RE: who provides the meat ?

To: "'Wim Vader'" <>, "'birding-aus'" <>
Subject: RE: who provides the meat ?
From: "kj.Eigenhuis" <>
Date: Sat, 13 Jan 2007 16:05:13 +0100
Thank you very much, Wim

For a nice description of a slow awakening of the nature in North-Norway.

How about the food of your Kjøttmeis ? Norwegian kjøtt means ‘meat’, so who 
gives this bird his meat?

There are some other intriguing names also for this species in other parts of 

Kind regards,

Klaas Eigenhuis

    Spekmaiske   Groningse volksnaam voor de Koolmees [Ter Laan 1929/1952; VPG 
1983]. Ws. wordt hierbij verwezen naar de verzotheid van de Koolmees op stukjes 
spekzwoerd, die de mensen 's winters voor hem willen ophangen. De traditie van 
het voeren van de vogels, vooral de Mezen, is misschien al heel oud. De Vries 
1928 vermeldt een oe Spic-māse 'Koolmees', letterlijk 'spek-mees'. Zie ook 
sylts Tualighaker * (talg 'dierlijk vet'), zweeds Spickeköttsfågel (spek én 
vlees!), noors Kjøttmeis, D Speckmeise, Schinkenmeise ('ham-mees'), Talgmeise 
[Wüst], E Pick-cheese [Jackson 1968], zwitersfrans Lardère, savoois Lardine, 
Larderine, provençaals Lardié, Lardiero, Lardèno [MB] (< F lard 'spek') en 
andere namen geven aan wat de Mezen uit mensenhand alzo eten.

Suolahti 1909 meldt op p.155 N spekmuis als naam voor de Koolmees, maar dit 
berust vrijwel zeker op een misverstand. N Spekmuis is een oude naam voor de 
"gewone vledermuis" [vD 1898] en/of de Rosse Vleermuis Nyctalus noctula 
(Schreber) [B&O 1822: "Vespertilio Noctula, De groote Spek- of 
Nacht-Vledermuis"]. @

-----Oorspronkelijk bericht-----
Van: Wim Vader 
Verzonden: zaterdag 13 januari 2007 12:33
Aan: birding-aus
CC: ; ; birdchat


Our weather still has not decided whether to swing for winter or not; in Oslo 
the first snow of the year a few days ago rained away again the next day. But 
Tromsø is almost 10* latitude further north, and this last week we have been 
lucky; the lows with their mild Atlantic winds (often stormy) and lots of rain 
have moved across Norway further south (or along the Norwegian Sea west of us, 
giving Svalbard milder weather than we had some days) and here the 
temperatures, though still high for January, have generally been around the 
freezing point, and these last two days they  had dropped to -9* C; now the 
wind has changed again to SW and I expect milder temperatures, but still 
probably snow rather than rain up here. There is maybe 40 cm of snow on the 
ground, considerably less than normal, but already sufficient for the more avid 
skiers. And every day is a bit lighter than the day before; we now have more 
than an hour of almost normal daylight, and maybe two hours of twilight. The 
sun will be back (for five minutes, if the southern skies are clear, about a 
week from now, on Soldagen (Day of the sun, 21 January). The streets are, now 
it is colder, less icy than during the Christmas holidays, but I still prefer 
to use my grip-soles, a sign that I am getting older, no doubt. A large snowman 
called Frosty (American son-in-law!) decorates the garden.

Tromsø in winter is not a specially birdy place, even less so if you, as I have 
done these first two weeks, stay around the house, Tromsø Musem, a ten minutes 
walk away, and the shop at Sorgenfri (=WIthout Care, probably the name of an 
old summer house  that has been transferred to the entire neighbourhood) down 
near the shores of the sound. (As you will know by now, the sound never freezes 
over, courtesy of the Gulf Stream). As every year, though, I have started a 
year list, and with the arrival of a single young Greenfinch on my feeder this 
morning it has climbed all the way up to 15 different birds! There hangs a tale 
by this feeder: it was heavily used by tits and greenfinches till Sylvester 
evening, and then everything disappeared, I suppose scared by the excessive 
fireworks that also the Tromsø people feel they have to fire off that night. 
And it has lasted ten days before the birds came back, in fact only this 
morning, 13 January, there is again the familiar and cozy regular va et vient 
of Kjøttmeis Parus major and Granmeis P. montanus (Norwegian , not english 
vernacular names here to avoid the irritating accusations of obscenity, which I 
have had so many times) to the tubular feeder hanging outside the window (there 
are much less trees in the garden now than before, and that may be a main 
reason why the Bullfinches no longer come). And this morning, when walking to 
the shop in the 'window of daylight' around noon, I heard twice the 'sawing' 
tee tu tee tee tu of a kjøttmeis, always the first singer of the year.

The other birds on my puny yearlist come in several categories: The first 
contains the very common European Magpie, already often to be found in what was 
last year the nesting tree, and Hooded Crows.The Northern Raven maybe also 
belong in this category, but it is a much more uncommon bird in town even in 
winter; still one hears a pair almost on every walk.  A second category is 
formed by the birds that are here (or are here still) because of the bumper 
crop of rowanberries Sorbus aucuparia last year, now rapidly getting depleted. 
Fieldfares have delayed their autumn migration and are still common, the town 
was full of flocks of Bohemian Waxwings, and there are also here and there the 
cozy and totally unafraid Pine Grosbeaks. (Somebody also reported a male 
Blackcap in his rowans---we have a few records of this warbler, the only one of 
its tribe, wintering as far north as here; they also come to feeders then and 
eat raisins and grapes. The same applies to the European Blackbird I found in 
Folkeparken one of the last days of 2006; I haven't seen or heard it this year, 
nor have I come across the Sparrow Hawk of 31 December again).  A third 
category are the feeder birds, the two tit species and the Greenfinch, 
hopefully soon also the Bullfinch.

The last group are the birds of coast and sea. On the shore the Hooded Crows 
dominate in winter, but there are also gulls around; as yet I have seen only 
Herring Gulls and great Black-backed Gulls, none of the 'white gulls' of the 
arctic that also are present often in winter. Common Eiders swim in tight 
flocks, with already quite a bit of displaying. Other wintering ducks here are 
Long-tailed ducks and Red-throated Mergansers. There are also scoters, but in 
the bad light of winter I have not been able to make absolutely sure that these 
were the expected Common Scoters (There are also some Velvet Scoters around). 
The last two birds are the Great Cormorant, a very common bird here , 
especially in winter, and the White-tailed Sea Eagle, also a quite regular 
winter bird here, even in and around the town.  I have been only once or twice 
on short visits to the town centre, hence the absence on this list of House 
Sparrows and feral pigeons, common enough in town, but much less here half an 
hour's walk away.

The list won't grow much the coming two months. Probable newcomers will be, 
apart from the ones earlier mentioned, Mallards, Grey Herons, Purple 
Sandpipers, Willow Grouse and King Eiders. There are also a few Yellow-billed 
Loons around, but to see those one has to drive out of town, usually. For 
birding and setting up long lists, Tromsø in winter is definitely not the right 
place. But what a wonderfully beautiful setting!!

                          Wim Vader, Tromsø Museum

                          9037 Tromsø, Norway



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