Lost in trans­la­tion: 5 non­sense names

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Bird Names -

Bearded tit

Named af­ter its fa­cial pat­tern and perky habits, but isn’t a tit and is not bearded. ‘Mous­tached reedling’ is more ac­cu­rate.

Black-headed gull

Named af­ter its head in breed­ing plumage, this should be the ‘brown­hooded gull’ – ex­cept a species with that name al­ready ex­ists.

Dart­ford war­bler

Named be­cause the first spec­i­mens were shot near Dart­ford in Kent (in 1773). Re­ally, it should be called the ‘gorse war­bler’.

Grey wag­tail

This bird’s grey back gives it its name, yet a much bet­ter moniker would be the more dis­tin­guished ‘lemon­bel­lied wag­tail’.

Marsh tit

This wood­land species’ name prob­a­bly arose through con­fu­sion with the sim­i­lar wil­low tit, which prefers wet­lands. It should be ‘oak tit’.

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