Stephen Moss is a naturalist, broadcaster, television producer, and author. In a distinguished career at the BBC Natural History Unit his credits included Spring watch, Birds Britannia, and The Nature of Britain. His books include A Bird in the Bush, A Sky Full of Starlings, The Bumper Book of Nature, and Wild Hares and Hummingbirds. Originally from London, he now lives with his wife and children on the Somerset Levels.
- What is the oldest bird name in the English language and what language was in born in?
- Walk us through the history of the word Crow and it’s application over the years.
- The Anglo Saxon Wheatear “White-arse” still lives in modern English along with yellowhammer and redstart, tell us what about the journey of these words through history.
- Ray and Willugby brought further changes to ornithology and bird names, what was their major contribution?
- George Montagu created the Ornithological Dictionary, what was the significance of this work for bird names?
- How many North American warblers are named after women?
- What’s the story of the Dartford Warbler, which was discovered in Dartford but with no real affinity to the place and the man, John Lathan who discovered it?
- Who was Max Nicholson and what changes to bird study, to counter the “Victorian leprosyof collecting” did he promote?
- What view of bird taxonomy do Richard Crossley and Thomas Bewick seem to have in common and why may this be needed for bird guides?
- Charles Sibley, Burt Monroe and Jon Alquist in the 1990’s dropped a proverbial bomb on bird naming. Tell us how phylogeny and DNA shook things up and just how many species of birds are there?
- Finally, please tell us the story of Mrs. Moreau’s Warbler, named for a love story, which is one of the world rarest birds, the Winifred’s warbler.
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