Caeca to Carr Goose

Bird Dictionary

Get more interesting bird facts and information at The Wonder of Birds or check out more from our bird dictionary:

Aasvogel to Albino

Alectorides to Amazon

Ambiens to Ani

Anisodactyli to Ateal

Auk to Axilla

Babbler to Barley Bird

Barwing to Bengali

Berghaan to Blackbird

Blackcap to Bluecap

Bluethroat to Bronze Wing

Brubru to Buzzard

Caeca to Carr Goose

Cashew Bird to Charadriomorphae

Chat to Churn Owl

Circulation to Cob

Cobblers-Awl to Coracoid

Coracomorphae to Crest

Crocker to Cypselomorphae

Dabchick to Devling

Dhayal to Dollarbird


Calandra or Calander
            The Calandra is a species of LARK, the Alauda calandra of Linnaeus, and the Melanocorypha calandra of later ornithologists.  It was described by Willughby after Olina, and figured by Edwards (Gleanings, pl. 268) as coming from Carolina, a curious mistake, as the bird is not American, but a well-known inhabitant of Europe, though it is very rarely seen in the UK.  It may easily be recognized by its large size, thick bill, and interrupted black collar.  The name in French, Calandre, and Italian, Calandra, both derive from the Latin caliendrum (a head-dress of false hair).  This bird featured in Chaucer's in Romaunt of the Rose where he called it "Chalaundre" and "Chelaundre".

            The name under which some old ornithologists called the HORNBILLS; generally adopted for them in French, and found also in scientific nomenclature.

Calaw or Calloo
            Generally followed by "Duck" - a Shetland name of the Long-tailed DUCK.

Calico Bird
            One of the many names given to the TURNSTONE on the east coast of North America (Trumbull, Names and  Portraits of Birds, page 186).

Picture of Campephaga

            A genus of the Campephagidae (cuckoo-shrikes) family.  Known also as the Caterpillar-eater from their dietary tastes, Camphephaga is the scientific name of a genus of birds bestowed by Vieillot, and anglified by Gould for certain Australian forms.  It was though that if they did not belong to the Laniidae (SHRIKE) family, they were apparently intermediate between that Family and the Corvidae (the Crow and its allies).  By the 19th Century they were regarded as being in the separate group where they now find themselves, Campephagidae, and to which are attached several other forms that inhabit not only Australia, but the Indian and Ethiopian Regions.  One of their characteristics is the stiffened shaft of the rump-feathers, so as to feel spinous to the touch (see also OXYNOTUS).


            Generally with the addition of "Duck," the Anas vallisneria of Wilson, now known as the Aythya valisineria of modern ornithology.  The Canvasback is a North-American bird whose preferred habitat is marshy wetlands.  It is famous for its delicate flavour - nearly allied to the POCHARD.


Cape Sheep
            A name absurdly given by sailors to the Albatross (Layard, Birds of South Africa page 363).


            The name given in different parts of the world to various birds from their scarlet plumage, but perhaps originally to the North-American Loxia cardinalis of Linnaeus, the Cardinalis virginianus of 19th Century ornithologists, this being the Nortern Cardinal today in the 21st Century, known now as Cardinalis cardinalis.  It is a beautiful creature which was a favourite cage-bird in the 19th Century.  It is also known as the "Virginian Nightingale" and "Red Bird".  In the United States it does not usually occur to the northward of lat. 40°; but it is common in and one of the most characteristic birds of Bermuda.   The Cardinals of today form a whole family, the Cardinalidae, of which the Northern Cardinal is only one species of many.  Other birds on which the name "Cardinal" has been bestowed belong to the FINCHES, TANAGERS, and WEAVER- BIRDS.

            See SERIEMA.

            That division of the Class AVES possessing a "keel" (carina) to the sternum, and accordingly so named by Merrem in 1812 (Abhandl. Akad. Wissensch. Berlin, 1812-13, Physik. Kl. page 238); but generally overlooked by systematists until prominently brought forward by Prof. Huxley (Proc. Zool. Soc. 1867, p. 418) as one of the three "Orders" recognized by him. It may here be observed, however, that among the Carinatae are to be included a few forms such as Cnemiornis (Cereopsis), Didus (the extinct Dodo), and Strigops (KAKAPO), in which the keel of the sternum is (or was in the case of the Dodo) nearly or wholly wanting, presumably through disuse of their powers of flight.


Carpus (adjective carpal)
            From the greek word Karpos, the carpus is the wrist or articulating region between the forearm or ulna and radius, and the hand. In adult birds there are only two separate carpal bones, one radial, on the convex or anterior bend of the wrist, and one ulnar, on the posterior or inner angle. Originally the carpus is composed, as in Reptiles and Mammals, of a greater number of bones, which are also present in the embryos of Birds, but most of them fuse either with each other or with the adjoining metacarpal bones (see SKELETON).

Carr Crow or Carr Swallow
            The name used in Lincolnshire and perhaps other parts of the England for the Black TERN in the days when it inhabited the UK.  The former was written by Willughby - on the authority of his correspondent Johnson - "Scare-crow".  These days it is an infrequent visitor and very rare breeder in the UK.

Carr Goose
            An old name for the Great Crested GREBE (Podicipes cristatus).

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