Posted by: atowhee | July 12, 2013

WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Confusion… if you are talking about Colorado’s handsome official state bird. That would be the prairie loving Lark Bunting. Of course, it is neither a lark, nor a bunting. Here’s a nice summary of the nomenclature folderol.
The Lark Bunting is in the same family as the Northern Cardinal, Lazuli and Indigo Bunting, Black-headed and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Another of its cousins is also a prairie bird, the Dickcissel.
The Townsend and Nuttall referenced in this story made it to Astoria, Oregon, and from there did considerable exploration and bird collecting along the Pacific Coast. They discovered for science about 3 dozen new species. The Nuttall’s Woodpecker was discovered later by one of Nuttall’s proteges and named for him, But Townsend was crucial in finding the first warblers bearing his name.


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