in the second year (Hett). 

Stanchel: The KESTREL. (Sibbald.) 

Q 



226 DICTIONAEY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIEDS. 

Standgall : The KESTREL. (Provincial.) An equivalent to 
" Stannel " (q.v.), not a corruption of " Stand-gale " as has 
been surmised. 

Standhawk: The KESTREL. (Pro\incial) lit. "stone- 
hawk " (A.Sax. stan=stoTie) . 

Stan echacker : The WHE ATEAR (Lancashire, Scotland, North 
Ireland) ; also the STONECHAT (Craven, Scotland). 

Stanepecker: The TURNSTONE. (Shetlands.) From its 
habit of turning over small stones in searching for its food. 
The name is also applied to the PURPLE SANDPIPER. 

Stank-hen or Stankie : The MOORHEN. (Scottish Borders.) 
Bolam says Stank is almost an equivalent of moat and 
cites " the Stanks " at Ber\vick wliich are parts of the old 
moat surrounding the to\Mi. 

Stannel, Stannel-hawk, Stanchel or Stann"!^el : The 
KESTREL. (Pro\incial) lit. " stone-yeller," from A.Sax. 
stor?=stone and gellan (pron. yellan) to yell. There are 
many forms of this name occurring in Elizabethan and 
more recent literature and some are still in use provincially. 
Probably the original word is " Staniel." " Standgale " 
appears to be a corruption, as this Avord has no connexion 
with the sense of the word " Windhover." (See also 
Standgall, Steingall, Stonegall.) 

Stannin (Standing?) Hawk: The SPARROW-HAWK. 
(Halifax.) 

Starag. a Gaelic name for the HOODED CROW. 

Stare: The STARLING. (West and North of England; 
Ireland.) The original name of the bird, from A.Sax. steer. 
Starling being a diminutive. Occurs in Willughby and 
Merrett, while Pennant (ed. 1766) calls the bird by this 
name. 

STARLING [No. 13]. From A.Sax. Steer, Steam and Sterhjng, 
the latter being a diminutive. The name appears in Merrett 
and Willughby. Turner (1544) has " Sterl;yTig." (See also 
" Stare.") A provincial belief is that if Starlings congregate 
in large numbers rain may be expected, but Swainson says 
that in Brittany the belief is that it is a sign of impending 
cold weather. 

Starn. An old Norfolk name for the BLACK TERN. Also a 
Shetland name for the STARLING. 

Starnel : The STARLING. (Northants.) 

Starnil : The STARLING. (Notts.) 

Steenie Pouter : The COIMMON SANDPIPER. (Orkneys.) 



STANDGALL — STOCK. 227 

Steingall: The KESTREL. An equivalent of " stannel " 
(q.v.). Occurs in Turner (1544) as a name for this siieeies. 

Steinkle : The WHEATEAR. (Shetlands.) 

STELLER'S EIDER [No. 306]. The name is found in Yarrell 
(1843) as Steller's Western Duck. It is the Western Pochard 
of Selby. 

Stenor. An old Cornish name for a Wagtail. 

Sterlin : The STARLING. (Orkney and Shetland.) 

Stern : The BLACK TERN. Turner says that this species, 
formerly a common bird with us, was so termed in local 
dialect. 

Stern Cock. A pro\aneial name (quoted bv Jesse) for the 
MISTLE-THRUSH. Probably an equivalent of "Storm 
Cock " (q.v.). The A.Sax. storm and German sturm come 
from the same root as Lat. sternere (=to strew or prostrate) 
and have the same significance. 

Stilt Plover. A name for the BLACK- WINGED STILT. 

Stinklin. a Shetland name for the WHEATEAR. It is a 
corruption of " stone-clink " (q.v.). 

Stint or Snent. A local term on the coasts of our islands for 
the DL^'LIN, as well as the LITTLE STINT, SANDER - 
LING and other small shore-birds. Willughbv applies it 
to the DL^^LIN. It occurs as " St.>Tite " in the Northum- 
berland Household Book, a.d. 1512. 

Stix. a Cornish name for a Screech Owl (? BARN-OWL). 

StockAnnet: TheSHELD-DUCK. (East Scotland.) Accord- 
ing to Jamieson it signifies Stock ent (i.e. Stock Duck). 

STOCK-DOVE [No. 346]. Said to be so called from its being 
supposed to be the stock bird from which our domesticated 
pigeons were derived : it is, however, doubtful whether 
the name may not refer to the bird's habit of nesting in the 
"stocks " of trees. The name occurs in Turner (1544) as 
" stocdove," in Barlow (1655) as " Stock-dove," in Merrett 
(1667) as " Stock-Dove or Wood-Pi dgeon," and in Willughby 
(1678) as " Stock-Dove or Wood-Pigeon." Pennant calls 
it " Stock Pigeon, or Stock Dove," while Montagu unites 
it \nth the ROCK-DOVE and thinks they form one species. 

Stock Duck : The MALLARD. (Orkney and Shetland.), because 
it is considei^ed to be the stock from which the tame varieties 
have sprung. 

Stock-eekle or Stock-eikle : The GREEN WOODPECKER. 
(Staffordshire, Worcestershire.) The word stock (Dan. or 
Norse stock, A.Sax. stoc) is in one sense sj-nonymic with stuck 

q2 



228 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

or stick and is thus used (but rarely) to denote a thrust ; 
but more generally it means the trunk or stump of a tree, 
which seems the correct meaning in this case. The deriva- 
tion of eekle is said to be uncertain. It occurs also as 
ecU and eagual, and is doubtless derived from the Teutonic 
hekelen, to hack or tear asmider. It is, in fact, sjnnonymic 
mth hackle and heckle, the latter word being more generally 
heard in elections now, but properly denoting the combing 
of flax. Stock-eekle therefore is literally stump-hacker. 
Hickwall, another name for the species, appears to be 
synonymic. 

Stock Hawk : The PEREGRINE FALCON, (Shetlands.) 

Stockie or Stoggie : The STOCK-DOVE. (Yorkshire.) 

Stock Owl : The EAGLE-OWL. (Orkneys.) Swainson says 
it is " from its habit of pressing against the stem (stock) of 
a tree with imruffled feathers, so as to assimilate itself to 
the stump, and elude notice." 

Stock Whaup or Stock Whaap : The CURLEW. (Pro\'incial.) 
Occurs in Montagu ; Saxby gives the first form for the 
Shetlands. 

STONECHAT [No. 176, British Stonechat]. The bird occurs 
in Turner and Merrett as " Stone-chatter " and in 
Willughby as " Stone-smich or Stone -chatter," the latter 
form existing as late as Pennant (1766). The species is 
rather inappropriately named, as it is found inhabiting 
furze-covered land and neglected meadows. The name is 
also applied, far more appropriately, to the WHEATEAR 
(Northumberland, Yorkshire and Cheshire). 

Stonecheck or Stone-checker : The WHEATEAR. (Pro- 
vincial.) The name occurs as Stonecheck in Merrett (1667) 
and in Turner (1544) as " Steinchek." Dunn gives Stone- 
checker as a local name in Orkney and Shetland, and Bolam 
gives it as a Northumbrian name. Stone-check, Stone-chack 
and Stone-chatter are Yorkshire forms. 

Stone-clink : The STONECHAT. From its note resembling 
the striking together of two pebbles. 

STONE-CURLEW [No. 352]. The now accepted name of the 
species general Ij^ styled by eighteenth century writers 
"Thick-kneed Bustard." Occurs in Merrett's list as 
" Stone Curliew " and in Willughby as " Stone-Curlew " ; 
the species being based on the GEdicncm'us of Belon. The 
name arises from its frequenting stony upland localities. 

Stone Curlew: The BAR-TAILED GODWIT. (Cheshire.) 
Also applied to the WHBIBREL (Montagu). 



STOCK — STORM. 229 

STONE-FALCoisr : The immature MERLIN. (Cheshire, Yorkshire, 
North Wales, Scotland.) Occurs in Willughby. 

Stonegall : The KESTREL. An equivalent of "stannel" 
(q.v.). Occurs in Merrett, who calls the species a "Stannel 
or Stonegall." 

Stonehatch: The RINGED PLOVER. (Provincial.) So 
called because it lines the hollow it makes for its eggs 
with small stones. 

Stone-Hawk : The MERLIN (Cheshire, Yorksliire) ; also the 
KESTREL (Cheshire). 

Stone-Plover : The BAR-TAILED GOD\^^T. Occurs in Wil- 
lughby. The Stone Plover of Rav's " Synopsis A\'ium " 
(p. 105), however, appears to be"^ the BLACK-TAILED 
GODWIT. The name has also been used to denote both 
the RINGED PLOVER and the STONE-CURLEW 
(England), also the GREY PLOVER (Ireland). 

Stoneprick or Stonepricker : The STONECHAT. (Wirral, 
Cheshire.) 

Stone-raw : The TURNSTONE. (Ai-magh.) 

Stone-rttnner : The RINGED PLOVER (Norfolk) and 
the DOTTEREL (Norfolk). 

STONE-smcH or Stone-smith : The STONECHAT. The latter 
form occurs in Bewick (1797) and the former in Willughby. 

Stone Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Cheshire, Do^rset.) 

Stork. See WTIITE STORK. 

Storm-bird : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (West Sussex.) Swain- 
son also gives it as a Norfolk name for the FIELDFARE. 
(See Storm Cock.) 

Storm Cock : The MISTLE-THRUSH is known by this name 
thi'oughout the greater part of England (particularly the 
Northern and ^Midland counties) but also locally in Hamp- 
shire, Sussex and other Southern counties, because it usually 
commences to sing in January and continues thi'ough the 
rough weather of February and March ; generally, more- 
over, singing from the topmost mnd-rocked branch of a 
still-leafless tree. Swainson also gives it as a name for the 
FIELDFARE in Shropshire and Scotland. 

Storm-Finch : The STORM-PETREL. (Orkneys). Occurs in 
Bewick. 

Storm-Gull. A name for the COMMON GULL. (Hett.) 

STORM-PETREL [No. 319]. Occurs in Jenyns (1835) as 
" Storm-Petrel." Pennant in his folio edition (1766) calls 
it Little Petrel, but in the later editions it is called Stormy 



230 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Petrel, as also in Montagu. The name Storm or Stormy 
arises from the belief that its appearance prognosticates 
stormy weather. The name Petrel is said to be from 
Fr. Petrel, a diminutive of Peter, and alludes to the Apostle 
Peter walking on the Sea of Galilee. One belief is that if 
the Storm-Petrel seeks the shore or the wake of a vessel, 
a storm is imminent. 

Strand Plover : The GREY PLOVER. (Cork). From its 
frequenting the sea-shore. 

Strany.' a name for the COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Bewdck, 
Montagu.) 

Straw Mouse : The WHITETHROAT. (Cheshire.) 

Straw-small : The WHITETHROAT. (West Riding, York- 
shire.) From the nest being composed of dry grass, etc. 

Straw-smear : The GARDEN- WARBLER and the WHITE- 
THROAT. (Westmorland.) Montagu spells it " Straw- 
smeer." 

Streaked Tufted-Owl. Macgillivray's name for the SHORT- 
EARED OWL. 

Striated Woodpecker. MacgilHvi-av's name for the LESSER 
SPOTTED WOODPECKER. 

Stubble Goose : The GREY LAG-GOOSE. (East Lothian.) 

Stumpy Dick or Stumpy Toddy : The WREN. (Longden- 
dale, Cheshire.) 

SUB- ALPINE WARBLER [No. 150]. The name is derived 
from Bonelli's name for the species {Sylvia suhalpina). 

SuELLAK. A Cornish name for the FIELDFARE. 

Suileir. a Gaelic name for the GANNET. (St. Kilda.) From 
suil=eye, and gheur^sha.Yp. It is the original of Solan. 

Summer Bird : The WRYNECK. (Northumberland.) 

Summer Duck : The GARGANEY. (See Summer Teal). 

Summer Snipe: The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Northum- 
berland, Yorks, Chesliire, Scotland.) Because seen com- 
monly in summer in those districts to which the true Snipes 
are cliiefly Avinter-visitors. It is the name adopted by 
Ml-. Dresser for the species. It has also been applied to 
the GREEN SANDPIPER and the DUNLIN. 

Summer Teai. : The GARGANEY. (Somerset and Norfolk.) 
It occurs in Albin. Newton says that it is the colloquial 
name, Garganey being a book-name. 

Summer Wagtail : The YELLOW WAGTAIL. On account 
of its being a summer-visitor. 



STRAND — SWALLOW. 231 

SURF-SCOTER [No. 311]. The name occurs in Fleming (1828), 
who recorded it from the Orloieys and Shetlands. Surf- 
duck, a Scottish name for the COMMON SCOTER (from 
its habit of diving for food among the breakers) is perhaps 
the origin of this species' name. 

Swabie: The GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. (Orkney 
and Shetland.) Swainson spells it " Swarbie." 

SWALLOW [No. 195]. From A.Sax. Sunlewe. The name occurs 
in Turner (1544) as " S wall owe " and in Barlow's plates 
(1655) as "Swallow." Merrett and Willughby call it 
the " House-Swallow." This is one of the birds held in 
veneration in many parts of England, it being usually 
considered imlucky to kill one, this belief prevailing in 
Sussex, Hampshire, Yorkshire and other coimties, as well as 
in parts of Scotland, but in some parts of England and 
more certainly in Ireland we do not find the belief prevailing, 
in fact the bird is locally called " de\ars bird," the belief 
being that " on everyone's head there is a particular hair 
Avhich if the Swallow can pluck off dooms the wi-etched 
individual to eternal perdition " (Dyer). In connexion 
w'ith. its veneration the Magyar belief may be mentioned 
that if one is killed the cows' milk will turn to blood, a 
precisely similar belief prevailing in tliis country regarding 
the Robin (q.v.). A Cornish custom is to jump on seeing 
the first Swallow in spring. In some parts of England, 
April 15th is called " Swallow day," because Swallows are 
thought to appear at that date. The old saying " One 
Swallow does not make a Summer " ^vas originally a Greek 
proverb but is found in most European languages. The 
proverb appears to originate with Ai'istotle, who says, 
" One Swallow does not make a Summer, nor one fine day." 
Willughby, however, uses the expression " One Swallow 
makes not a Spring," and says the origin appears to lie in 
the bird being imiversally regarded as the herald of spring. 
Swallow-songs to welcome the coming of March and the 
Swallows still prevail among the children in Greece, where 
they are of great antiquity. To Aristotle may also be 
traced the belief, which was formerly very generally held, 
that Swallows hibernated in hollow places in \Ainter. A 
Cornish belief of comparatively modern times was that they 
S|^ent the winter in disused tin mines and holes in the cliffs, 
etc. Gilbert White of Selbome was a strong believer in the 
hibernation of the Swallow tribe, and Col. Montagu a partial 
believer. In the Introduction to his celebrated "Ornith- 
ological Dictionary" (p. xxvii) he says that ''torpidity 



232 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

is probably the state of those summer birds of passage 
which accident may have detained with us during \vinter." 
Willughby says, " What becomes of Swallows in Winter- 
time, whether they fly into other coimtries, or lie torpid 
in hollow trees, and the like places, neither are natural 
historians agreed, nor indeed can we certainly determine." 
The notion was actually entertained by Linnseus, by Gilbert 
White of Selborne, and many others. Pliny believed that 
they retired at the approach of winter to the inmost recesses 
of rocks and mountains, and there remained in a torpid 
state till Spring (" Hist. Nat.," lib. xxx, cap. rv). Other 
writers have conjectured that they lie torpid during winter 
at the bottom of ponds or rivers, and it has been argued 
that Linnseus Avas of this opinion, although his reference 
is not quite lucid. Gilbert Wliite was of opinion that 
" though they may not retire into that element, yet they 
may conceal themselves in the banks of pools and rivers 
during the imcomfortable months of winter." Elsewhere 
he suggests that during the severe winds that often prevail 
late in the spring they may retire and sleep away these 
uncomfortable periods as bats do. Forster, writing in 
1808, thinks that " SwalloAvs may have occasionally been 
found under water," and suggests their presence there ma}- 
be due to their having lain in a torpid state at night among 
the reeds or rushes. He, in fact, credits the occasional 
records of this kind, as well as their ha\ing been foimd 
torpid in hollow trees, rocks and under the thatch of houses ; 
but nevertheless he argues that the bulk of the species 
migrates in the \Adnter. The bird was formerly greatly 
esteemed for its reputed medicinal value, being considered 
a remedy for the "falling sickness," " dimness of sight," 
" blear eyes," etc., their ashes in this latter case being 
mingled Avith honey and applied. A Swallow's heart was 
also eaten to strengthen the memory, or as a cure for the 
ague, Avhile the blood, particularly when drawn from under 
the left wing, was thought a specific for the eyes. A stone, 
called Chelidonius, sometimes found in the stomach of 
young Swallows, was also used as a remedy for the " falling 
sickness " in children, being hung from the neck or boimd 
to the arm. A popular belief is that when Swallows skim 
the water, in flying over it, rain is coming. Virgil 
(" G«orgics") alluding to the signs of coming rain, writes : 
" The Swallow skims the river's watr'y face." Dr, Jenner, 
also, alluding to the low flight before rain, says : " Low 
o'er the grass the SwalloAV wings." On the contrary a high 



SWALLOW — SWnSTEPIPE. 233 

flight signified fine weather. Thus Gay in his first 

" Pastoral " wTites : — 

When Swallows fleet soar high and sport in air. 
He told us that the welkin would be clear. 

It is related in " Notes and Queries " that a Swallow alighting 
upon one's shoulder has been regarded as a sign of death. 
Parker, ^ATiting in 1632, in his poem " The Nightingale," 
relates that it is counted ominous for one to die in one's 
hand, a belief held also of the Robin. 

Sw.ALLOW. A Shetland name for the STORM PETREL ; the 
MARTIN is also sometimes called SwalloAv. 

Swallow-tailed Kite. An American species which has been said 
to have strayed to our shores. So called from its tail 
being deeply forked, ^\dth the outer feathers somewhat 
elongated, like the tail of a swallow. The name is found 
in Yarrell (1843). It is the Swallow-tailed Falcon of 
Catesby and the Swallow-tailed Hawk of Wilson and 
Audubon. 

Sw-^LLOw-TAiLED SHELDRAKE : The LONG-TAILED DUCK. 
(Willughby.) Also occurs as Swallow-tailed Shieldrake. 

Swan. See MUTE SWAN. 

Swaet-back: The GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. 
(Orkney's.) 

Swat : The REDSHANK. (Teesmouth.) 

Sweet Billy : The CHIFFCHAFF and also the WILLOW- 
WARBLER. (Nottinghamshire. ) 

Sweet William : The GOLDFINCH. From its melodious cry. 
(Swainson.) 

SWIFT [No. 200]. The name Swift appears first in Willughby 
and originated in the swiftness of its fhght. In the 
fourth edition of Pennant it is called S^Wft Swallow. The 
legend that this bird was unable to use its feet is of remote 
antiquity, and no doubt arose from the small size of these 
members, although they are neither weak nor useless. 
Pliny says these birds, because they cannot use their feet, 
are called Apodes and live chiefly on the Aiing, and Aristotle 
saj'S much the same of the species. In Hampshire it is 
considered unluck}'- to kill this bird. A farmer, the owner 
of seventeen cows, is said to have shot seventeen Swifts in 
one day, and to have had everv one of his cows die mthin 
seven weeks (" Folklore Jnl.,'' Dec, 1883). 

Swift Swallow : The SWIFT. (Pennant.) 

Swinepipe. An old English name for the REDWING. 
(Willughbj-.) Newton thinks it refers to " the soft inward 



234 DICTIONARY OF XAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

whistle which the bird often utters, resembling the sound 
of the pipe used bj^ the swdneherds of old when collecting 
the animals imder their charge." 

Swing-devil: The SWIFT. (Northumberland.) 

Swiss Sandpiper : The GREY PLOVER. Swainson says it 
was so called because Reaumur first received specimens 
from Switzerland. 

Sycock: The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Notts., Derbyshire.) 

SYKES'S WAGTAIL [No. 75]. A West Siberian species first 
recorded for Britain by Butterfield in the "Zoologist" for 
1902, p. 232. 

Sywider. a Welsh name for the WILLOW-WARBLER. 

Tabberer, Tapperer, or Tapper : The LESSER SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER. (Leicestershire. ) 

Tael duik (=Teal duck) : The TEAL. (Scotland.) 

Taggyfinch: The CHAFFINCH. (Upton-on-Sevem.) 

Tame Swan : The MUTE SWAN. 

Tammie Herl: The COMMON HERON. (Perth.) 

Tammie Norie : The PUFFIN. (Orkney and Shetland.) 

Tangle-Picker: The TURNSTONE. (Norfolk.) Tangle is 
a kind of seaweed. 

Tang Sparrow: The ROCK-PIPIT. (Shetlands.) "Tang" 
signifies seaAveed. 

Tang-Whaap or Tang Whaup : The WHIMBREL. (Orkney 
and Shetland) lit. " seaweed curlew." 

Tarad-y-Koed. a Cornish name for a WOODPECKER. 

Tari^iachan. The Gaelic name for the PTARMIGAN. 

Tarrock, Tarret, Taring : The COMMON TERN. (Shetlands.) 

Tarrock Gull or Tarrock. Properly the immature KITTI- 
W^AKE GULL, but also applied to the voung of the 
COAEVION GULL and also to the CO^VDION GUILLEMOT. 
It occurs in Willughby for the first-named species. The 
bird described under this name was formerly considered 
a distinct species from the Kittiwake Gull. 

Tarry : The COMMON and ARCTIC TERNS. (Northumber- 
land.) 

Tartan-back. A name for the BRAMBLING. (Hett.) 

Taster: The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Sibbald.) See Tystie. 

Tatler: The COMMON SANDPIPER. 

Tawny: The BULLFINCH. (Somerset.) 



SWING — TERMAGANT. 235 

Tawny Bunting : The SNOW-BUNTING. (Young males or 
females in winter-plumage.) Described as a separate 
species by the older A\Titers from Pennant to Montagu. 

TAW^Y OWL [No. 229]. So called from its reddish-broMn, 

or ta\\Tiy colour. The name first occurs in Pennant (1766). 

Willughibv and Ray call it the " Common BroAMi. or 

Ivj Owl.'" 
TAWNY PIPIT [No. 66]. So called from its buffish-broMn, 

or tawny, plumage. 

TEAL [No. 289]. Occurs in Merrett, and in Willughby and 
Ray. Turner (1544) has "Tele" and Barlow '(1655) 
" Teale." 

Teal-drake : The SCAUP-DUCK is so called by gunners in 
the North. (Hawker.) 

Teary-eerie. Bolam gives this as a Northumbrian name for 
the CORN-BUNTING; but is uncertain whether it is 
derived from its song, or is a corruption of " weary-weary " 
in allusion to its heavy flight. 

Teaser : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Pro\ancial.) From its habit 
of harassing the Gulls and Terns until they disgorge their 
prey. 

Teetan or Teeting : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Orkneys and 
Shetlands.) Also the ROCK-PIPIT (Shetlands). 

Teetick or Teetuck : The ROCK-PIPIT. (Orkneys and Shet- 
land.) 

Teeuck : The LAPWING. (Pro\nncial.) From its cry. 

Tee-whaap. a name for the LAPWING. (Hett.) 

Tell-pie, Tell-piet, Tell-Pienot : The MAGPIE (N. Yorks.). 

TEMMINCK'S STINT [No. 377]. The name occurs as Tem- 
minck's Tringa in Selby and Temminck's Stint in Jenyns ; 
as Temminck's Sandpiper in Eyton. The species was named 
by Leisler in 1812 in honour of the celebrated ornithologist 
Temminck. 

TENGMALM'S OWL [No. 2211. The name appears in Jen>Tis 
(1825). This little species was named by Gmelin in honour 
of Tengmalm. hence its English name. 

Tercel : The male GOSHAWK. See Tiercel. 

Termagant, or Termigant. An old English spelling of the 
name PTARMIGAN. Newton has sho\Mi that the former 
spelling Mas used by Taylor (the " water " poet) in 1630, 
and the latter bj^ James I in 1617. 



236 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Tern: The SANDWICH TERN. (Northumberland.) Dis- 
tinguished locally by its larger size than other species as 
" the Tern " or "Large Tern " (Bolam). 

Teuchbt, Teuchit, Tewhit, Tewet, TeIfit, or Tewfit : The 
LAPWING: (North country and Scotland.) So called 
from its crj^ 

Teuk : The REDSHANK. (Essex.) From its cry. 

Thack or Thatch Sparrow : The HOUSE-SPARROW. (Nor- 

thants., Shropshire.) 
Thick-bill : The BULLFINCH. (Lancasliire, Yorks.) 

Thick-billed Guillemot: BRLTNNICH'S GUILLEMOT. 

(Provincial.) 

Thick-billed Nutcracker. See NUTCRACKER. 

Thick-kneed Bustard : The STONE-CURLEW. From the 
thick swollen appearance of the knees when young. Occurs 
in Permant ( 1 766) and other writers to Montagu. Also f oimd 
as Thick-knee. 

Thin-neck : The PINTAIL. (Holy Island.) 

Thin-Thresher. A name for the MISTLE-THRUSH. (Hett.) 

Thirstle : The SONG-THRUSH. (Devonshii-e, Cornwall, Shrop- 
shire.) A corruption of Throstle. 

Thistle-cock : The CORN-BUNTING. (Orkneys.) 

Thistle finch, Thistle-bird, or Thistle-warp : The GOLD- 
FINCH. (Provincial. ) The first name occurs in Willughby . 

Thomas Gierdet. Hett gives this as a name for the RED- 
BREAST. 

Thorn-grey : The LINNET. (Ireland.) Thorn Linnet is a 
Yorks. name for the saine species. Hett gives Thomey- 
grey as a name for the LESSER REDPOLL. 

Thorn Warbler : The SEDGE WARBLER. (E. Cleveland.) 

Three-toed Quail : The Amlalusian Hemipode. 

Three-toed Sand-Grouse : PALLAS'S SAND-GROUSE. 

Thresher : The SONG-THRUSH. (Provincial.) 

Thrice Cock. A Midland and North of England name for the 
MISTLE-THRUSH. In use in Cheshire and Sliropshire, 
and Jesse (" Gleanings," 2nd ser.) gives it as a Staf- 
fordshire name. The literal meaning is " thrush cock," 
thrice being from A.Sax. thrysce=^thr\ish.. 

Throg, Throggy, or Throllie : The SONG-THRUSH. 
(Cheshire.) The third form also occurs in North Yorkshire. 
A corruption of " Throstle " (q.v.). 



TERN — TIERCEL. 237 

Throstle : The SONG-THRUSH (chiefly in English literature 
and poetry). Still, however, used pro\'incially (Lancashire, 
Staffordshire, and other northei'n counties, also Ireland). 
Thrustle is a Shropshire form. From A.Sax. throsle, appa- 
rently a diminutive of A.Sax. thrysce, a thrush. Shake- 
speare has " The throstle with his note so true." It occurs 
in Merrett and in Willughbv, while Turner (1544) has 
" Throssel," and Skelton spells it Threstill. Pennant (1766) 
gives Throstle as the name for the species. 
Throstle Cock : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Roxburgh.) 
Thrusfield : The SONG-THRUSH. (Shropshire.) 
Thrush. Properly the SONG-THRUSH, although Turner 
(1544) gives " Thrushe " as the particular name of the 
MISTLE-THRUSH. From A.Sax. thrysce, a thrush. Some 
authorities refer to Greek arpixav^to t^ntter ; Lat. strix 
=a screeching or tA\ittering owl is from the same root. The 
literal significance Mould therefore be a singing or 
twittering bird. 
Thrushel or Thrustle: The SONG-THRUSH. (Shrop- 

sliire.) A corruption of Throstle. 
Thrusher : The SONG-THRUSH (Sussex, Berks., Bucks.), er 
being a Saxon terminal. 

Thrush-like Warbler: The GREAT REED-WARBLER. 

(Yarrell.) 

THRUSH-NIGHTINGALE [No. 181]. This Scandinavian and 
east European species has been recently added to the 
British List. 

Thumb-bird: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. (Hamp- 
shire.). From its size, being about that of a thumb. Thum- 
mie is also a name for the CHIFFCHAFF. 

TiDEE or TiDiFE. Old English names for a TITMOUSE 
(see Tydif). 

TiDLEY Goldfinch : The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN is so 
called in Devonshire. (Montagu.) 

TiDLEY or TiDDY Wren : The WREN. (Essex.) 

Tiercel, Tercel, or Tassal : The male GOSHAWK, and also 
the male PEREGRINE FALCON. Mr. Harting says the 
term is derived from the male being supposed to be about 
a third smaller than the female ; some authorities state, 
however, that of the thi'ee j'oung birds usually found in the 
nest two are females and the third a male, hence the 
term tercel. The correct term for the male Peregrine 
is Tiercel-gentle, in the same wav as the female is called 



238 DICTIONAKY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Falcon -gentle (q.v.), the term tercel or tiercel alone properly 
signifying the male Goshawk. In Merrett's list (1667) 
the Goshawk is called " Tassal." 
Tiercel-gentle : The male PEREGRINE FALCON (see 
Tiercel). Sibbald gives it as a Ross and Orknej^s name, 
but it was in very general use in falconry, frequently also 
being spelt Tercel -gentle. 
TiETicK : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Shetlands.) 
TiEVEs' NiCKETor TiEVEs GEiT : The LAPWING. (Shetlands.) 
Tiger Owl. A name for the SHORT-EARED O^VL. (Hett.) 
Tile Swallow : The SWIFT (Yorks.) 
Timmer doo : The RING-DOVE in Scots dialect. Timmer= 

timber, doo=dove. 
Tinker : The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Northumberland.) 
Tinkershere (Tinker's hue) : The COJ^IMON GUILLEMOT. 
(Provincial.) From its sombre upper- plumage. Hett 
also gives it for the BLACK GUILLEMOT. 
Tinner : The PIED WAGTAIL. (Cornwall.) 

Tinnock: The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) Swainson 

thinks it is from its shrill note. 
TiNSiGL or TiNSiGL Y GWYS. Welsh names for the PIED 

WAGTAIL : the first signifies Wagtail, while the second 

(which is given to the WHITE WAGTAIL in North Wales 

by Coward and Oldham) signifies " Wagtail of the furrow." 
TiNsiGL FELEN : The YELLOW WAGTAIL. (North Wales) 

lit. " yellow wagtail." 
TiNsiGL lwyd: The GREY WAGTAIL. (North Wales) 

lit. " grey wagtail." 
TiNTiE : The WREN. (Notts.) 
Tin WEN Y GARN or Tin WEN y garreg. Welsh names for the 

WHEATEAR : the first signifies " white rump of the 

stone-heap," the second " white rump of the crag." 
Tippet Grebe : The GREAT CRESTED GREBE. (Bewick.) 

From the breast-plumage being used for tippets by furriers. 
TiRMA : The OYSTERCATCHER. (Martin's " Voy. St. Kilda.") 
Tit. a term applied to indi\iduals of the family Paridce. 

Equivalent to "titmouse." From Icel. tittr, a small bird; 

lit. anything small. 
TiTHYS Redstart : The BLACK REDSTART. Tithys (also 

the specific name) is from Sansk. titha, fire, or Lat. Titan, 

the Sim-god. both capable of allusion to the red tail and 

tail-coverts. See also REDSTART. 



TIERCEL — TOM. 239 

Titlark. A common provincial name for the MEADO\\'- 
PIPIT. Occurs in Merrett. Willughby and many later 
authors. Has also been applied sometimes to the TREE- 
PIPIT and the ROCK-PIPIT. 

TiTLEXE. A Xorth Coimtry name for the HEDGE-SPARROW. 
(Swainson.) 

Titling. A pro\ancial name for the HEDGE-SPARROW. 
Occurs in Montagu (1802). Turner's "Titling," which 
he A\Tongl3^ identifies ^^dth the " Cm'uca " of Aristotle, 
does not appear to be the Hedge-Sparrow, although 
Aristotle's Curuca no doubt is. The name has been some- 
times applied to the MEADOW-PIPIT, for which, however, 
the more general term is Titlark. 

TiTM.^ : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Provincial.) 

TiTMEG, TiTEREEN : The WREN. (Hett.) 

TiTMOFSE. Any species of Titmouse. Mid. Eng. titmose or 
Titmase, from " tit " (q.v.) and A.Sax. ynase, a small bird of no 
particular species : not equivalent to " mouse." Plural 
" titmice " is therefore incorrect and should be titmouses. 
It usually occurs in old authors as Titmouse, but Mac- 
gilli\Tayand Yarrellsetthe fashion of abbre\-iating to "Tit." 

TiTTEREL : The WHIMBREL. (Sussex.) Hawker also gives 
it as a local Dorsetshire name. 

TiTTiMAW or TiTMAUPS. Cheshire names for any species of 
Titmouse, of which name it is a corruption. 

Titty Todger : The WREN. (Devonsliire.) See Titty Wren. 

Titty Wren: The WREN. (Wilts.) "Titty" is fi-om the 
Icelandic tittr — a small bird, or anj-thing small. " Tit " 
(q.v.) is an equivalent. 

Toad Snatcher. A name for the REED-BUNTING. 
(Yorks.) 

Tod Bird : The GREAT SKUA. (Yorks.) 

Tom Harry : The GREAT SKUA. (Cornwall.) 

Tommy Loos. A nickname for species of Divers. 

Tom Nowp : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (Cheshire.) Swainson 
also gives Tom No up as a Shroiishire name for the GREAT 
TITMOUSE. Nowp or Noup seems the same as Nope, 
a name for the BULLFINCH. 

Tom Pudding : The LITTLE GREBE. (Shropshire, Yorks., 
Antrim.) 

Tom Puffin: The LITTLE GREBE. (Yorks.) 

TomThumb: The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Roxburgh.) From 
its small size. 



240 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Tomtit. A general provincial name for the BLUE TITMOUSE. 
Swainson also gives it as a Norfolk and Craven name for 
the WREN, and an Irish name for the TREECREEPER. 
Tongue Bird or Long Tongue : The WRYNECK. (Pro- 
vincial.) From its long projectile tongue. 
Tony hoop: The BULLFINCH. (Somersetshire.) Probably 
from its whistling note, but Swainson thinks it is from the 
tawTiy breast of the female. 
Took : The REDSHANK. From its note. 
Tope : The WREN. (Cornwall.) 
Tor Ouzel : The RING-OUZEL. (Devonshire.) 
Tortoise-shell Goose: The WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. 
(Ireland.) From the mottled markings on the abdomen 
(Swainson.) 
Tot-o'er-Seas. Newton gives this as a local East Coast name 
for the GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN, in allusion to its 
arrival from overseas on the autumnal migration. It 
seems to be a Suffolk and perhaps a Norfolk name. 
TouNAG. A Gaelic name for the MALLARD. (Western Isles.) 

From toun, a wave. 
TowiLLY or Towwilly: The SANDERLING. (Cornwall.) 

From its cry. Occurs as Tomller in Borlase. 
Tranillys : The RING- PLOVER. (Hett.) 
Tree-climber: The TREECREEPER. (Provincial.) Tree- 
clipper is an Oxfordshire name. 
TREECREEPER [No. 8.3, British Treecreeper; No. 84, 
Northern Treecreeper]. Occurs in most of our 
older authors as "Common Creeper." It is the Certhia of 
Willughby and Ray. Pennant (1766) calls it "Creeper" 
simply. Ridgway has separated the resident British 
form from the North European form, examples of which 
have been identified in Scotland. 
Tree Falcon : The HOBBY. (Willughby.) 
Tree Finch : The TREE-SPARROW. "(Hett.) 
Tree Goose : The BARNACLE-GOOSE. (Bewick.) In refer- 
ence to the old legend. (See BARNACLE-GOOSE.) 
Tree Huck-muck : The LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. (Hett.) 
Tree Lark : The TREE-PIPIT. (Notts, Yorks.) 
Tree Magpie. A supposed variety of the MAGPIE. 
TREE-PIPIT [No. 67]. The name occurs in Selby (1825) and 
arises from its more arboreal habits than the MEADOW- 
PIPIT. It is the "Pipit Lark" of Pennant, and the 
" Field Lark " of Montagu. 



TOMTIT — TRUjNIPIE . 241 

TREE-SPARROW [No. 41]. So called from its habit of nesting 
cliiefly in boles of trees. The name appears to be first 
found in Montagu (1802). It is the Mountain Sparrow or 
Finch of many older authors from Albin to Bewick, probably 
so called from the name Passer montana, under which it 
appears in Willughby and Ra5% It appears to be the 
Hamburg Grosbeak of Latham, and the Hamburg Tree- 
Creeper and Red-headed Sparrow of Albin. 

Tkee-speiler or Bakk-speiler : The TREECREEPER. 
(Scotland.) Speller signifies climber. 

Tkee-Widdle. Occurs in Albin for a species of Stint or 
Sanderling. 

Tresglen. a' Welsh name for the MISTLE -THRUSH ; lit. 
" screech," from its loud song. 

Tresglen goch : The REDWING. (North Wales) lit. " red 
thrush." 

Treun re treun. a Gaelic name for the LAND-RAIL. 

Tricker : The WREN. (Thirsk, Yorks.) 

Trillachaj^: The OYSTERCATCHER. (Hebrides.) Occurs 
in Martin's " Voyage to St. Kilda." 

Tringa: The PURPLE SANDPIPER. (Northumberland.) 
Bolam gives it as a local name at Boulmer. 

Tringa Curlew : The CURLEW-SANDPIPER. 

Triollachan traigh. a Gaelic name for any of the smaller 
shore birds (lit. " little quaverers of the shore "). 

Trochwr y llyn. a Welsh name for the DIPPER. 

Trochydd brongoch (y) : The RED-BREASTED MER- 
GANSER. (North Wales) lit. " the red-breasted plimger." 

Trochydd gwddgfoch : The RED-THROATED DIVER. 
(North Wales) lit. "red-throated diver." 

Trochydd mawr : The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER (North 
Wales) lit. " great diver." 

Trodzhen or EoHNOW-TRODZHAif. Comish names for the 
STARLING. 

Troellwr : The NIGHTJAR. (North Wales) lit. " spinner," 
from its churring note. 

Troellwr bach (y) : The GRASSHOPPER-WARBLER. 
(North Wales) lit. " the little spinner," from its song. 

Troet. a Comish name for the TURTLE-DOVE; also a 
Plover. 

Trthnipeter Swan. See American Trumpeter Swan. 

TRuaiPiE : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Orkneys.) 



242 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

TsHAUHA. A Cornish name for the CHOUGH ; also the JACK- 
DAW (•?). 

Tsi-KUK. A Cornish name for the SWALLOW ; lit. " house- 
cuckoo." 

TsKEKKER EiTHiN. A Comish name for a Titmouse, or 
Furzechat. 

TuET or TuiT : The LAPWING. (West Yorkshire, Lancashire 
and Westmorland.) From its cry. 

TUFTED DUCK [No. 300]. The name occurs in Willughby 
(1678) and in all succeeding authors, and is derived from the 
bird's pendant crest of narrow feathers. Selby calls it 
" Tufted Pochard," and it also occurs as " Tufted Wigeon." 

Tufted Skart : The SHAG. (Provincial.) From its tuft or 
crest on the head. 

Tuliac : The GREAT SKUA. (Provincial.) 

TuLLET : The RINGED PLOVER. (Cheshire.) 

Tumbler: The BLACK-HEADED GULL (Redcar, Yorks.) 

Turkey Bird : The WRYNECK. Because it ruffles the neck- 
feathers when disturbed. 

TURNSTONE [No. 368]. The name occurs in Edwards (pi. 141) 
as the "Turnstone from Hudson's Ba^^" Pennant (1766) 
has " Turnstone " only. The name arises from the bird's 
habit of turning over small stones, etc., in seeking its food. 

Turtle. Albin gives this as a Bass Rock name for the BLACK 
GUILLEMOT, and saj^s it is on account of its laying two 
eggs. 

TURTLE-DOVE [No. 348]. From Fr. tourterelle, der. from Lat. 
Turtur. The name is foimd in Chaucer, who speaks of 
" the wedded turtil with her hearte trewe." It occurs in 
Turner (1544) as " turtel duve," in Merrett (1667) as 
"Turtle Dove," and in Willughby as "Turtle-dove." 
Pennant (1766 ed.) has " The Turtle," while later writers 
call it the "Common Turtle," but Bewick (1797) and 
succeeding authors revert to the name Turtle-Dove. 

Turtle-dove. A Holv Island (Northumberland) name for the 
BLACK GUILLEMOT. 

Turtur : The TURTLE-DOVE. (North Wales.) 

Twink: The CHAFFINCH. From its note. Occurs in 

Montagu. 
TWITE [No. 20]. This name, derived from its call-note, is 
first foimd in Albin (1738). Willughby, Permant and other 
old authors call it the Mountain Linnet. It is sometimes 
also called Twite Finch (North Yorkshire). 



TSHAUHA — VIKGINIAN. 243 

TWO-BARRED CROSSBILL [No. 36]. First found in Latham 
("S\Ti." Ill, p. 108) as White -winged Crossbill. Yarrell 
calls it European White-^\^nged Crossbill. 

Tydif, Tidife, Tides, or Tydie. Ancient names for a Tit- 
mouse (see Tit). The first occurs in Chaucer, and mav apply- 
to the COAL-TITMOUSE (cf. New-ton "Diet. Birds," 
p. 962, note). N*eA\'ton also gives Tvtyfr. 

Tystie or Taistey : The BLACK GUILLEMOT. (Orkneys and 
Shetlands.) NeA\d;on says it is from Icel. peisia. Also 
occurs as Teiste and Taiste. 

UiSEAG (pron. ooshak). A Gaelic name for the SKY-LARK. 

Ullat : The BARN-OWL and the TAWNY OWL. (Yorkshire.) 

Umber Gull : The immature CO:\IMON GULL. (Hett.) 

Ussel: The BLACKBIRD. (North Yorkshire.) See Ouzel. 

Uthage: The WHINCHAT. (Shropshire.) Swainson thinks 
it is the same as Utick. 

Utick : The WHINCHAT is so called in Middlesex, Notting- 
hamshire, Shropshire and elsewhere. From its note u-tick. 
Swainson also gives " Tick " simply. 

Vanner Hawk : The KESTREL. An equivalent of " fanner." 

Van-winged Hawk: The HOBBY. (Hants.) 

Vare-headed Wigeon: The CONDIGN POCHARD. See 
" Vare Wigeon." 

Vare Wigeon : The female or young male of the SMEW. 
(North Devonshire.) Montagu says it is from their heads 
resembling a Aveasel's, locally called " vare." 

Variegated Thrush : WHITE'S THRUSH. So called by 
Macgillivray from Horsfield's name, T. varius. 

Velverd : The FIELDFARE. (Wiltshire.) A corruption of 
Fieldfare. 

Velvet Duck : The VELVET SCOTER. 

Velvet Runner : The WATER-RAIL. (Willughby.) 

VELVET SCOTER [No. 310]. The name is derived from 
Willughby and Ray, who, describing it under the name of 
Aldrovandus's Black Duck, remark that it might be not 
imdeservedly called the Velvet Duck, on account of the 
softness and delicateness of its feathers. The name Velvet 
Duck was used by successive ^\^•iters from Pennant to Mon- 
tagu. Velvet Scoter seems to occur first in Fleming (1828). 
Virginian Colin. An introduced species, not entitled to a place 
on the British List. The name is found in Macgilli\Tay 
and Yarrell. It is first recorded in Montagu (Supp.) as 
American Quail, 

r2 



244 DICTION ABY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Virginian Cuckoo: The YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO. 

(Eyton.) 
Virginian Pabtridge : The Virginian Colin. (JenjTis.) 

Waeg : The KITTIWAI'^E GULL. (Shetlands.) " Diminutive 
of (Kitti)wake " (Swainson). 

Wagel or Cornish Wag el : The ARCTIC SKUA or the 
GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL. Newton remarks that 
Ray and Willughby got it in 1662 on Godreve Island, near 
St. Ives. The Arctic Skua seems to have been meant, 
but they took it to be the young of the Great Black- 
backed Gull, for which Wagel is still a Yorkshke name. 

Wagtail : The PIED WAGTAIL generally. The name occurs 
in the fifteenth century, according to Wright, as Wagsterd 
and Wagstyrt (from 5^eor^=tail). Montagu gives it as a 
provincial name for the DUNLIN. 

Wall Bibd : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (South and 
east England.) 

Waix-chat : The STONECHAT (Provincial) ; the SPOTTED 
FLYCATCHER (N. Yorks.). 

WALLCREEPER [No. 85]. A soutn Jiiuropean species, which 
is known to have been taken four times in England. The 
name occurs first in Merrett's list (1667) as a British species, 
and also in Willughby, who observes that the bird is said 
to be found in England. 

Wall Robin : The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Cheshire.) 

Wabbleb. The name was first used by Pennant (" Gren. Birds," 
1773, p. 35) for the birds removed to genus Sylvia by 
Scopoli, from Linnseus's genus Motacilla. 

Waee-Goose : The BRENT GOOSE. (Durham.) So called 
from its feeding on " ware," which is coarse seaweed thrown 
up on the beach (A.Sax. Scewdr, lit. sea-weed). 

Washdish, Washtail, or Washebwoman : The PIED WAG- 
TAIL is locallv so called (see Dishwasher). " War- 
winckle " in Latham's " Falconry " (1633, vol. n, p. 144) 
is thought by Newton to apply to the same bird. 

Wateb Blackbird : The DIPPER. (Yorks., Scotland and 
Ireland.) 

Water-Colly : The DIPPER. (Somersetshire) lit. " water- 
blackbird " (see Colly). 

Water crake: The DIPPER. (Willughby.) The name is 
also applied to the SPOTTED CRAKE. 



VIRGINIAN — ^WATEE. 245 

Water craw : The DIPPER. Equivalent of Water-Crow. 
Occm's in Turner (1544) as the name at Morpeth, Northum- 
berland. Evans says the name is still used in the North of 
England. 

Water-Crow. A local name for the DIPPER (occurring in 
Be\^ack). It is in use in Yorkshire, and Bolam says it is a 
Border name for the species, and in Scotland often becomes 
" Wetter-craw." Water-crow is also a Dumfries name for 
the COOT. 

Water-Eagle. An old Scots name for the OSPREY. 

Water-hen. An alternative name for the MOORHEN. Occurs 
in Turner, Willughby, and numerous subsequent ^\Titers, 
sometimes as Common Water-hen. According to Ruttj^, 
it was used in co. Dublin for the WATER-RAIL. 

Waterie : The PIED WAGTAIL. (Forfar.) 

Waterie-Wagtail. a popular Border name for the PIED 
WAGTAIL. (Bolam.) 

Water Junket. A name for the C0:MM0N SANDPIPER. 
(Swainson.) 

Water-Laerock (Water Lark) : The COMMON SANDPIPER. 
(Swainson.) 

Water-Linnet : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Hett.) 

Water-Ouzel : The DIPPER. Occurs iinder this name in 
Willughby, and it was the general name for the bird for 
long after, occurring in Albin, Pennant, Latham, Lewin, 
Walcott, Donovan and Bewick. 

Water Peggy : The DIPPER. (Dumfries.) 

Water-piet, Water Pyet, Water Pyot, or Water Piot. 
Local names for the DIPPER. Literally the " little water 
pie." So called from its black-and-white plumage, " piet " 
being an equivalent to (or diminutive of) "pie" (q.v.). 
In South-west Scotland the name occurs as " Water- 
pyat." Be\Wck gives Water-Piot. 

WATER-PIPIT [No. 70]. This is a close ally of the ROCK- 
PIPIT, but is an Alpine or mountain species, in place of 
marine. 

WATER-RAIL [No. 459]. The name, from its aquatic pre- 
dilections, occurs in Willughby (1678) the species being 
based on the Ralhis aquaticus of Aldrovandus, of which the 
name would be a literal translation. 

Water-Sparrow : The REED-BUNTING. (Shropshire.) Occurs 
in Montagu as a pro\'incial name. 

Water-Thrush : The DIPPER. (Cornwall.) 



246 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Water Tit : The PIED WAGTAIL. (Provincial.) 

Water Wagtail: The PIED WAGTAIL. Occurs first in 
Merrett's list; Turner calls it simply "a wagtale." 

Water Witch : The STORM-PETREL. (Pro\incial.) 

Watery Pleeps : The COMMON SANDPIPER. (Orknej^.) 

Watitty : The PIED WAGTAIL. (Cheshire.) 

Wattie or Wattie Wagtail : The PIED WAGTAIL. (West- 
morland.) Wattie is no doubt a form of " Waterie." 

Waxen Chatterer : The WAXWING. Occurs in Pennant 
and most other eighteenth century wa-iters to Donovan. 

WAXWING [No. 113]. So called from the shafts of some of the 
wing-feathers being terminated by what looks like a flattened 
tip of red sealing-wax. It was originally called by Wil 
lughby the Bohemian Chatterer and by Pennant Chatterer 
in the folio edition (1766), and Waxen Chatterer in the 
later editions. Selby (1825) calls it Bohemian Waxwing, 
as also most of the succeeding authors. 

Wease Allan : The ARCTIC SKUA. (Orkneys.) Wease is 
from A.Sax. was, moisture. 

Weasel Dttck : The female or immature SMEW. (Northum- 
berland.) From the chestnut and white colour and fur- 
like texture of the feathers (Bolam). Weasel Duck or 
Weasel Coot are also Norfolk names. 

Weather-cock: The GREEN WOODPECKER. Perhaps 
eqivalent of Rain-fowl. 

WEDGE-TAILED GULL [No. 424]. So called from its cuneate 
tail. Formerly known as Ross's Gull, or Ross's Rosy Gull, 
after the discoverer, Sir J. C. Ross. 

Wee Diver or Wee Douker : The LITTLE GREBE. 
(Dumfriesshire.) 

Weep : The LAPWING. (Provincial.) From its cry. 

Weeping Guillemot. A local name for the Ringed or Bridled 
Guillemot (a variety of the COMMON GUILLEMOT) 
among the West of Scotland fishermen. (Gray.) 

Weet Bird : The WRYNECK. (Hampshire.) From its cry, 

Wekeen : The MEADOW-PIPIT. (Kerry.) 

Wele : The GREEN WOODPECKER. '(Hett.) 

Well Plum : The COMMON POCHARD. (Pro\dncial.) 

Welsh Ambassador. The CL^CKOO appears to have been 
formerly sometimes so called. The allusion is in Middleton's 
" A Trick to Catch the Old One " (act iv, sc. 5) : " This 
soimd is like the Cuckoo, the Welsh Ambassador." It is 
supposed that this name is an allusion to the annual arrival 



WATER — WHEATEAB. 247 

of Welshmen in search of summer employment, which 

probably took place about the time of the Cuckoo's 

appearance. According to Dyer, however, the Cuckoo is 

still called " Welsh Ambassador " in Wales. 
Western Duck: STELLER'S EIDER. (Gould.) 
WESTERN LARGE-BILLED REED-BUNTING [No. 54]. 

A south-Avest European species first recorded for the 

British islands by Mr. Nicoll in 1908. 
Western Pochard : STELLER'S EIDER. (Selby.) 
Wet Bird : The CHAFFINCH. (Rutland and Scotland.) 

Chambers saj^s it is because its cry syllabled " weet, Aveet," 

is thought to foretell rain. 
Wet-my-lip or Wet-my-feet. Local names for the QL'AIL ; 

the first is a Norfolk and the second a Scots and Irish name. 
Wezel Coot. The female or young of the SMEW. (Albin.) 

From the head resembling that of a weasel. Also spelt 

Weesel Coot by Pennant. See Vare Wigeon. 
Whattie or Whishie: The WHITETHROAT. (East 

Lothian.) 
Whaup: The COMMON CURLEW. (Scotland and North 

England). From its cry. It occurs as Whaap in the 

Orkneys and Shetlands. 

WHEATEAR [No. 166, Wheatear; No. 167, Greenland 
WTieatear]. Generally derived from A.Sax. hwit^ 
white, and cp/'5=rump. Newton, however, was inclined to 
reject this derivation " vmtil it be shewn that such a name 
ever existed." The name first occurs in the works of Tavlor, 
the "Water Poet" (1654); and in Merrett's list (1667) 
as " WTieat-ear or White-tail." Willughby, who calls it the 
" Fallow-Smich," says that in Sussex it is called the Wheat- 
ear " because at the time of Wheat harvest they wax very 
fat," and also WTiite-tail from the colour of the rump. He 
is possibly in error as to the derivation of the Avord wheatear, 
as its significance [vide supra) is considered to be similar to 
the other name of White-tail. The name Wlieatear is not 
used by Turner (1544), who gives the names " clot-burd, 
smatche, arlyng, and steinchek : " the first indicating the 
bird's habit of sitting upon clods, the second being an 
equivalent no doubt of " Chat," the third being a reference 
to the Avhite rump (from cers=run\]) and ling, a diminutiA^e) 
and the fourth being an equivalent to Stonechat. The 
Greenland Wheatear, a sub-species breeding in Greenland 
and North-east America, is noAv knoAAH to Ijb a passage- 
migrant through our islands in spring and autumn. 



248 DICTIONAHY OF FAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Wheatsel Bird: The male CHAFFINCH. (Norfolk.) So 

called, according to Gumey, from their congregating in 

autunm. about the season of wheat somng. 
Wheel-bird : The NIGHTJAR. Montagu gives it as a 

provincial name, and Swainson says it is a Stirling name. 

From its jarring noise resembling that made by a spinning 

wheel. 
Wheelieve : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (Hett.) 
Wheety Wheybeard, Wheetie Why, Wheybeard, Whittie 

Be.'UId. Provincial names for the WHITETHROAT, 

because its light-coloured head and neck-feathers stand 

out so thickly. 

Whet-ile: The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Essex, Herts.) 
From A. Sax. thwitan, to cut. 

Whewer : The female WIGEON. (Willughby). Bewick also 
gives Whim and Pandled Whew, while Pandle Wliew is a 
Norfolk name according to Swainson. Whew is a Northum- 
berland name for the species, said to be derived from the 
whistling-call of the male. 

Whilk : The COMMON SCOTER. (Provincial.) 

Whim: The WIGEON. (See under Whewer.) 

WHIMBREL [No. 405]. The name occurs in Willughby (1678). 

Skeat savs it is derived from the bird's cry, resembling 

" whim."' 
Whimbrel Curlew : The WHIMBREL. (Pennant.) 
WinisrcHACKER, Whincheck, Whiist Clocharet. North Country 

names for the WHINCHAT, of which name they are 

equivalents. 

WHINCHAT [No. 83]. So called from its habit oi percmng on 
whinbushes, and uttering its monotonous note, syllabled 
" u-tick." Occursin Willughby (1678) and most subsequent 
authors. Macgillivray calls it Whin Bushchat. 

Whindle and Wheenerd. Two old names for the REDWING, 
perhaps from the local German Weindrustle and Wiiisel 
(Newton). 

Whin-grey : The LINNET. (North Ireland.) 

Whin-Lintie. a Border name for the LINNET. (Lintie= 
Linnet). Whin-Linnet is also a Scots name. 

Whin Sparrow : The HEDGE-SPARROW. (East Lothian.) 

Whinyard : The SHOVELER. (Waterford.) The COMMON 
POCHARD. (Wexford.) Swainson says whinyard is a 
name for a knife resembling a Shoveler's bill in shape. 



WHEATSEL — WHITE. 249 

Whip : The SWIFT. (West Riding, Yorkshire.) 
WmsHEY-WHEY-BEARD : The WHITETHROAT. So called 

in many parts of Scotland. (Gray.) 
WmsHiE : The WHITETHROAT. (East Lothian.) 
Whisker-bird : The CORN-BUNTING. (Hett.) 
WHISKERED TERN [No. 413]. So called from the white 

stripe running backwai'd from the gape. The name is 

foimd in Yarrell. It is the Moustached Tern of Gould 

(" Birds of Europe," pt. xviii). 
Whistler: The GOLDENEYE and the WIGEON. Also 

applied to the RING-OUZEL. (Wicklow). 
W^HiSTLiNG Duck : The COOT. (Renfrew.) 
Whistling Plover: The GOLDEN PLOVER. (Norfolk, 

Renfrew.) From its clear whistle. Occurs in Merrett, and 

Montagu gives it as a provincial name. Swainson also 

applies it to the GREY PLOVER. 
Whistling Sandpiper : The GREEN SANDPIPER. 
Whistling Swan : The WHOOPER SWAN. (Selby, Jenyns, 

Gould.) Used locally in Northumberland. 
Whistling Thrfsh or Whistling Dick. A Thames Vallev 

name for the SONG-THRUSH. (Swainson.) 
White-and-Dusky Grebe: The SLAVONIAN GREBE. 

(Pennant.) 
White-backed Dove : The ROCK-DOVE. (Macgi]li\Tay.) 
White Baker: The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Provincial.) 
White-bellied Swift : The ALPINE SWIFT. (Gould.) 
WHITE-BILLED NORTHERN DIVER [No. 342]. A close 

ally of the GREAT NORTHERN DIVER, but with the 

bill yello"\\ish-wliite at all seasons. 
White-breasted Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. 
White-breasted Warbler. Macgillivray's name for the 

LESSER WHITETHROAT. 
White-breasted Weet-weet, Macgillivray's name for the 

SPOTTED SANDPIPER. 
White-cap : The male REDSTART. (Salop., Yorks.) From its 

white forehead ; also a name for the WHITETHROAT. 
White Crow : The BLACK- HEADED GULL. 
White-eyed Duck : The FERRUGINOUS DUCK is so called 

by some authors. 
White-faced Crow : The ROOK. From the ba-re whitish skin 

on the face. 
White-faced Diver : The COOT. (Ireland.) 



250 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

White-faced Duck: The SCAUP-DUCK. From the broad 

white band round the base of the bill. 
White-faced Goose : The WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE. 

White-faced Barnacle is also a name for the BARNACLE- 
GOOSE. 
White Finch or White-wing : The CHAFFINCH. 
WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE [No. 275]. The name is first used 

by Pennant (" Brit. Zoology," fo. ed., 1766) and is derived 

from the white feathers round the base of the bill and on 

the forehead. It is the " Laughing Goose " of Edwards. 
White-fronted Redstart. MacgilHvray's name for the 

REDSTART. 
White Game or White Partridge : The PTARMIGAN. 

(Willughby.) 
White Grouse : The PTARMIGAN. (Bewick.) 
White HawtvS. A falconer's term for Hawks of the third year. 
White-headed Cormorant : The CORMORANT. (Spring.) 
White-headed Goosander : The SMEW. (Fleming.) From 

its white crest. 
White-headed Gull : The LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL. 

(Northumberland.) 
White-headed Harpy. A name for the MARSH-HARRIER. 

From its whitish crown. 
White-headed Long-tailed Titmouse. See NORTHERN 

LONG-TAILED TITMOUSE. 
White Hooping Owl, or Owlet or Howlet : The TAWNY 

OWL. (Merrett.) Based on the Ulula aluco of Aldro- 

vandus (p. 538). 
White Jerfalcon : The ICELAND FALCON. (Pennant.) 
White Kite or White Hawk: The HEN-HARRIER. 

(Donegal.) 
White Lark or White Bunting : The SNOW-BUNTING. 

(Cheshire.) White Lark or White-Minged Lark are also 

Norfolk names for the species. 
White-legged Goldfinch : The GOLDFINCH. After second 

moult. (Hett.) 
White Lintie : The W^HITETHROAT. (Forfar.) 
White Maa: The HERRING-GULL. (Shetlands.) 
White Merganser : The SMEW. (Devonshire.) 
White Nun : The SMEW. (Ireland.) Occurs in Willughby. 

From the white crest with the black nape suggesting a 

hood. 



WHITE — ^WHITE. 251 

White Owl : The BARN-OWL. (Pro\ancial.) Occurs in 
Sibbald, also Pennant and many later authors. Also called 
White Hoolet or Howlet. 
White Partridge. A name for the PTARMIGAN. 
White-rump : The WHEATEAR is so called by Bewick (1797). 
Still used in Northumberland (Bolam), Cheshire (Coward 
and Oldham) and Norfolk. 
White-rumped Stonechat : The WHEATEAR. (Macgillivray.) 
White-rfmped Swallow : The MARTIN. (Macgillivray.) 
White-side : The GOLDENEYE. (Westmorland.) 
White-sided Duck or Diver: The TUFTED DUCK. 

(Ai'magh.) 
White Spoonbill : The SPOONBILL. (Montagu.) 
WHITE-SPOTTED BLUETHROAT [No. 183]. This species gets 

its name from the white central patch on the blue throat. 
WHITE'S THRUSH [No. 154]. The name, given in honour of 
Gilbert WTiite, of Selbome, occurs in Eyton's" Rarer British 
Birds" (1836). 
WHITE STORK [No. 256]. Occurs as "Stork" in Turner 
(1544), also in Merrett, who notes it as rare, while the 
name "White Stork" occurs first in Willughby (1678), 
who calls it the " common or white Stork." Turner says 
it is " nowhere to be seen, save as a captive, in our island." 
This w^as, however, an error, as the bird has long been 
known as an irregular visitor in spring to East Anglia, and 
presumably was, if anything, of more frequent occurrence 
in Turner's day than at the present time. Turner notes 
the bird's habit of building upon roofs, or even chimney 
tops at times in German}^, a habit which, as is Mell kno\vn, 
prevails at the present daj% a Stork building upon the house 
being regarded in most parts as an honour to the house, 
and no doubt this explains the former legend that Storks 
bring the new-boiTi babies to the houses. The Magyars 
also hold the Stork in gi'eat reverence, and say that it must 
not be hurt. Both in Himgary and Germany old cart 
wheels are sometimes placed on the chimneys for them to 
build their nests on. It is said that when this is done the 
grateful bird leaves as rent a feather the first year, an egg 
the second year, and a yoimg bird the third. This belief 
was held bj^ Drayton, who cites : — 

The careful Stork, since Adam wondered at 
For thankfulness to those where he doth breed. 

In some parts it was believed that a Stork deserting a home- 
stead was a portent of death. Willughby remarks that 



252 DICTIONARY OF XAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Storks " are said to live only in republics and free States ; 
but this we found by experience to be false, observing them 
in the Territories of some Princes in Germany. There is a 
tradition also that they feed and nourish their parents in 
their old age, when thej^ are unable to seek their own food." 
The latter belief, it may be remarked, is taken from Pliny. 
White-tail: The \^TEE ATEAR. (Pro\ancial.) Cotgrave (1611) 
has " AVhittaile." 

WHITE-TAILED EAGLE [No. 244]. The name occurs in Wil- 
lughby, who quotes Gaza's name alhicilla for it (on account 
of its white tail), which was retained by Linnaeus and modem 
authors. The white tail, however, is only to be foimd in 
the adult bird, and does not appear untU it is six or seven 
years old. The immature bird in uniform dark plumage 
Avas originally described as a separate species under the 
name of Sea Eagle {Falco ossijragus of Linnaeus). This is 
the " Sea Eagle or Osprey " of Willugbby, the Sea Eagle 
of Pennant (fo. ed., 1766), and of LeA\dn, Latham, 
Montagu, etc. 

WHITETKROAT [No. 147]. This name, which occurs in 
Willughby (1678) and most subsequent authors, is derived 
from the white chin and throat. 

White-throated Blackbird : The RING-OUZEL. 

Whitethroat Warbler: The WHITETHROAT. 

White-topped Heron : The NIGHT-HERON. (Hett.) "^ 

WHITE WAGTAIL [No. 82]. The name White Wagtail first 
occurs in Willughby, who also names the species Motacilla 
alba, the distinctness of the PIED WAGTAIL not being 
recognised until 1832, by Gould. It seems probable that 
Willughby described an example of the true M. alba and 
not of M. luguhris, for he states that the middle of the back 
"inclines to cinereous " and the white extends on the side 
of the neck " almost to the wings." The name White 
WagtaU is of course used by all old British authors for the 
species now Ioiotati as the Pied Wagtail. This bird 
seems to have been regarded as of medicinal value in former 
times, for Willughby gravely states that " One or two 
ounces of the powder of this bird put in a pot close-stopt 
and bak'd in an oven together Avith the feathers, taken in 
Saxifrage water, or strong White wine, is said to be good 
against the Stone, especially that of the kidnej^s." 

White-wall: The SPOTTED FLYCATCHER. (Northants.) 
White Water Wagtail : The PIED WAGTAIL. (Pennant.) 



WHITE — ^WHOOPER. 253 

White Whiskey John: The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
From the pure white iindei'-plumage and ashen-grey head 
and back, and wavering character of its flight (Swainson). 

White Wigeon : The SMEW. (Devonshire.) 

W^HITE-WINGED BLACK TERX [No. 414]. The name, 
arising from the wliite '" shoulder," is foimd in Yarrell 
(" Brit. Birds," Supp., 1845). It is the \ATiite-T\dnged Tern 
of Gould. 

White-winged Crossbill. See American White-winged 
Crossbill. 

WHITE WINGED LARK [No. 57]. So called from the white 
^^'ing-patch formed by the inner primaries and secondaries 
being white. 

W^hite Wren : The ^^^LLOW-WARBLER. (Cheshire, Scotland.) 

Whitterick : The C0:\OI0N CURLEW. (East Lothian.) 

Whitwall. See Witwoll. 

Whole Snipe : The CO:\niON SNIPE. So called in distinction 
fi-om the " Half " or JACK SNIPE. 

Whoop : The BULLFINCH. An equivalent of Hoop. 

\^:B00PER swan [No. 271]. This species, so called from 
its whooping cry^, is the common wild Swan of the northern 
portions of Europe and Asia, which breeds far north and 
migrates southwards in cold weather. It is fu'st described 
by Willughby (1678) who terms it " a ^vild Swan, called 
also an Elk, and in some places a Hooper." 

The folk-lore and mythology of northern Europe are rich 
in legends of the Swan. De Kay (" Bird Gods ") has shown 
to what an extent swan-worship prevailed in ancient times. 
The extent to which it has figured in heraldiy alone shows 
the regard in which it was held in rather later times. The 
ancient oath on the Swan, still sometimes surviving as 
" I swan " or " I swanny " is obviously a survival of the 
ancient swan-worship. It is recorded that Edward I in 
1304, on his investiture as a knight, swore an oath on two 
Swans decorated "vv^th gold nets. De Kay saj^s that the 
expression " I swan " or " it swans to me " meant originally 
that the speaker had a prophetic feeling that something 
was going to happen, and that the swan has from time 
immemorial been a bird of prophecy. The same expression 
exists in German, " Es schwanet mir," and the literature 
and folk-lore of Germany are rich in allusions to or legends 
of the Swan. In fact, the cradle of the ancient SAvan- 
worship and the surviving legends of the bird, as evinced 
in names of places, stories of swan-maidens, etc., lies in 



254 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Central Gei-many. Frederick II of Biandenburg instituted 
an Order of the Swan in 1440, and another Order existed 
at Cleves. The name is a royal one in Bohemia, and the 
name of the great river Elbe that flows from the confines 
of that ancient kingdom to the North Sea is itself probably 
a " swan river," elbschivan being a German name for a kind 
of Swan, while elh itself is an equivalent of fairy. In the 
Norse we find clptr, djtr, for these birds, which are obx^iously 
connected names, wliile on om' eastern coasts "elk" is the 
name given to a wild Swan. At the mouth of the Elbe 
are the states of SchlesiWg-Holstein, formerly a part of the 
Kingdom of Denmaik : and a pro\ance in the aacient 
state of Holsatia was named Stormaria and had for its 
arms a Swan with its neck encircled by a ducal coronet, 
which also figures in the ancient arms of the Kings of 
Denmark (Jonae ab Elvervelt, " De Holsatia." 1592). 
This pro\ance of Stormaria includes among other to^\'ns 
the great modem city of Hamburg, and it appears to have 
been from this portion of Europe that the invasion of 
England by the Angles under Ida sailed, landing on the 
north-east coast of England. For an accoimt of the "swan- 
coins " of ancient German j^, a curious old work by Christian 
Schlegel, " De Nummis antiquis Gothanis et Cygneis 
Dissertatis," may be consulted. An ancient belief was that 
it was lucky to meet a Swan at sea. On the Island of Riigen 
in the Baltic it is said to have been credited with bringing 
the newly-bom babies, an office assigned in most parts of 
Germany to the Stork. The Swan appears several times 
in the story of the Irish legendarj^ hero Cuchullaind. On 
one occasion the rescued Princess and her servant follow 
the hero in the shape of Swans, a story which recalls the tales 
of Swan-maidens in Danish and G-erman folk-lore. According 
to a correspondent in the " Athenaeum " (vol. iii, p. 229), 
if the Swan flies against the A^ind, it is a certain indication 
of a hurricane Avithin twenty-four hours, generally within 
twelve. A Scottish sajnng is " Wlien the Avliite Swan visits 
the Orkneys expect a continued severe winter " (Inwards). 
A Hampshire superstition is that Swans are generally 
hatched during a thimderstorm. The same belief is contra- 
dicted by Lord Northampton in his " Defensative against 
the Poyson of Supposed Prophecies " (1583), who says : 
" It chaunceth sometimes to thunder about that time and 
season of the yeare when Swannes hatch their yoimg : 
and yet no doubt it is a paradox of simple men to think 
that a Swanne cannot hatch without a crack of thunder." 



WHOOPER — WHOOPER. 1 255 

In CO. Mayo it is believed, according to Swainson, that the 
souls of virgins remarkable for the purity of their lives 
were after death enshrined in the form of Swans. 

The ancient superstition that Swans sing before their 
death is alluded to by Pliny among other A\Titers, who tells 
us he proved it false through his o^vn observation. It may 
be that this idea originates in the classical belief that 
Orpheus became a Swan after death, the Swan being, 
moreover, the bird of Apollo, the god of Music among the 
Greeks. Chavicer, referring to the legend, says : — 
But as the Swan, I have herd seyd ful yore 
Ageyns his dethe shall singen his penaunce. 

Shakespeare has many allusions to the supposed swan- 
song : — 

I will play the Swan, and die in inusie. 

Othello, act v, sc. 2. 
A Swan-like end, fading in miLsic. 

Merchant of Venice, act ni, sc. 2. 
And now this pale Swan in her watery nest, 
Begins the sad dirge of her certain ending. 

Rape of Ltjcbece. 

Although this " death-song " of the Swan has often 
been deemed to refer to the Mute Swan, there is no 
doubt that if it were true of any species it would be of 
the Whooper Swan. As regards the Mute Swan, it 
has long been considered an erroneous belief, yet the bird 
in life has in the breeding-season a note which Harting 
describes as " a soft and rather plaintive note, monotonous 
but not disagreeable. I have often heard it in the spring, 
when smmming about ^\-ith its yormg." There is, how- 
ever, nothing to show that the Mute Swan was the 
one to which the swan-song was attributed, and there is 
much support for the supposition that the Avild Whooper 
Swan is intended. This, although a northern species, 
comes south in winter, and rmdoubtedly has a loud and 
musical note. It has been urged that sometimes when 
they have delayed their southern journey too long and 
have been reduced by lack of food, they have been frozen 
fast to the ice and so have clanged their lives out. Pallas 
likens the notes of this species to silver bells, and Olafsson 
says that in the long Polar night it is delightful to hear 
a flock passing overhead, the mixture of sounds resembling 
trumpets and violins. Willughby and Ray, who relate, 
on the authority of Womiius, a similar story of the sweet 
singing of a flock of wild Swans, remark that the windpipe, 
reflected in the form of a trumpet, seems to be so contrived 
by nature for modulating the voice. Colonel Hawker 



250 



DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 



(" Instinctions to Young Sportsmen," 8tli ea., 1838, p. 261) 
has set the " Melody of the Wild Swan " (as heard in cap- 
tivity however) to music as follows : 

Allegro, or by Maelzel's metronome, =:r=126. 



ti 



^ 



^ 



^ 



^ 



gtrir-Mr" 



^ 



WiERANOEL or WiERANGLE : The GREAT GREY SHRIKE. 
Willughby gives it as a North of England name (about the 
Peak of Derbyshire), and says, on the authority of Gesner, 
that it is from the German " Wurchangel,''^ literally a suf- 
focating angel. Swainson applies it to the RED- BACKED 
SHRIKE while Nelson and Clarke give Weirangle, 
Wariangle, Wiirger, or Worrier, as old Yorks. names for 
that species. 

WIGEON [No. 293]. Occui's in Turner (1544) as " Wigene," 
and in Merrett (1667) as " Widgeon." Willughby and Ray 
call it the " Common Wigeon or WTiewer," and observe 
that " the males in this kind at Cambridge are called 
Wigeons, the females Whewers." Derivation is from 
Fr. Vigeon, from Lat. Vipio, according to Newton, but 
" Vipio " of Pliny is a small Crane. 

WiGEON Diver : The COMMON POCHARD. (Cork Harbour.) 

WILD DUCK : The female of the MALLARD. Also an alter 
native name for the species. Occurs inMerrett's list (1667). 
Willughby and Ray call it the "Common Wild Duck and 
Mallard." Most British authors from Pennant onward call 
it the " Wild Duck." Albin has " Wild Mallard and Wild 
Duck," which would be the most correct name. It is a 
saying in the north that^ — 

Wlien ducks are driving through the bum, 
That night the weather takes a turn. 

WiLDE Lerc or Heth Lebk (Turner). Probablj^ the MEADOW- 
PIPIT, which is still known locally as " Heather Lintie," 
and frequents such places as Turner describes. 

Wild Goose. Properly the GREY LAG-GOOSE, but applied 
to most of the species which visit this coimtry. Fleming's 
Wild Goose is the BEAN-GOOSE. Barlow (1655) figures 
a " Wilde Goose," probably the Grey Lag-Goose. 

Wild Pigeon: The STOCK-DOVE (Bewick); also the 
ROCK-DOVE (Shetlands). 



WIERANGEL^ — WILSON's. 257 

Wild Swan : The WHOOPER SWAN. (Pennant.) 
Willie Muftie : The WILLOW-WARBLER. (Scotland.) 
Wiliock: The COMIVION GUILLEMOT (Northumberland, 
Norfolk, Orkneys); the RAZORBILL (Shetlands) ; the 
PUFFIN (Kent). 
Willow biter : The BLUE TITMOUSE. From its nesting- 
holes being sometimes made in the Avillow. Newton thinks 
Billy-bitei' is a corruption of this name. Also the MARSH- 
TITMOUSE (Notts.) 
Willow Lakk : The SEDGE- WARBLER. (Pennant.) 
Willow Sparrow : The WILLOW- WARBLER. (West Riding, 

Yorkshire.) 
WILLOW-TITMOUSE [No. 98, British Willow -Titmouse ; 
No. 99, Northern Willow-Titmouse]. A close ally of the 
MARSH-TITMOUSE, first identified as a British bird by 
Mr. Hellmayr in 1900, although the Continental form 
(which has been identified once in our own islands) was 
distinguished as long ago as 1843 by De Selys-Longchamps. 
In Scotland, the British Willow-Titmouse appears quite 
to replace the Marsh-Titmouse. 

WILLOW -WARBLER [No. 122, WILLOW-WARBLER; 
No. 123, Northern Willow- Warbler]. Willow- Warbler ap- 
pears in Yarrell (1843). It occurs in Pennant (1766) as 
Willow Wren, but by most authors from Edwards to Fleming 
(1842) it is termed Yellow Wren. Macgillivray calls it the 
" Willow Wood\ATen." It is the " Regulus non cristatus " 
of Willughby. The Siberian form has been identified in 
our islands on migration. 
Willy : The COMMON GUILLEMOT. (Norfolk.) 
Willy Fisher : The COMMON TERN (Forfar) ; the DIPPER 

(Teesdale). 
Willy Gow : The HERRING-GULL. (Scotland.) 
Willy Hawkie : The LITTLE GREBE. (Clough, Antrim.) 
Willy Whip the Wind : The KESTREL. Given by Gray as 
found in Don's "Fauna of Forfarshire." 

Willy -WICKET : The COMMON SANDPIPER. (North 
England.) From its note. 

WILSON'S PETREL [No. 322]. The name is found in Jenyns 
and in Yarrell (1st ed.) and subsequent authors. It is named 
in honour of Wilson the American ornithologist, who first 
figured it, but without being aware of its distinctness from 
the STORM-PETREL. 



258 DICTIONABY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Wil-y-dwr: The DIPPER. (North Wales.) From its fre- 
quenting streams ; lit. " Water Willy." 
WiNC. A Welsh name for the CHAFFINCH. From its note. 
Wind : The DOTTEREL. (South of England.) 

Winder. A gunner's name for the WIGEON on man}"- parts 
of our eastern coast. (Hawker.) 

Windhover. A very frequent name for the KESTREL (foimd 
in Willughby) and arising from its habit of hovering in the 
air while on the watch for its prey. Pron. " A\dnd-huver." 
Other names are Windcuffer (Orkneys), Windsucker (Kent), 
Windbibber (Kent), and Wind-fanner. 

Windle : The REDWING. (Devonshire.) Rutty gives Windles 
for CO. Dublin. See Wind-Thrush. 

WiNDLESTRAW or WiNNELL Straw : The WHITETHROAT. 
(Provincial.) The latter form is a Shropshire name. 

Window Swallow: The MARTIN. (Be^dck.) Also called 
Window Martin. 

Wind-Thrush : The REDWING. An earlier name for this 
species found in Merrett and Willughby, and in some 
later authors to Bewdck (1797). It occurs as Wyngthrushe 
in Turner (1544), the name Redwing being first applied 
by Willughby, who informs us that " According to Charleton 
it is called Windthi'ush because it arrives about the beginning 
of winter when strong wdnds blow, b}^ which it is strongly 
assisted in its passage." Willughby, however, considered 
the name should be Wine-thrush, being probably borrowed 
from the German name " Wyntrostel " (or " Vineyard- 
Thrush "), and in this he is borne out by Turner, who gives 
" Weingaerdsvogel " as the German name for the species. 
Svvainson gives Wind-Thrush as a Somerset name. 

Winnard : The REDWING. (Cornwall.) See Wind-Thrush. 

Winter Bonnet : The COMMON GULL. (Provincial.) 

Winter Crow . The HOODED CROW. (Turner.) 

Winter Duck : The PINTAIL. 

Winter Fauvette : The HEDGE-SPARROW is so called by 

Be\\ick (1797). 
Winter Mew or Winter Gull: The CO:\IMON GULL. 

(Provincial.) The former name occurs in Pennant. 
Winter Utick: The STONECHAT. (Cheshire.) 
Winter Wagtail: The GREY WAGTAIL. Because found 

in the South of England in winter. 
Witch : The STORM-PETREL. (Provincial.) 



WIL — WOODCOCK. 259 

WiTCHUCK : The SAND-MARTIN. (Orkneys.) 

WiTwoLL WiTWALL, or WiTWALE : The GREAT SPOTTED 
WOODPECKER is called WitA\ oil by Willughln-. Turner's 
" Witwol," however, is the GOLDEN ORIOLE. Bewick 
(1797) gives "Witwall" for the Great Spotted Woodpecker, 
and Wit\\ale (corrupt I v Whetile and Woodwale) seems 
to be properly the GREEN WOODPECKER. 

\VoH Snatch (=Wall Snatch) : The REDSTART. (Longdcn- 
dale, Cheshire.) 

WOODCHAT SHRIKE [No. 109]. First appears in Ray's 
"Synopsis Meth. Av." (1713). Newton thinks it may be an 
erroneous rendering of the German name Wald-Kalze, 
lit. " Wood-Cat." Occurs in Pennant (1766) and succeeding 
authors as " Woodchat " simply. Yarrell (1st ed., 1843) 
calls it Woodchat Shrike. It is the " another sort of 
Butcher bird " of Willughby and Ray (p. 89) and the 
Red-headed Butcher-bird of Albin. 
WooDCHUCK : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Shropshire.) 
WOODCOCK [No. 411]. The name is from A.Sax. Wude-coco, 
Wudu-coc and Wudu-snile. " Woodcock " appears in 
Merrett's list (1667) : he remarks that it migrates out of 
Ireland. Turner (1544) spells it " Wod-cok." Willughby, 
who calls it " Woodcock," says " these are birds of passage 
coming over into England in Autumn, and departing again 
in the beginning of the Spring ; yet they pair before they 
go, fl^ang two together, a male and a female," and he adds 
that " They are said both to come and fly away in a mist." 
The ^A''oodcock has ah\'a3'S been highly esteemed for the 
delicate flavour of its flesh. The leg especially was com- 
mended, in contradistinction to the Partridge's tit-bit. 
which rtith epicureans was the w ing, hence the origin of the 
old couplet — 

If the Partridge had the Woodcock's thigh, 
' Twould be the best bird that ever did fly. 

Willughby says that in England it is " infamous " for its 
simplicity or folly, so that the term " Woodcock " is 
proverbially used for a simple, foolish person. 

NV^ooDCOCK Owl. A provincial name for the SHORT-EARED 
OWL. (England and Ireland.) Because it comes to us 
in October, about the time the Woodcock makes its appear- 
ance, and departs at the same time as the latter in March. 
(Montagu). In use in Nottinghamshire and elsewhere. 

Woodcock Pilot: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. 
(Yorkshire coast.) 

S2 



260 DICTIONAKY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Woodcock Snipe : The GREAT SNIPE. (Ireland.) 

Woodcock Thrush : WHITE'S THRUSH is known by this 
name in Hampshire and elsewhere, partly on account of 
its frequenting the groimd in woodlands, and partly on 
accoimt of its variegated plumage and fair size. 

W^ood-cracker : The NUTHATCH. Occurs in Plot's "Ox- 
fordshire " (1677), who saj^s it is an undescribed species, 
yet it occurs in Turner (1544) imder the name of "Nut- 
jobber," and as Siti/i was described by Aristotle. 

Wood Dove: The STOCK-DOVE. '(Scotland.) 

Wood Grouse : The CAPERCAILLIE occurs under this name 
in many older authors (Pennant, Bewick, Montagu, etc.). 

Wood-hack : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Lmcoln.) 

Wood-knacker (= Wood-Knocker) : The GREEN WOOD- 
PECKER. (Hampshire.) 

WOOD-LARK [No. 61]. The name occuis in Turner (1544) as 
" Wodlerck," and in Merrett as " Wooa-Lark," also in 
Willughby as " Woodlark." Bolam states that Woodlark 
is also a Scots Border and Cheshire name for the TREE- 
PIPIT. 

'Wood Owl : The common TAWNY OWL is frequently known 
by this name. 

Woodpecker : The TREECREEPER. (Ireland, Scotland.) 

WooDPiE : The GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER. (Hamp- 
shire, Staffordshire.) So called from its pied plumage (see 
" Pie "). It is also a Somersetshire name for the GREEN 
WOODPECKER, according to Swainson. 

Wood-Pigeon. An alternative name for the RING-DOVE ; 
in fact, in rather more general use than the latter, which is 
rather the written than the spoken name. The name is 
appropriate, from the bird's partiality to woods, but it is 
not infrequently used also to denote the STOCK-DOVE, 
hence tending to confusion, and for this reason the name 
Ring-Do ve is to be preferred, although the authors of 
the "Hand- List" have chosen Wood-Pigeon. Montagu 
gives it as a provincial name. Pigeon is from Fr. Pigeon. 
A Dorsetshu'e superstition is that pipjeons' feathers should 
never be used for beds : folks die hard on them. In Cornwall 
it is believed that one cannot die easil}^ on a pillow stuffed 
with wild- birds' feathers. 

Wood Quest. An old name for the RING-DOVE. 
(Staffs. , Dorsetshire, Ireland) . There are several variations — 
Lyly has Wood Quist : " Methought I saw a stock-dove 



WOODCOCK — ^WBEN. 261 

or wood quist " (" Sapho and Phaon "). In Wiltshire it 
becomes Quisty, and elsewhere it is Queest (q.v.). 

WOOD-SANDPIPER [No. 389]. The name is foimd in Pennant 

and succeeding authors to Yarrell. 
Wood Sheike : The WOODCHAT SHRIKE. (Fleming.) 
Wood-spite or Wood-spack : The GREEN WOODPECKER. 
(Norfolk, Suffolk.) Occurs in Willughby (1678). The 
original form of the word seems to be Woodspeight. 
Wood-sucker : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (New Forest.) 
Wood Thrush : The MISTLE-THRUSH. (Dumfries.) 

Wood Titmouse: The GOLDEN-CRESTED WREN. Mon- 
tagu says that this species was so-called in Cornwall. The 
name also occurs in Willughby, who says it is the GOLDEN- 
CRESTED WREN. 

W^OODWALL : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Somersetshire.) 

WOOD-WARBLER [No. 125]. The name is first found as 
Wood Wren in the Linnean " Trans.," ii, p. 245. Up to 
Fleming (1842) it was generally called Wood Wren, but 
Yarrell (1843) inserted it under the name of Wood Warbler. 
It is the Green Wren of Albin, the Yellow Willow Wren 
of Bewick, the Yellow Woodwren of Macgillivi'ay, and the 
East Woodhay Warbler of Rennie's ed. (1833) of White's 
Selborne. 

Wood Wren. See WOOD-WARBLER. 

Woofel: The BLACKBIRD. (Draj^on's " Polyolbion.") 

WooLERT : The BARN-OWL. (Salop.) A corruption of Howlet. 

Wrax : The WREN. (In parts of Ireland and Scotland.) 

Wr.\nnock : The WREN. (Orkneys.) 

Wra>-ny : The WREN. (Cornwall.) 

WREN [No. 189, \^TIEN ; No. 190. St. Kilda Wren; 
No. 191, Shetland Wren]. The name "Wren" 
occurs in Tmner (1544), and in Merrett's Hst (1667). It 
is from A.Sax. wroemm, from wrcEwe=lascivlous, in Dan. 
vrmsA;=proud, Swedish t;re?i.s^:=uncastrated. How it came 
to be popularly supposed more recently to be peculiarly 
feminine is not readily apparent : — 

The Robin and the Wren 

Are God's cock and hen. 

is an old and \\idely-accepted belief, and the idea that the 
two mate is still seriously held by some uninformed indi- 
viduals. The same idea is apparent in such names as 
" Kitty Wren." 



262 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

An old Irish custom on St. Stephen's Day, and one 
which has not quite died out, was the " hunting of the 
Wren " by boys. When captured, it was tied, alive but 
maimed, to a pole (or, according to Vallancey — " De Reb. 
Hib.," IV, 13 — tied by the leg in the centre of two hoops 
placed at right angles A^dth one another) and paraded aroimd 
the neighbourhood, a few doggerel verses being repeated 
at each house, while a donation was requested, one version 
being : — 

The wran, the wran, the King of all birds, 
St. Stephen's Day was caught in the furze : 
Come, give us a bumper, or give us a cake, 
Or give vis a copper, for Charity's sake. 

The proceeding is supj)osed to have originated through a 
Wren having at some former time betrayed the Irish to 
their enemies by tapping on a drum. Yarrell records a 
somewhat similar practice in Kerry, where the peasantr\% 
on Christmas Day, used to hunt the bird with two sticks, 
" one to beat the bushes, the other to fling at the bird." 
Bullock also mentions it as prevalent in the Isle of Man, 
both on Christmas Eve and St. Stephen's Day, and tells us 
it was founded on a tradition of a beautiful fairy who lured 
the male inhabitants to a watery grave in the sea, and who 
to escape subsequent destruction took the form of a Wren, 
which form she was supposed to be doomed by a spell to 
re-assume each succeeding New Year's Day, ultimately 
perishing by human hands. Waldron records a different 
custom in the Isle of Man of the killing of a Wren on 
Christmas Day, which was laid on a bier, carried to the 
church and buried -with the singing of dirges. To my 
own knowledge this custom of a " Wren hunt " existed in 
Nottinghamshire also within recent times, the bird 
being himted along the hedgerows by boys armed with 
stones, but 1 do not recollect that anything definite was 
done with the bird when killed or maimed. 

The before-mentioned allusion to the Wren as the " King 
of all birds " is perhaps explained by the legend of the 
birds ha\dng agreed to choose as King the one who should 
soar highest, the place of honour being gained by the Wren, 
through it having remained on the Eagle's back until the 
latter had soared to the limit of its power. The Germans, 
it may be remarked, call the W^ren " Zaunkonig " or 
" hedge-king : " the Latin rcgulus however is the GOLDEN- 
CRESTED WREN. In connexion mth this belief in the 
kingship over other birds, a Twelfth Daj custom of parading 
a caged Wren in Pembrokeshire, with the lines recited, is 



WREN — YAPPINGALE. 263 

described in Swainson's " Folklore of British Birds," pp. 36-43 
(see also " Notes and Queries," 3rd ser., vol. v, p. 109). 
O'Curry has recorded that the Wren, like the Raven, was 
kept domesticated on account of the auguries derived 
from it, which were employed by the Druids. 

An Irish proverb asserts that, " The fox is the cunningest 
beast in the world barring the Wren." 

According to Dalyell the Wren is considered an imlucky 
token in Scotland, but the Robin a lucky one. That the 
Wren was formerly considered of medicinal value is sho'wn 
by Willughby, who writes : " It perfectly cures the stone of 
the kidneys or bladder (as Aetius writes) being salted and 
eaten raw, or being burnt in a pot close covered, and the 
ashes of one whole bird taken at once, either by itself, or with 
a little Phyllon (a kind of mercury) and Pepper, or lastly being 
roasted whole, only the feathers plucked off and cast away." 
The St. Kilda Wren is a large pale form of the Wren 
which is confined to the island of St. Kilda. It was first 
described by Seebohm in the " Zoologist," 1884, p. 333. Mr. 
Hartert has also separated the race inhabiting the Shetland 
Islands from the typical British Wren. 

Wkithe-neck : The WRYNECK. An equivalent name. 

Writing Lark: The YELLOW BUNTING. (Notts., Yorks., 
Northants.) 

Writing Linnet : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Longdendale, 
Cheshire.) 

Writing Master : The YELLOW-BUNTING. (Salop.) 

WRYNECK [No. 213]. So called from its peculiar habit of 
writhing its head and neck. The name occurs in Merrett 
and in Willughby. Turner (1544) describes the bird imder 
the ancient names of lynx and Torquilla (now its generic 
and specific names) but gives it no English name, considering 
it to be a form of Woodpecker. 

Wype : The LAPWING. Occurs in the Northumberland 
Household Book, a.d. 1512. Akin to Swed. Wipa, a name 
for the species. 

Yaffle. Yaffler, or Yaffil : The GREEN WOODPECKER. 
So called in Surrey, Sussex, Yorks, and other counties on 
accoimt of its note, which has been likened to a laugh. 

Yappingale or Yappingal : The GREEN WOODPECKER ; 
lit. Bawling singer, from its cry. Yaup in Staffordshire 
means to bawl, while yap is in fairly general use as indi- 
cating a discoi'dant cry, such as that of a pupp^^. Gal or 
Gale is probably from A. Sax. gale=Sb smger. 



264 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Yarn or Yern : The COMMON HERON. (Cheshire.) Prob- 
ably a corruption of heron. 

Yarrell. The adult male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER. 
(Northumberland. ) 

Yarvvhelp, Yardkeep, or Y^irwip : The BAR-TAILED 
GOD WIT. Erom its cry. Occurs in Willughby. Yarwhelp 
is also a Norfolk name for the AVOCET ; and is apparently 
applied to denote a point of resemblance to the true 
Yarwhelp. 

Yaup or Whaup : The AVOCET. (Norfolk). A term equiva- 
lent to Curlew. Swainson also gives it as a Renfrew name 
for the BLUE TITMOUSE. 

Ydfran. The Welsh name for the ROOK ; lit. " corn-crow." 

Yeldrin : The YELLOW BUNTING in some parts of Scotland. 

Yeldrock: The YELLOW BUNTING. (Northumberland, 

Yorks.) 

Yellow Ammer : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Provincial.) 
Also Yellow amber or Yellow omber (Salop). Ammer 
seems to be cognate with Germ. Ammer, a Bunting. Swain- 
son thinks it is from A. Sax. Amore, a small bird, the prefix 
" Yellow " referring to the general yellow tint of the 
plumage. He gives Yellow Amber or Yellow Omber as a 
Shropshire name. 

YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO [No. 216 American Yellow-billed 
Cuckoo]. Occurs in Yarrell (1st ed.) as Yellow-billed 
American Cuckoo. This is a North American species 
recorded as a straggler to the British Islands. 

YELLOW-BREASTED BUNTING [No. 46]. A Siberian 
species having the breast bright yellow, with a chestnut 
band. 

YELLOW-BROWED WARBLER [No. 127]. A Siberian 
species of Willow Warbler, so called from its pronoimced 
yello^\ish-wllite superciliary stripe. It is the Dalmatian 
Regulus of Grould and Yarrell. 

YELLOW BUNTING [No. 43]. Usually kno\vn as the Yellow- 
hammer. The name occurs in Merrett and Willughby as 
" Yellow-hammer : " Turner (1544) has " Yelow ham." 
Pennant (1766) calls it Yellow hammer, but in the later 
editions it appears as Yellow Bunting, as also in the works 
of most of his successors, Yellow hammer being specified by 
Montagu as a provincial name. Yarrell (1st ed.) renders it 
" YelloAv Bimting or Yellow Ammer," 



YARN — YELLOW. 265 

In Aberdeenshire, according to " Folklore Journal," 
there exists the following saying — 
Yallow, yallow, yarlin' 
Drinks a drap o' deevil's-bleed 
Ilka Monday momin'. 

In the West of Scotland (Aird's "Old Bachcloi' in the Old 

Scottish Village") it becomes — 

Half a puddock, half a toad, half a yellow yorling, 

Cries for a drap o' the deil's bluid every Monday moniing. 

In Yorkshire I believe the saying runs — 
A brock, a toad and a yellow yeorling 
Drink a drop o' the deil's blood 
Every May morning. 

Chambers gives another Scottish version as — 
Half a puddock, half a toad, 
Half a yellow yorling ; 
Drink a drop o' the de'il's bluid 
Every Jlay morning.. 

Yellow-hammer. The older name of the YELLOW BUNTING. 
Synonymous with. Yellow Ammer (q.v.). 

Yellow-legged Gull: The LESSER BLACK-BACKED 
GULL. (Fleming.) 

YELLOW-LEGGED HERRING-GULL [No. 432]. A Mediter- 
ranean species, distinguished by the bright yellow of its 
tarsi and feet. 
Yellow Molly : The YELLOW WAGTAIL. (Hampshire.) 
Yellow Owl : The BARN-OWL. (Provincial.) 
Yellow Plover: The GOLDEN PLOVER. (Bemck.) 

Yellow Poll or Golden Head : The male WIGEON. (East 
Ireland.) 

YELLOWSHANK [No. 392]. So called from its bright yellow 
tarsi and feet. 

Yellow-shanked Sandpiper : The immature RUFF. Found 
in Yarrell (1st ed.). It is the Yellowshanks of Pennant. 

Yellow throated Bee-Eater. Macgillivray's name for the 
BEE-EATER. 

YELLOW WAGTAIL [No. 79]. This species, sometimes called 
Ray's Wagtail, and named by Bonaparte in 1838 in honour 
of Ray, was for long considered the same as the Continental 
BLUE-HEADED WAGTAIL. The Yellow Water-Wagtail 
of Willughby, Pennant, etc., may therefore be taken as 
the name of this species. The GREY WAGTAIL is also 
mis-called the Yellow Wagtail by coimtry people. Thompson 
gives it as a popular name for this species in Ireland. 



266 DICTIONARY OF NAMES OF BRITISH BIRDS. 

Yellow Willow Wren : The WOOD-WARBLER. (Bemck.) 

It is also found in A^Tiite's Selborne as Yel]o\nsh WilloAA- 

Wren. 
Yellow Wren : The WILLOW- WARBLER. So called from 

the prevailing tint of its plumage by many old authors. 

The name is also applied to the WOOD-WARBLER. 
Yellow Yale or Yite, Yellow Yeldrin, Yellow Yowley : 

The YELLOW BLUNTING is so called in some parts of 

Scotland. Yellow YoMley is also a Yorks. name. 
Yellow Yowling, Yellow Yite, Yorlin, Yirlin, Yeldrock, 

or Yeldrin. Northumberland names for the YELLOW 

BUNTING. 
Yel^er : The AVOCET. From its cry. Montagu gives it as 

a proWncial name. 
Yeorling : The YELLOW BUNTING. (Berwick.) 
Yokel or YuKEL : The GREEN WOODPECKER. (Provincial.) 
YouLRiNG or YowLRYNG : The YELLOW BUNTING. Turner 

(1544) has " Yowlrying," while Sibbald (1684) calls it 

" Yellow Youlring." YeUow Yoldring or Yoldring is a 

Yorkshire name. 
Ysgraell, Ysgrechen. Welsh names for the COMMON TERN. 

The first signifies " rattle " and the second " screamer," 

from its harsh cr^^ 
Ysguthan. a Welsh name for the RING-DOVE ; lit. "' cooing 

bird." Also applied to the STOCK-DOVE and ROCK- 
DOVE. 
YsNiTEN. A Welsh name for the COiOION SNIPE; lit. 

"snipe." 
Yswidw LAS each : The BLUE TITMOUSE. (North Wales) lit. 

"little blue tit." 
Yswidw llwyd each: The MARSH-TITMOUSE. (North 

Wales) ; lit. " little grey tit." 
Yswidw'r coed : The GREAT TITMOUSE. (North Wales) 

lit. " wood titmouse." 
YucKEL or Yockel: The GREEN WOODPECKER. The 

former is a Wiltshire and the latter a Shropshire name. 
Zethar. a Cornish name for the " Sea Mew or Gull." 

(Harting.) Perhaps the COMMON GULL. 

FINIS. 



A HAND -LIST OF 
BRITISH BIRDS 

By ERNST HARTERT, F. C. R. JOURDAIN, 
N. F. TICEHURST, and H. F. WITHERBY. 

(giving a detailed account of the distribution 
oj each species in the British Isles and 
a general account of its range abroad. 

^> ^£> O 

Full details of Rare Visitors. Full Index. 

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The [Nomenclature is revised strictly in 
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aiEMORANDA OF ADDITIOXAL NAMES. 



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