Record Details

Catalog Search

Mrs Moreau's warbler : how birds got their names / Stephen Moss.

Available copies

  • 1 of 2 copies available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 1 of 2 copies available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 2 total copies.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Bagley Public Library 598.014 MOS (Text) 33500013073580 Main Available -
Moorhead Public Library 598.014 MOS (Text) 33500013073572 Main Checked out 09/01/2020

Record details

  • ISBN: 1783350903
  • ISBN: 9781783350902
  • Physical Description: x, 357 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
  • Publisher: London : Guardian Faber, 2018.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary, etc.:
"We use names so often, and with such little thought, that we often forget to pause and wonder about their origins. What do they mean? Where did they come from? And who originally created them? Since the dawn of mankind we have been driven by a primordial urge to name the birds and beasts of the earth and skies. It is through names that we make sense of the world around us, and through understanding these names, we can arrive at a greater awareness of our world. Many of our most familiar birds are named after people or places, sometimes after their sound or appearance, or perhaps after their quirky little habits. But sometimes a little more detective work is required to find the deeper meanings and stories behind the names. And a familiar face such as the blackbird, may not turn out to be named after its colour after all.Through unexpected encounters with the bird kingdom, from the familiar sparrow to the many-coloured rush-tyrant of Patagonia, Stephen Moss shows us that something as small as a name can carry a whole story - an arctic expedition, a pitched battle between rival ornithologists or the discovery of a new system of genetic hybridisation. Mrs Moreau's Warbler is a journey through time, from when humans and birds first shared the world, up to the present day, as we find ourselves struggling to coexist sustainably with our feathered friends." --Publisher description.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2018 December #1
    *Starred Review* In an ideal world, the names we give to birds would make perfect sense. But as British naturalist and BBC producer Moss reveals in this marvelous and eminently readable survey, bird names range from very local folk names to lyrically descriptive names to prosaic place names. Those choices help us make sense of myriad animals and plants, and the act of naming also helped early humans survive by sharing knowledge. Some bird names are so ancient that their origin is lost; goose is the oldest bird name we know. Bird names come from the precursors of modern English, particularly Norman French (kingfisher, peregrine) and Old English (redstart means red tail). Some names echo the bird's calls (cuckoo, crow). Other names refer to colors (blackcap, goldfinch) or how the bird acts (treecreeper, nuthatch). And as the title implies, many birds were named for people (Leach's petrel, Cetti's warbler). This linguistic romp through ornithology, natural history writing, and scientific discovery is enlivened by Moss' tales of searching for some of the species he writes of. Mrs. Moreau's warbler, anyone? Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Stephen Moss is a naturalist, broadcaster, television producer and author. In a distinguished career at the BBC Natural History Unit his credits included Springwatch, Birds Britannia and The Nature of Britain. His books include The Robin: A Biography, A Bird in the Bush, The Bumper Book of Nature, Wild Hares and Hummingbirds and Wild Kingdom. He is also Senior Lecturer in Nature and Travel Writing at Bath Spa University. Originally from London, he lives with his family on the Somerset Levels, and is President of the Somerset Wildlife Trust. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian.

Subject: Birds > Nomenclature (Popular)
Genre: Terminology.

Additional Resources