Letter N

Whose Bird - Number 17


By Bruce Poulter

Narina was a beautiful Hottentot girl, and probably the mistress of Le Vaillant who named the bird.. He found her name to be both difficult to pronounce, and disagreeable to listen to. So, he gave her a new name, Narina, which in the Hottentot language signifies a flower. Narina's Trogon (Apaloderma narina) (Ghana, 1981, 20 pesewas) is found widely in Africa, south of the Sahara.

Nelicourvi's Weaver (Ploceus nelicourvi) (Mauritania, 2000, 220 ouguiya) was not named after anyone or anything! The name comes from a corruption of a Sri Lankan word, nellukuruvi, which is a general name for finches. This weaver is a native of evergreen mossy forests of east and northwest Madagascar - so has no connection with Sri Lanka or Mauritania.

Brother Matthias Newell (1854-1939) was a missionary to Hawaii between 1886 and 1924. Newell's Shearwater (Puffinus newelli) (Mozambique, 2012, 16 meticals), which breeds on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands, is sometimes considered to be conspecific with Townsend's Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis).

Professor Alfred Newton FRS (1829-1907) was a British zoologist who was born in Geneva. He was a co-founder of the British Ornithologists' Union in 1858 and studied birds widely - in Lapland, Iceland, the West indies and North America. He was instrumental in launching the bird protection movement in England and the rest of the world. His study of the birds of the Mascarenes was made easier with his brother the Assistant Colonial Secretary of Mauritius. Newton's Parakeet (Psittacula excul) (Mauritius, 1967, 60 cents), formerly found on Rodrigues Island in the Mascarene group became extinct in about 1875.

Colonel Francesco Newton (1864-1909) was a Portuguese botanist who collected in Sao Tomé in 1888 and Timor in 1896. He wrote especially meticulous accounts of his travels and findings, recording detailed information on the localities and the ecology of the specimens he collected. Newton's Fiscal (Lanius newtoni) (St. Thomas & Prince Islands, 2002, 10000 dobra) was rediscovered in 1990 after a 50-year 'absence'.

T Noguchi was a Japanese collector after whom a number of species of different phyla are possibly named. The doubts exist because there are a number of men with this surname who have become famous, including a poet, an artist and other scientists. Nonetheless it is believed that the right man has been identified. The Okinawa Woodpecker (Sapheopipo noguchi) (Japan, 1983, 60 yen) is a considerably endangered species which is only found on the Yambaru Mountains of Okinawa.

Alexander von Nordmann (1803-1866) was born in Finland and collected extensively in Southern Russia. In 1832 he became at professor at Odessa and finally became Professor of Zoology at Helsinki University. Nordmann's Greenshank (Tringa guttifer) (Vietnam, 2010, 2000 dông) summers in eastern Siberia and winters in Southeast Asia to the Philippines and Indonesia.

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