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What's in a name like Lanceolated Monklet?

As we birders know, ornithologists who name birds seem to have had a lot of fun coming up with odd and sometimes complicated monikers for newly discovered species and, perhaps especially, using adjectives in the names that we rarely encounter anywhere else in common usage. The name of this Lanceolated Monklet, for example, photographed so beautifully by participant Benedict De Laender on one of our 2017 Jewels of Ecuador tours, comes from the word lanceolate, which means shaped like a lance, referring to the markings on the bird's breast.

Running down the list of birds of the world, there are lots more such rarely seen adjectives in play. Here are a few examples for you with their meanings:

carunculated, as in Carunculated Caracara from South America - having a caruncle, a fleshy outgrowth (e.g., a wattle)

falcated, as in Falcated Duck from the Old World - curved like a sickle

fasciated, as in Fasciated Antshrike from the Neotropics - showing an enlargement or flattening

flammulated, as in Flammulated Owl - having flame-shaped markings

lineated, as in Lineated Woodpecker from Mexico southward - marked with lines

ocellated, as in Ocellated Tapaculo from the northern Andes - having ocelli, or eyelike spots

pileated, as in Pileated Woodpecker - having a prominent crest

pinnated, as in Pinnated Bittern - oddly (for birds), resembling a feather

semipalmated, as in Semipalmated Plover - toes joined by a partial web

striated, as in Striated Grasswren from Australia - parallel grooves or stripes

striolated, as in Eastern Striolated-Puffbird from South America - having striolae (faint or minute stripes or streaks)

undulated, as in Undulated Tinamou from the Neotropics - wavy

variegated, as in Variegated Fairywren from Australia - diverse in appearance, especially color

vermiculated, as in Vermiculated Screech-Owl from the Neotropics - marked with irregular lines

Guide Willy Perez returns to lead our Jewels of Ecuador tour early next year, January 20-February 6, 2018, while guide Mitch Lysinger will lead our second departure, March 17-April 3, 2018. There are still spaces available on each tour as of this writing. If you'd like to join Willy or Mitch in search of Lanceolated Monklet, 50 species each of tanagers and hummingbirds, and much more, contact our office.

Don't forget also to view our 2017 illustrated triplists at these links:

Jewels of Ecuador I 2017 triplist
Jewels of Ecuador II 2017 triplist

Both will give you a great taste of last year's tours. They are full of interesting annotations and of great images from participants and guides alike.

 Other Bird Buzz Topics

Tail bands are common. Wing bands, not so much!

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