Pheasant by Julian Bhalerao
Lapwings, Loons & Lousy Jacks

Lapwings, Loons & Lousy Jacks

Ray Reedman

The Lapwing once had many regional names; the Loon has a British-American identity crisis and the respectable-sounding Apostlebird is often called a Lousy Jack. Why do bird names, both common and scientific, change over time and why do they vary so much between different parts of the English-speaking world? Wandering through the scientific and cultural history of ornithology takes us to the heart of understanding the long relationship between birds and people.

'Lapwings, Loons and Lousy Jacks' uncovers the stories behind the incredible diversity of bird names, explains what many scientific names actually mean and takes a look at the history of the system by which we name birds. Ray Reedman explores the natural history and folklore behind bird names, in doing so unlocking the mystery of the name Scoter, the last unexplained common name of a British bird species.

".. a fountain of lore that should definitely be sampled by anyone thirsty for bird name stories. Moreover, in tracing some of its more tangled tales it sheds valuable light on how both science and language work when confronted with a vast and unruly collection of living things - by which I mean both the birds and the people who want to identify them."

 - Carrie Laben, 10,000 Birds

292 pages.

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