Saturday, July 31, 2010

Yellow Bellied Sapsucker

There really is a bird called the "Yellow Bellied Sapsucker."   Some name.  It sounds like an insult.  Break it down and it's a string of smaller jabs: "yellow," "sap"  and "sucker."   It could have been named "Gold Breasted Woodpecker" or "Masked Stifftail,"  but "Yellow Bellied Sapsucker" it is.
Who came up with this name?  Was he mad at them?  Did a flock peck up his orchard? 
Maybe he was simply blunt: "It's got a yellow belly, doesn't it?" he might have said.  "It sucks sap outta trees, right?"
Imagine if this guy had been in charge of naming other birds:

Owl:  Flat Faced Mouse Muncher

Pelican: Sack-Jowled Fish Scooper

Hummingbird:      Needle-Nosed Necter Nibbler

Duck:                    Web-footed Dinner Dabbler

Vulture:                 Ball-headed Carcass Craver

Seagull:                 Squawkmouthed Dumpster Diver

Turkey:                 Pin-Headed Pending Poultry Product

Hawk:                    Rust-Feathered Rodent Reaper

That being said, I wonder if he had something to do with naming the Blue Footed Booby...

4 comments:

Linda said...

I like these names so much.

There really is a bird called the "Blue Footed Booby!!!"

stray said...

Fun! It makes me think there was a simpler time when these words didn't have negative connotations?

stray said...

The colors in the illustration are working great with your blog format.

Namowal said...

Linda,
"There really is a bird called the 'Blue Footed Booby!"
I think they're pretty cool. Have you ever seen videos of the male showing off to females? It's pretty funny.

Thanks stray. You may have a point about the words. That being said, most people have heard of Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers, but I bet they don't know what they look like. I didn't until I looked them up.
I changed the blog format because it looked dated and fell apart when I posted the pictures full size. Glad you like it!