We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest

James Sandrock and Jean C. Prior

Publication Year: 2014

The translation and explanation of genus and species names yield markers to help us identify birds in the field as well as remember distinctive traits. Having a basic understanding of the scientific and common names of birds reveals insights into their color, behavior, habitat, or geography. Knowing that Cyanocitta means “blue chatterer” and cristata means “crested, tufted” or that Anas means “a duck” and clypeata means “armed with a shield” tells you just about everything you need to identify a Blue Jay or a Northern Shoveler. In this portable reference book, James Sandrock and Jean Prior explain the science and history behind the names of some 450 birds of the Upper Midwest states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Since many of these birds occur throughout the United States, this handbook can also be used by birders in other parts of the country.
     The authors examine the roots, stems, and construction of scientific names from their classical Latin and Greek or other linguistic origins. The translations of these words and insights into their sources yield quirky, tantalizing facts about the people, geography, habitat, and mythology behind bird names. Each entry also includes the bird’s common name as well as local or regional names. Beginning birders confused by scientific names as well as more experienced birders curious about such names will find that the book opens unexpected connections into linguistic, historical, biological, artistic, biographical, and even aesthetic realms.
      Highlighting the obvious and not-so-obvious links between birds and language, this practical guide continues a long scholarly tradition of such books by and for those afoot in the field. Whether you are hiking with binoculars or watching a backyard bird feeder or reading at home, The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest will greatly enhance your appreciation of birds.

Published by: University of Iowa Press


pdf iconDownload PDF

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-iv


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-x

This contribution to the study of birds and their names follows a remarkable tradition begun gray years ago and carried on by many people who march through these pages: Aristotle, Pliny the Elder, Alexander Wilson, John James Audubon, and all...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-6

The naming of things may be the world’s oldest profession. Adam was assigned the task in the second chapter of Genesis, and the nomenclature and taxonomy of biological organisms were the main occupations of early scientists. As a result, flocks of books...

The Birds

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 7-156


pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 157-162

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 163-168

Index of Common Names

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 169-174

Index of Species Names

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 175-180

Series Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

E-ISBN-13: 9781609382605
E-ISBN-10: 1609382609
Print-ISBN-13: 9781609382254
Print-ISBN-10: 1609382250

Page Count: 191
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: paper

OCLC Number: 871780760
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Scientific Nomenclature of Birds in the Upper Midwest

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Birds -- Middle West -- Nomenclature.
  • Birds -- Middle West -- Nomenclature (Popular).
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access