Birdscapes Tuesday Trivia, Question #1

What do our interactions with birds reveal about ourselves? In Birdscapes: Birds in Our Imagination and Experience, veteran birder and former chief executive of Cambridge University Press Jeremy Mynott looks at the myriad ways we encounter and appreciate birds.

Of course, he looks at literature, art, music, science, conservation, and culture, among many things, but along the way, he also teases out some fantastic trivia about birds. I will post a series of trivia questions (one each Tuesday for the next few weeks) and hope you will post your answers and explanations in the comments section below. The answers will follow by a day, so check back frequently!

Mynott’s Trivia, Question #1 –

Which bird is named after soiled underwear?

Answer will be posted tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Isn’t it Isabelline Wheatear?

  2. Actually there are quite a few, if you believe the story (which I don’t, really). Besides the wheatear, I can think of a shrike, a bush-hen, a crombec, a miner; and I’m sure there must be many more whose subspecific epithets refer to the same color.

  3. Yes, Jeff beat me to it. Anything with “Isabelline” as part of the name as in the Wheatear, or as a color-morph, is supposedly named after a princess of Spain, Isabel, who vowed never to change her underwear until the siege of Ostend ended, one way or the other. Or so I’ve heard. Found this out while posting an Isabelline color-morph of a California towhee last fall: check out my post: http://threestarowl.com/natural-history/isabelline-california-towhee-in-huntington-beach-central-park
    It differs from albino by being a dirty beige rather than pure white, presumably the color of siege-worn undies.

  4. Rich Colagiovanni says:

    Response…With all due respect…..some type(species) of “Fly Catcher”…. hehehe….really, you got me on this one…. a clue?? Maybe a variety of European Thrush??

  5. Response…
    And pray, what then does er … the full monty of i.e. Isabelline Wheatear mean when it is deconstructed?

    I often translate for my guests – and yet some are not amused.

    There’s a nymphalid butterfly in Indochina called the Abnormal Sergeant …

  6. Response…I have to agree with a.a. shock
    BRF

  7. My guess was going to be a sparrow.

  8. sunglasses for men says:

    The Yellow-Breasted Skidmarque I believe.

  9. Anything Isabelline, either as part of the name, as in Isabelline wheatear, or as a color-morph, is supposedly named after a princess of Spain who vowed never to change her underwear until the siege of Ostend was over.

  10. I often translate for my guests – and yet some are not amused.

    There’s a nymphalid butterfly in Indochina called the Abnormal Sergeant

  11. my best guess is sparrow

  12. I agree with Frank Mir, i think also of sparrow

  13. Well, if the bird is named after the color and not after soiled underwear, then the question is a bit unfair. I call fowl! 🙂

  14. Surely it’s a blackbird?

  15. Of course it is a blackbird!

  16. The answer must be sparrow

  17. Though it does appear that the Isabelline responses have the most evidence behind them. Was the answer ever confirmed in the blog?

  18. Joseph waldman says:

    Must be Sparrow and small birds which are found in fields of wheat.

  19. Computer Leipzig says:

    Yes I think too the answer must be sparrow – I hope the answer will confirmed in the blog sometime