This is My Name Forever

Lee’s last post, World Bird Name Changes, updated us on the recent changes published by the IOC. These changes are often a simplification of obscure Latin or Greek-based words, which many birders tend to dismiss anyway. But it got me pondering, what’s in a name?

Exodus 3:15 And God said moreover unto Moses… this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper; Walton County, GA. May, 2018. A quick study of its scientific name reveals it is the “spotted” (macularia) “coast-dweller” (actitus). ©www.williamwisephoto.com

“It’s all Greek to me!”

In the book, Latin for Bird Lovers, Roger Lederer and Carol Burr write, “Bird enthusiasts don’t often pay much attention to scientific names, but… the genus and species name may describe the birds’ color, pattern, size, or parts of the body; the name of an ornithologist; where it is found; its behavior; or some characteristic.” It only takes a few minutes of study to find out why a certain bird was given a “hard” name. And that short study can help fix that bird’s name and character in your mind forever!

For example, in the recent IOC changes, the Greek-based Melidectes became “Honeyeaters”. But isn’t this just an unnecessary dumbing-down? Only a few minutes’ research and one finds that meli means “honey”, and dectes means “beggar”. From this short word study, we find that Melidectes not only eats honey, but that he’s got an addiction for honey that keeps him begging! Now, after the simplification, he just simply “eats honey”.

“This is My Name”

So what’s my point? While this simplification of bird names may not have huge ramifications in life, what happens when this same laziness is brought to the Bible? Just like the Latin and Greek-based names for birds, the Hebrew names of God are hugely descriptive. They describe an aspect of His character, actions or personality.

When we simplify Elohim to “God”, we miss the nuance that this personal name for the One True God is actually plural in form! With that simple truth revealed, the trinity in Genesis 1:26 is further elucidated: “And God (Elohim, the plural God) said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.

Instead of just knowing that our God is a healer, how about making a short study of Jehovah-Repheka? Take a few minutes to study why He’s called Jehovah-Jireh and forever know that you won’t fall short of needs in God. Let study reveal to you that Jehovah-Nissi will lift your weary arms and raise a victory banner over your enemies! There are so many more character-revealing names for God throughout Scripture if you’ll take the time to study.

So, maybe it is no big deal that the descriptive Melidectes is now a simple Honeyeater. But what do we miss when we dumb things down and Jehovah becomes “Lord”, and Adoni becomes “Lord”, and Elohim becomes “God”, and El Shaddai becomes “God”. What message are we sending about thought, research and education when we simplify bird names? And what powerful aspects of our Creator’s character are we missing when we simplify the divine names for the purpose of “clarity”?


Hi, I’m wildlife photographer and nature writer William Wise. I was saved under a campus ministry while studying wildlife biology at the University of Georgia. My love of the outdoors quickly turned into a love for the Creator and His works. I’m currently an animal shelter director and live in Athens, Georgia with my wife and two teenage daughters, who are all also actively involved in ministry. Creation Speaks is my teaching ministry that glorifies our Creator and teaches the truth of creation. William Wise Nature Notes is my wildlife and birding photo blog documenting the beauty, design and wonder of God’s creation. I am also a guest author at Lee’s Birdwatching Adventures and The Creation Club. — “What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at Your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations.” Psalms 104, The Message.

How Birds Are Named

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

HOW BIRDS ARE NAMED

From ~ Color Key to North American Birds, by Frank M. Chapman

Birds have two kinds of names. One is a common, vernacular, or popular name; the other is a technical or scientific name. The first is usually given to the living bird by the people of the country it inhabits. The second is applied to specimens of birds by ornithologists who classify them.

Common names in their origin and use know no law. Technical names are bestowed under the system of nomenclature established by Linnæus and their formation and application are governed by certain definite, generally accepted rules. The Linnæan system, as it is now employed by most American ornithologists, provides that a bird, in addition to being grouped in a certain Class, Order, Family, etc., shall have a generic and specific name which, together, shall not be applied to any other animal.

Our Robin, therefore, is classified and named as follows:

CLASS AVES, Birds.

ORDER PASSERES, Perching Birds.

Suborder Oscines, Singing Perching Birds.

Family –Turdidæ Thrushes.

Subfamily Turdinæ Thrushes.

Genus, Turdus Thrushes.

Species, migratorius American Robin.

The Robin’s distinctive scientific name, therefore, which it alone possesses, is Turdus migratorius. There are numerous other members of the genus Turdus, but not one of them is called migratorius and this combination of names, therefore, applied to only one bird.

The questions Why use all these Latin terms? Why not call the bird “Robin” and be done with it? are easily answered. Widely distributed birds frequently have different names in different parts of their range. The Northern Flicker (Colaptes auratus), for instance, has over one hundred common or vernacular names. Again, the same name is often applied to wholly different birds. Our Robin (Turdus migratorius) is not even a member of the same family as the European Robin (Erithacus rubecola.) If, therefore, we should write of birds or attempt to classify them only by their common names, we should be dealing with such unfixed quantities that the result would be inaccurate and misleading. But by using one name in a language known to educated people of all countries, a writer may indicate, without danger of being misunderstood, the particular animal to which he refers. Among people speaking the same tongue, where a definite list of vernacular names of animals has been established, they can of course be used instead of the scientific names.

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) by Robert Scanlon

Such a list of North American birds has been prepared by the American Ornithologists’ Union. It furnishes a common as well as scientific name for each of our birds, and is the recognized standard of nomenclature among American ornithologists. The names and numbers of birds employed in this Color Key are those of the American Ornithologists’ Union’s ‘Check-List of North American Birds.’

It will be observed that in this ‘Check-List,’ and consequently in the following pages, many birds have three scientific names, a generic, specific, and subspecific. The Western Robin, for example, appears as Turdus migratorius propinquus. What is the significance of this third name?

In the days of Linnæus, and for many years after, it was supposed that a species was a distinct creation whose characters never varied. But in comparatively recent years, as specimens have been gathered from throughout the country inhabited by a species, comparison frequently shows that specimens from one part of its range differ from those taken in another part of its range. At intervening localities, however, intermediate specimens will be found connecting the extremes.

Generally, these geographical variations, as they are called, are the result of climatic conditions. For instance, in regions of heavy rainfall a bird’s colors are usually much darker than they are where the rainfall is light. Song Sparrows, for example, are palest in the desert region of Arizona, where the annual rainfall may not reach eight inches, and darkest on the coast of British Columbia and Alaska, where the annual rainfall may be over one hundred inches. In going from one region, however, to the other the gradual changes in climate are accompanied by gradual changes in the colors of the Song Sparrows, and the wide differences between Arizona and Alaska Song Sparrows are therefore bridged by a series of intermediates.

Variations of this kind are spoken of as geographic, racial, or subspecific and the birds exhibiting them are termed subspecies. In naming them a third name, or trinomial is employed, and the possession of such a name indicates at once that a bird is a geographic or racial representative of a species, with one or more representatives of which it intergrades.

Returning now to the Robin. Our eastern Robins always have the outer pair of tail-feathers tipped with white and, in adults, the back is blotched with black; while Robins from the Rocky Mountains and westward have little or no white on the outer tail-feathers, and the back is dark gray, without black blotches. These extremes are connected by intermediate specimens sharing the characters; of both eastern and western birds. We do not, therefore, treat the latter as a species, but as a subspecies, and consequently, apply to it a subspecific name or trinomial, Turdus migratorius propinquus, (propinquus, meaning nearly related.)

A further study of our eastern Robin shows that in the southern parts of its breeding range (the Carolinas and Georgia), it varies from the northern type in being smaller in size and much paler and duller in color; and to this second geographical variety is applied the name Turdus migratorius achrusterus, (achrusterus, meaning less highly colored).

After the recognition of western and southern races of the Robin under three names (trinomial) it would obviously be inconsistent to apply only two names (binomial) to our eastern bird, the former being no more subspecies of the latter than the latter is of the former. In other words, to continue to apply only generic and specific names to the Eastern Robin would imply that it was a full species, while the use of a trinomial for the Western or the Southern Robin shows them to be subspecies. As a matter of fact we know that there is but one species of true Robin in the United States, consequently in accordance with the logical and now generally accepted method, we apply to that species the name Turdus migratorius, and this is equally applicable to Robins from east, south or west. When, however, we learn that the Eastern Robin is not a species but a subspecies, we repeat the specific name by which it was made known and call it Turdus migratorius migratorius.

It may be asked, Why give names to these geographical races? Why not call Eastern, Western and Southern Robins by one name, Turdus migratorius, without regard to their climatic variations?

In reply, two excellent reasons may be given for the recognition of subspecies by name; first, because in some cases they differ from one another far more than do many species, when it would clearly be inadvisable to apply the same name to what are obviously different creatures. For example, it has lately been discovered by Mr. E. W. Nelson that the small, black-throated, brown-breasted, Quails or Bob-whites of southern Mexico, through a long series of intermediates inhabiting the intervening region, intergrade with the large, white-throated, black-and-white breasted, Bob-white of our northern states. It would be absurd to call such wholly unlike birds by the same name, nor could we give a full specific name to the Mexican Bob-white since at no place can we draw a line definitely separating it from the northern Bob-white. Furthermore, the use of only two names would conceal the remarkable fact of the intergradation of two such strikingly different birds; a fact of the first importance to students of the changing within species.

For much the same reason we should name those birds which show less pronounced variations, such as are exhibited by the Robin. Here we have a species in the making, and in tracing the relation between cause and effect, we learn something of the influences which create species. Thus, climate has been definitely proven so to alter a species, both in size and color that, as we have seen in the case of the Song Sparrows, marked climate changes are accompanied by correspondingly marked changes in the appearance of certain animals. In naming these animals we are, in effect, giving a ‘handle to the fact’ of their speciation by environment.

Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, so that they may abound on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.” So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every animal, every creeping thing, every bird, and whatever creeps on the earth, according to their families, went out of the ark. (Genesis 8:17-19 NKJV)

Since it is evident that a bird may vary much or little, according to the governing conditions and its tendency to respond to them, no fixed rule can be laid down which shall decide just what degree of difference are deserving a name. It follows, therefore, that in some cases ornithologists do not agree upon a bird’s claim to subspecific rank.

In North America, however, questions of this kind are referred to a committee of seven experts of the American Ornithologists’ Union, and their decision establishes a nomenclature, which is accepted as the standard by other American ornithologists and which has been adopted in this volume.

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) by W Kwong

Spotted Redshank (Tringa erythropus) by W Kwong – Listed as a Recent Sighting – NARBA

Foreign birds of wholly accidental occurrence, most of which have been found in North America but once or twice, are included in the systematic list of North American birds, but are not described or figured in the body of the book, where their presence would tend to convey an erroneous impression of their North American status. Furthermore, records of the presence of birds so rare as these can be properly based on only the capture of specimens.

In the preparation of the following pages both author and artist have had full access to the collections of the American Museum of Natural History, and they are also glad to acknowledge their indebtedness to William Brewster of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Robert Ridgway, Curator of Birds in the United States National Museum, and to C. Hart Merriam, Chief of the Biologic Survey, for the loan of specimens for description and illustration.

(Some editing to correct a few names and wording. Bolding is mine.)

Today, the I.O.C, which I use here on the blog, is now the International Ornithologist Union. They are trying to standardize an English Name and a Scientific Names for all the birds of the world.

The article is a little technical, but helps explain the naming process. As I have said previously, Adam had it a little easier. There were less species and subspecies. Now there are over 10,400 species and at present, 20,989 subspecies. God commanded the birds to multiply and they have been obeying. Now we have the challenge of trying to put names on all of them. Every time they grow a different colored feather, I think they name it either a new species or a subspecies. :o)

See:

Birds of the World

Birds of the Bible

Leaving the Ark

Seven by Seven

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Birds of the World – Subspecies With Various “Colors”

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) by Nikhil Devasar

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) by Nikhil Devasar

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. (Genesis 2:19 NASB)

While working on the new updates for the IOC 2.10 Version, I kept noticing the word “color” in the scientific names as I sorted and resorted the Excel spreadsheet. This is a third of the “color” articles. There are concolordiscolor, bicolor, tricolor, unicolor, quadricolor, quinticolor, multicolor,  versicolor, nocticolor, coelicolor, decolor, fumicolor, niscolor,  schisticolor,  subunicolor, sitticolor.

In the subspecies (ssp.) there are a few additional “colors” that show up – arenicolor, caelicolor, caerebicolor, cervinicolor, deserticolor, ruficolor, terricolor.   For now, let’s see what the subspecies “color” birds are. Most have just only one or two birds with that “color” name. Where a photo of the subspecies could not be found, the nominate bird is shown.

arenicolor = aren, sand + color

Bar-tailed Lark (Ammomanes cinctura arenicolor) by Keith Blomerley

The Bar-tailed Lark (Ammomanes cinctura) is a species of lark in the Alaudidae family. It is found in Afghanistan, Algeria, Cape Verde, Chad, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel and Palestine, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia,and Yemen. Its natural habitat is hot deserts.

I do not know Latin, nor what Scientific words mean, but I have a copy of the Latin Vulgate on my e-Sword Program. I decided to look up these words and see what I might find. While searching for “aren” I found the word “harenam” which translates to “sand.”

How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. (Psalms 139:17-18 KJV)

caelicolor = sky blue + color

caeli” translates to “heaven” in most verses.

The heavens are thine, the earth also is thine: as for the world and the fulness thereof, thou hast founded them. (Psalms 89:11 KJV)

See Paradise Tanager (Tangara chilensis caelicolor)

Paradise Tanager (Tangara_chilensis) -DenverZoo-©WikiC

Paradise Tanager (Tangara_chilensis) -DenverZoo-©WikiC

caerebicolor = caer (blue) + bicolor (Having two colors)

(Couldn’t figure this one out in Latin)

Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana, ssp caerebicolor)

Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana) by Dario Sanches

Blue Dacnis (Dacnis cayana) by Dario Sanches

Velvet Flycatcher (Myiagra hebetior) also known as Dull or Lesser Shining Flycatcher
The Dull Flycatcher (Myiagra hebetior) is a species of bird in the Monarchidae family. It is endemic to Papua New Guinea. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montanes.

cervinicolor = cervix (neck) + color

cervi” translates to “neck” in most verses. (cervis = stiff-necked)

He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, Will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1 NKJV)

Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) by Ian

Shining Flycatcher (Myiagra alecto) by Ian (closest to Velvet I could find)

Velvet Flycatcher (Myiagra hebetior cervinicolor)

deserticolor = desert + color

deserti” translates to “desert” or “wilderness“.

Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) pair by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena) pair by Nikhil Devasar

Indian Scops Owl (Otus bakkamoena deserticolor) – Video IBC

“A medium (smaller than the Collared) sized scops owl with large conspicuous ear-tufts. Sandy grey-brown, spotted and mottled dark brown and black. There is also a rufous phase. Underparts light grey-buff. Has a distinct nuchal collar and also a second collar on nape. Eyes are dark brown.” (Delhibird)

Common Miner (Geositta cunicularia) ©WikiC

Common Miner (Geositta cunicularia) ©WikiC

Common Miner (Geositta cunicularia deserticolor)

“The Common Miner (Geositta cunicularia) is a passerine bird of South America, belonging to the ovenbird family. It is a ground-dwelling bird which feeds on insects and seeds. It has about 9 different subspecies, some of which may be better treated as separate species.
It is 14 to 16 cm long with a fairly long, slightly downcurved bill. The plumage varies geographically but is basically brown above and pale below with a streaked breast, pale stripe over the eye, dark edge to the ear-coverts and pale rufous bar across the wing. The tail is dark with a buff base and variable amounts of buff on the outer feathers. The trilling song is often given in flight and also varies geographically.” (Wikipedia)

Chinese White-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus dubius deserticolor) Video by Keith Blomerley

The Chinese White-browed Rosefinch (Carpodacus dubius) is a true finch species (family Fringillidae). It is one of the rosefinches that might belong in the genus Propasser.
It is found in China and Tibet. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and temperate shrubland.

ruficolor = rufilata (Latin), rufus, reddish + color

rufi” translates to “red” or “Rufus“-a name.

In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; (Zechariah 6:2 KJV)
in quadriga prima equi rufi et in quadriga secunda equi nigri (Zechariah 6:2 Vulgate)

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) by ©WikiC

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae) by ©WikiC

Thekla Lark (Galerida theklae ruficolor) Video IBC

“The Thekla Lark, Galerida theklae, breeds in Iberia, northern Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Somalia. It is a sedentary species. This is a common bird of dry open country, often at some altitude. It nests on the ground, laying two to six eggs. Its food is weed seeds and insects, the latter especially in the breeding season.
This is a smallish lark, slightly smaller than Skylark. It has a long spiky erectile crest. It is greyer than Skylark, and lacks the white wing and tail edged of that species.” (Wikipedia)

terricolor = terr- (dry land) or (land, earth, ground) + color

“terr+” brought up “3,147 verses found, 3547 matches” (Needless to say, I did not check them all out.) “terra” translates as above, “earth”, “land”, “ground.”

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 KJV)

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) by Nikhil Devasar

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata) by Nikhil Devasar

Plain Prinia (Prinia inornata terricolor) Video IBC – Photo

“The Plain Prinia, or the Plain, or White-browed, Wren-Warbler[2] (Prinia inornata) is a small warbler in the cisticola family. It is a resident breeder from Pakistan and India to south China and southeast Asia. It was formerly included in the Tawny-flanked Prinia, Prinia subflava (Gmelin, 1789), resident in Africa south of the Sahara. The two are now usually considered to be separate species.
This skulking passerine bird is typically found in wet lowland grassland, open woodland, scrub and sometimes gardens. The Plain Prinia builds its nest in a shrub or tall grass and lays 3-6 eggs.”

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali) ©WikiC

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali) ©WikiC

White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali terricolor) Video of (Plocepasser mahali melanorhynchus) IBC

The White-browed Sparrow-Weaver (Plocepasser mahali; Afrikaans: Koringvoël) is a predominantly brown, sparrow-sized weaver found throughout central and northcentral southern Africa. It is found in groups of two to eleven individuals consisting of one breeding pair and nonreproductive individuals.
P. m. terricolor is found towards the center of the White-Browed Sparrow-Weaver’s range, occurring predominantly in eastern Botswana.

I trust that you were not bored, but enjoyed the Latin lesson thrown in. I am always curious as to how they come up with these Scientific Names. It was interesting to find out some of these meanings. In the mean time we have seen some birds that the Lord created that we probably have never seen before. I love that Paradise Tanager the most, but the others are great also.

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Articles for additional information:

Birds of the World

Scientific bird names explained Very good
Bird Names
Zoological Nomenclature Resource
List of Latin words with English derivatives – Wikipedia
List of Greek words with English derivatives – Wikipedia
Key to the Pronunciation and Meaning of Scientific Names of Popular Species
What’s in a Bird Family Name
CalPhotos: Browse Bird Scientific Names
North American Bird Name Origins

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Birds of the World – Discolor Birds

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) ©© marj k

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) ©© marj k

While working on the new updates for the IOC 2.10 Version, I kept noticing the word “color” in the scientific names as I sorted and resorted the Excel spreadsheet. This is a second of the “color” articles. There are concolor, bicolor, tricolor, unicolor, quadricolor, versicolor, decolor, sitticolor, nocticolor, etc. Those will come later. For now, let’s see what the “discolor” birds are.

According to the Free Dictionary, “discolor” means:

dis·col·or  (ds-klr)

v. dis·col·oreddis·col·or·ingdis·col·ors

v.tr.

To alter or spoil the color of; stain.

v.intr.

To become altered or spoiled in color.

Also – discolor – lose color or turn colorless; cause to lose or change color; change color, often in an undesired manner
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

Species with “discolor”:

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) Bird roosting with head on back by Nick Talbot

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) by Nick Talbot

Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor) by NickT

Cuckoo Roller (Leptosomus discolor) from Wikipedia

Cuckoo Roller (Leptosomus discolor) from Wikipedia

Cuckoo Roller (Leptosomus discolor) ©WikiC – Video IBC
____ (Leptosomus discolor discolor) IBC

Brown-throated Treecreeper (Certhia discolor) ©WikiC

Brown-throated Treecreeper (Certhia discolor) ©WikiC

Brown-throated Treecreeper (Certhia discolor) ©WikiC

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor) ©USFWS

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor) ©USFWS

Prairie Warbler (Dendroica discolor) ©WikiC – Video IBC
____ (Dendroica discolor discolor) None

Subspecies with “discolor”:

Light-crowned Spinetail (Cranioleuca albiceps) – Video by Keith Blomerley
____ (Cranioleuca albiceps albiceps)
____ (Cranioleuca albiceps discolor) IBC

White-crowned Manakin (Dixiphia pipra) by ©AGrosset

White-crowned Manakin (Dixiphia pipra) by ©AGrosset

White-crowned Manakin (Dixiphia pipra)
____ (Dixiphia pipra discolor) None

 Little Shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) ©WikiC

Little Shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) ©WikiC

Little Shrikethrush (Colluricincla megarhyncha) ©WikiC
____ (Colluricincla megarhyncha discolor) None

Chubb's Cisticola (Cisticola chubbi) by Tom Tarrant

Chubb's Cisticola (Cisticola chubbi chubbi) by Tom Tarrant

Chubb’s Cisticola (Cisticola chubbi) by Tom Tarrant – Video IBC
____ (Cisticola chubbi discolor) None

Rusty Sparrow (Aimophila rufescens) IBC – Video IBC
____ (Aimophila rufescens discolor)

Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by Michael Woodruff

Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by Michael Woodruff

Red-throated Ant Tanager (Habia fuscicauda) by M Woodruff – Video IBC
____ (Habia fuscicauda discolor)

As you can see by most of these birds with “discolor” in their name, have a sort of “washed-out” look. Not a very distinct color. I am sure that the Lord created them this way to help them blend in with their surroundings. Protection is important. These thoughts sort of remind me of several verses:

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matthew 5:13 KJV)

And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. (1 Peter 5:4 KJV)

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See: Birds of the World

The Gospel Message

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Birds of the World – Concolor Birds

Grey Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides concolor) by Daves BirdingPix

Grey Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides concolor) by Daves BirdingPix

While working on the new updates for the IOC 2.10 Version, I kept noticing the word “color” in the scientific names as I sorted and resorted the Excel spreadsheet. This is a first of the “color” articles. There are bicolor, tricolor, unicolor, quadricolor, versicolor, decolor, sitticolor, nocticolor, etc. Those will come later. For now, let’s see what the “concolor” birds are.

According to the Free Dictionary, “concolor” means:

Con´col`or
a. 1. Of the same color; of uniform color.
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, published 1913 by C. & G. Merriam Co.

Species and their subspecies with “concolor”:

Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor) ©WikiC

Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor) ©WikiC

Sooty Falcon (Falco concolor)

Uniform Crake (Amaurolimnas concolor) IBC
____ (Amaurolimnas concolor concolor †)

Grey Go-away-bird (Corythaixoides concolor) See Above – Video IBC
____ (Corythaixoides concolor concolor)

Dusky Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne concolor) ©WikiC

Dusky Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne concolor) ©WikiC

Dusky Crag Martin (Ptyonoprogne concolor) IBC
____ (Ptyonoprogne concolor concolor) IBC

Grey Longbill (Macrosphenus concolor) – Video IBC

Nilgiri Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor) ©WikiC

Nilgiri Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor) ©WikiC

Nilgiri Flowerpecker (Dicaeum concolor) IBC

Sao Tome Grosbeak (Neospiza concolor) IBC

Blue Seedeater (Amaurospiza concolor) IBC
____ (Amaurospiza concolor concolor)

Subspecies with “concolor”:

Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes certhia) by Kent Nickell

Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes certhia) by Kent Nickell

Amazonian Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes certhia)
____ (Dendrocolaptes certhia concolor) – Video IBC

Unicolored Jay (Aphelocoma unicolor)
____ (Aphelocoma unicolor concolor) – Video IBC
____ (Aphelocoma unicolor unicolor)

Indochinese Green Magpie (Cissa hypoleuca concolor) ©WikiC

Indochinese Green Magpie (Cissa hypoleuca concolor) ©WikiC

Indochinese Green Magpie (Cissa hypoleuca)
____ (Cissa hypoleuca concolor)

Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) WikiC

Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus) WikiC

Black Bulbul (Hypsipetes leucocephalus)
____ (Hypsipetes leucocephalus concolor)

Yellow-bellied Bush Warbler (Cettia acanthizoides)
____ (Cettia acanthizoides concolor) IBC

Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans) juvenile ©WikiC

Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans) juvenile ©WikiC

Singing Cisticola (Cisticola cantans) IBC
____ (Cisticola cantans concolor)

Plain Laughingthrush (Garrulax davidi)
____ (Garrulax davidi concolor)

Grey-breasted Spiderhunter (Arachnothera modesta) IBC – Video WikiC
____ (Arachnothera modesta concolor)

Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens)
____ (Euplectes ardens concolor) – Video IBC

For every beast of the woodland is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I see all the birds of the mountains, and the beasts of the field are mine. If I had need of food, I would not give you word of it; for the earth is mine and all its wealth. (Psalms 50:10-12 BBE)

Other than the Indochinese Green Magpie, the “concolor” makes sense in that the birds are pretty well just plain birds with very little color variation. As the definition above said they are of the same or uniform color. Even though we may think these “concolor” birds are a bit dull or plain, their Creator knows all about them and cares for them. How about us?

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:26 NKJV)

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Birds of the World

Birds of the Bible – Names of Birds II

White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) by Daves BirdingPix

White-tailed Hawk (Buteo albicaudatus) by Daves BirdingPix

In the first Names of Birds, I covered the English names of birds. This time the scientific names are going to be looked at, especially the second one. (The first part of the scientific name is the bird’s genus or group) “Birds normally have a scientific name and a common name. The scientific name is usually Latin-bases and is agreed upon by biologists across the world. The common name will vary by region, culture, and language.” (birding.com) No matter what the bird is called in different countries or by different ornithology groups, the scientific name refers to one specific bird. Birds do migrate many miles and spend time in many countries. This naming system helps keep from having the same bird counted numerous times in lists.

As I have worked with the list of the Birds of the World, I have observed similarities in the naming of the birds. For instance, “alba” is the second part of all of these birds–Western Great Egret, White Cockatoo, Sanderling, White Tern, White Wagtail, African Spoonbill, Phoenix Petrel, Western Barn Owl. Could you figure out what color they all are?

White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis) by Tom Tarrant

White-throated Honeyeater (Melithreptus albogularis) by Tom Tarrant

How about “albicauda“–White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant, White-tailed Blue Flycatcher, White-tailed Lark, White-tailed Hawk? Or “albogularis“–White-throated Jacamar, Rufous-banded Honeyeater, White-throated Pewee, White-throated Canary, White-throated Laughingthrush, White-throated Screech Owl, White-throated Honeyeater, White-throated Francolin, White-throated Caracara, White-throated Treerunner, White-spotted Fantail, White-throated Seedeater, White-throated Kingbird, White-chested White-eye? That last group was not all “white-throated,” in name, but they have white throats.

We know that Adam named the birds and other critters as the Scripture tells us:

Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. (Genesis 2:19-20 NKJV)

Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) by Ray

Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) by Ray

Did Adam use scientific names? I doubt it. Adam didn’t have to go though all this. Today the ornithologist (those who study birds) use this method of naming along with a common name in whatever language they speak.

Thought you might find it interesting to see some of the species’ second scientific names:
Colors:
albus/alba, white; cf albino, ater/atra, matt black, brachy-, short (Greek), brunne-, brown, caeruleus, blue, canus, grey, chloro-, green or yellow (Greek), cinerea-, grey or ash-coloured; cf cinders, crocus, cyan, blue, erythro-, red (Greek), flava, yellow, fuscus/fusca, dusky, guttatus, speckled or spotted, haema-, blood-red (Greek); cf haemoglobin, leuco-, white (Greek), lineatus, lined or striped, livia, blue-grey, longi-, long, luteus/lutea, yellow, major, greater, mega-, great (Greek), melas, black (Greek); cf melanistic, minor, lesser, niger/nigra, glossy black; cf negro, punctatus, spotted; cf punctuation, pusilla, tiny, rosea, rosy, ruber, red, rufus/rufa, red, striatus/striata, striped, versicolor, many-collored, varied, viridis, green, albogularis – White-throated
Countries:
abyssinicus, africana, americana, angolensis, antarctica,
Characteristics:
cauda, tail, –cephalus, head (Greek), –ceps, capped, headed, cilla, tail, collis, neck,  cristatus, crested, dactyl, finger or toe (Greek), frons, front, i.e. forehead, –gularis, throat, –ops, eye, –opsis, face, ptera, wing (Greek), –rhynchos, bill (Greek), –rostris, bill, torquatus, collared

Names are important and have meaning. Christ was named long before He was born. It was foretold.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. (Matthew 1:22-23 KJV)
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  (Matthew 6:9 KJV)
And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. (Matthew 12:21 KJV)
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
(Matthew 28:18-20 KJV)

(Some information from Scientific bird names explained)