Hi Ros -
At 08:25 AM 11/12/02 +1000, you wrote:
>Has anyone extracted the scientific names and meanings from Cayley and
>sorted that lot into a dictionary-type list?
Not that I know of. In any case, I would not use Cayley (What Bird is
That?) as the basis for such a list, but the masthead etymologies in HANZAB
(Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds) which are more
comprehensive, precise and, I think, interesting. Moreover, taxonomy has
changed many of the scientific names given in the various editions of
For example, with regard to the Red Goshawk Erythrotriorchis radiatus,
Cayley (5th ed., 1972 reprint) gives: Erythro = red; triorchis = bird of
prey; radiatus = barred.
HANZAB (Vol.2, 1993) has the following (NB: I cannot reproduce the Greek
letters on this computer) prepared, I believe, by the late Jerry van Tets:
Erythrotriorchis combines the Greek 'erythros' (red) and 'triorches' (kind
of falcon or kite) as used by Aristotle, Aristophanes and others, probably
for the Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. 'Triorches' is itself compounded of
the prefix 'tri-' (three) and 'orches' (testicle) from the mistaken idea of
the times that the birds had three testicles. The word has been used to
compound the names for several genera of raptors. The Latin 'radiatus'
means 'furnished with spokes', so 'barred', for the character of the plumage.
415 Riversdale Road
Hawthorn East 3123, Australia
Tel: (03) 9882 2622, fax: (03) 9882 2677
Are you a member of Birds Australia? If not, why not join us?
Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)