Friday, January 12, 2007

Alternative Names for the Pileated Woodpecker

Over the years, many colloquial, or local, names have come to be used in various sections of the country for many of our common birds. Here, for example, is a list of 16 alternative names (and sources) for the Pileated Woodpecker that I have gleaned from the literature:
[Bird (see Carpenter Bird)]
Black Woodpecker (4)
Carpenter Bird (4)
Cock-of-the-woods (3, 4)
Good-god or Good God (1, 2, 3)
Grand Pic (French) (5)
Great Black Woodpecker (4)
Great God (1)
[Hen (see Indian Hen)]
Indian Hen (3, 4)
[Kate (see Wood Kate)]
Logcock (1, 2, 4)
Log-god (3)
Log-guard (4)
Lord-god or Lord God (1, 2, 4)
Woodchuck (2, 3, 4)
Woodcock (2, 4)
Wood-cady (2)
Wood Kate (4)
[Woodpecker (see Black and Great Black woodpeckers)]
Note, especially, the listing of Lord-god (by Pearson, Howell, and Terres) as an alternative name for the Pileated Woodpecker. A variation of this name (i.e., Lord God Bird) has recently been applied (perhaps inappropriately) to the Ivory-billed Woodpecker. My literature search was far from extensive, so if you know of other names for the Pileated that I haven’t listed, please drop me a line by email or a comment..

Sources:

(1) Pearson, T. Gilbert. 1936. Birds of America. Doubleday (as reported here; scroll to What's in a Name?).

(2) Howell, Arthur H. 1937. Florida birdlife. Florida Department of Game and Fresh Water Fisheries, and Bureau of Biological Survey.

(3) Lowery, George H. 1955. Louisiana birds. Louisiana State University Press.

(4) Terres, John K. 1980. The Audubon Society encyclopedia of North American birds. Alfred A. Knopf.

(5) Bull, E. L., and J. E. Jackson. 1995. Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus). Birds of North America 148.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Patrick Coin said...

Excellent research--"lord-god" is a folk-name for the Pileated. I used similar sources, and came to similar conclusions, in the commentary on a Wikipedia artcile here--I posted this in your entry for the Ivory-bill, but just wanted to add it here as well for completeness.

As I noted in the comment on the Ivory-bill, there is some primary literature on these names--on my list of things to look for at my next visit to one of the research libraries in my area.

January 15, 2007 7:51 AM  

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