Wednesday, August 04, 2010


"Pyrrhuloxia" isn't a disease picked up at cheap motels.  It's the name of a cardinal-like bird from the North American southwest.   The  Latin name is  Cardinalis sinuatus.  How'd  they get stuck with a common name more complex than the scientific one?
They don't have them in Los Angeles, where I live.  Too bad.  I think they're cute.
Look at the sincere, determined expression on this Wikipedia photo:
Okay, I'm anthropomorphizing...
...but I bet he sincerely thinks the seed block is his and is determined to keep it that way.


Pile Girl said...

I like your illustration. He looks angry.

Linda said...

This bird is very cute. His name sounds like the name for a kitten though, not a bird.

Namowal said...

Thanks, Pile Girl.
I'd originally planned a friendlier looking bird, but I started doodling and fell in love with the "tough guy" pose.
(He's bluffing, by the way!)

Hi Linda,
I believe "Pyrrhuloxia" comes from Greek words that mean "reddish" (or firey?) and "crossbill."
I agree they're cute. I think they'd be more iconic (like the Northern Cardinal) if they had a wider range.

GhostBuild said...

Heya Namowal... I like the illo... do you do much bird watching?

Namowal said...

Thanks, Ghostbuild.
Nice to hear from you!
I'm a slacker birdwatcher: I can identify the local birds in the city or local day hikes. I'm not the type who'd camp out in a tree in the middle of the woods to catch a glimpse of a rare warbler.
Are you a bird person?

stray said...

It's two books: (1) the birds and (2) the pigs.