Word Ways


William Young


Have you ever encountered a white-whiskered hermit or a festive coquette? How about a rifleman or a firewood-gatherer? Have you seen a village weaver or a bearded mountaineer? What about a red-tailed comet or a shining sunbeam? If you answered in the affirmative to any of these questions, you are probably a birdwatcher, because these are all names of birds from around the world. The common names of birds reflect a use of language almost as colorful as their plumages.