Sunday 24 October 2021

Yellow-rumped Honey guide - the story of a bird

Well, Honeyguides are an interesting birds and there are a number of them. Ten to be precise in the Genus Indicator. Eight of them found in Africa and two in Asia. Out of these two - one in India. I was chasing the one in India, the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide. I will get on to it after telling this story to start with. The story goes that I wanted to see this bird (like all other birds of the world I must add) and set my mind to it. Now every time I visited the Himalayas, I was on a constant lookout - I was waiting for and encounter in Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and of course on my last visit to Uttrakhand. Well to be fair I was also looking out for it in our visit to Borneo, the other Honeyguide of Asia - Malaysian Honeyguide. Well, being on a lookout and to actually see the bird is like the sip and the lip - both close but it will be when it will be. 

The hunting party - our Birdguide on the left...

The Yellow rump being clearly displayed.

The bird that refused to be afraid - leading me to the Beehive?

My visits to Sikkim, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and even Borneo were a washout and this happened over a period of more than 5 years. Then came the last birding trip to Uttrakhand, a trip to Chopta, tugged in-between the two COVID lockdowns, that still had the name of this bird as a target species along with a dozen others I must say. Our Birdguide was absolutely certain that we will see the bird and in hearts of hearts, I was not so sure. The past failures were weighing heavy on my mind to say the least. Well the day arrived and we walked upstream from the road the first day at Chopta and that was where we were to see the bird for sure, or so our Birdguide has said - like a 100% sure. Well we waited, scanned the area for any signs at all for the birds - but for the huge Beehives humming with bees in the far distance on a ledge - there was nothing. Well they were other birds and pretty ones - but this was not to be. We waited and scanned the nearby areas for over an hour. Since we were to reach our destination that was still a few hours away we had no choice to cut the chase and after a small Maggie Lunch and moved on. The disappointment was on my face. A few hours down the lane we stopped again with a Cliff in far distance and the Birdguide telling us that we might be lucky here as the bird is seen at this place also sometimes. Missing the bird where it was surely to be seen and now at a place where it is sighted sometimes is really not very hopeful. Well, we stopped at the stream and all our group started looking out for some beautiful birds around the stream. I asked our guide if we can walk along the road to the place near the Beehives that was about half a km away and since rest did not respond enthusiastically - we both, the Birdguide and me, moved on. As luck would have it, just about 200 m ahead - there was a flutter in a tree nearby and both the Birdguide and me shouted simultaneously - HoneyGuide. I was shaking with excitement and moving my feet barely a few inches at a time to ensure the bird does not fly away. The bird was still not clearly visible even though we were hearing it and catching the glimpses of it in that tree. I got one clear shot and the bird decided to be more confident than me. It perched on to a branch an arms length away and was not at all afraid. I heart was jumping with joy - I called out to the rest of the team. The bird did not mind my shout at all - they all came - and the bird was there still singing in front of all of us and what a day we had. 

Oh what a sight it was - especially when it has eluded you for 5 years plus some change ;-)

The Scientific Name of the bird is Indicator xanthonotus. The first part of the name, Indicator, and it is exactly what it sounds - to Indicate as in English. And the second part xanthonotus can be broken into two parts - xanthous - that means yellow, and ~nōtos that means backed. This basically gets down to Indicator bird that has a yellow back. And now you can correlate with the common name - the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide. The story of the bird is an interesting one and it goes something like this... this bird is known for leading mammals and humans to the bees nests, enabling the stronger mammal to break open the hive/nest and benefit from honey, whilst the honeyguide eats the grubs, bees and the wax. The local (African) superstition demands that some of the honey is left for the honeyguide, otherwise next time it will lead the searcher towards a hidden snake or leopard. Well - search the net and you will find such videos doing rounds but most of them are not proven or verified - all the same the folklore lives on…

This is the reason why birding is my passion - every bird has a story and every story has a bird 😎

Saturday 7 August 2021

Story of Ibisbill and an Arrogant Birder!

There are birds and then there are target birds - like the one I mentioned in the title. The Ibisbill, a bird that I chased for a long long time. The chase happens when you go to a place and do research for the likely birds in that season at that place. 

When I planned a trip to the Jim Corbett - it was not the tigers on my mind but two birds that were still refusing to be ticked as my lifers, the Collared Falconet and the Ibisbill. The Falconets are residents in and around Corbett and seen with very regularly but fairly often on the very top of the tall trees - so that was not really my concern - I was sure that I will be able to see them. It was the Ibisbill - the altitudinal migrant that moves to the higher reaches of the Himalayas that was my main target. With March around the corner and the weather slowly changing - it was difficult to guess if the bird was there. The last bird logged was a week or so ago so the surety that the bird will be around was anything but a certainty.

Collared-falconets on tall trees in the distance

Anyway - I tried to get a bird guide under my wings and unfortunately - it being a high season, none of the guides that mattered was available. The alternative is sometimes better than hiring a Birdguide - get a Gypsy driver, the ones with permits for the forest, the good ones many a time rival the best of the guides spending years learning on the field. I contacted and managed to convince Mr Kaleem Khan to be with me for a day and a half. 

Flying Pied Kingfisher

The next morning, he was there dot on the time waiting for us at the gates of our hotel. There was a quick exchange of pleasantries and as we chatted - I listed out the list of birds that were desirable and stressed - the Falconet and the Ibisbill. He replied almost immediately, Falconet - a sure thing - but Ibisbill, I could see the gears of his mind tossing and turning to process the information. As he taught out a reply I was thinking, with my father who was nearing 80 and my son who had both accompanied me to Corbett, the chase of the tiger was a priority as of now as we were to do a safari - do birding while on the safari if possible, then drop my father and son back to the hotel and go for some unadulterated birding, Ibissbill in particular.

Little Egrets

Though we were lucky to see some animals and birds but more or less the first slot of Safari was uneventful. To get it on record, we did see some Falconets but as expected - a bird the size of a bulbul can hardly be appreciated on top of a tall tree even with the binoculars. After the first slot of safari - we dropped my father and son at the hotel and drove to hunt for the place-a few km away from where the Ibisbill was last seen. The chances were anybody’s guess as the last sighting was a full week back and since then the weather was getting hotter. The bird being an altitudinal migrant - chances were that it had moved to the upper reaches of the streams in the Himalayas. In any case, we were not giving up - so here we were - on our way to the river bed where the bird had been seen regularly during the season.

We reached the location, walked almost a km, and I was quickly disappointed. I scanned, fairly meticulously the entire riverbed on both sides and saw no signs of the Ibisbill. Two-three scans and I had already started checking out other birds in the area. All this while my mentor, my guide, Kaleem kept saying - sir this is a difficult bird to see. It merges with the rocks and you have to be careful while scanning the area and it takes time.

The walk at the location

Ah - to hell - after birding (as in birding with effort and dedication) for almost 30 odd years - you think someone else will teach me that a bird the size of chicken can hide from me? Hell no - and I disregarded his advice. All the same, Kaleem continued scanning both banks of the river looking for clues. Meanwhile the ‘disappointed me’ chased and clicked a flock of little egrets, flying shots of a little egret, pied kingfisher, and river lapwings. Then I spotted a Crested Kingfisher sitting in the far distance - I pointed it out to Kaleem who almost seemed disappointed in me and had his eyes peeled on the banks, peering through the binoculars finding ‘my target bird’ with all his concentration. Meanwhile, I started making my way to the Crested Kingfisher with the confidence of getting close to it. The tactic was simple. Move at a tangent not peering towards the bird, Take a few steps, stop, click and pray that you will not agitate the bird to fly away. Another few steps, stop, slowly raise the camera, click. Repeat it till you are satisfied respecting the bird’s space.

Crested Kingfisher

River Lapwing

All this went on for almost an hour and a half. I looked back at Kaleem and he was still doing his thing - scanning the banks of the river. What the hell I thought to myself. Why is the guy so bloody hell-bent on finding the bird that I was confident was not there? Another half an hour passed and I was chasing all the birds other than what I had set a target for. Suddenly I saw movement through the corner of my eye and that was Kaleem in the far distance with excitement, pointing to someplace towards the river. I hobbled over the big stones of the river bank and took almost 10 min reaching him and in a hushed, but the excited voice he said - Ibisbill - there. I just could not believe it - birding for years and I was so arrogant to take the advice of someone who was perhaps more dedicated to ‘my desire’ than myself. We saw the bird and it was there - a lifer - a bird I did not know how I could have missed. We moved to position me for some pictures and the bird did not oblige. As we moved closer - it flew further. All the shots I got are highly cropped - but I celebrated the moments spent with my life.


The curious one...

This incident taught me an important lesson of my birding life - be patient - listen to the guides - after all - they might have more experience and than you hope in their circumstances and place. Oh what an arrogant idiot I had been. I thank the Ibisbill and Mr Kaleem to humble me and get me down to the roots of being a good birdwatcher.

I still sit and fondly remember the moments… Oh, what a fool I had been…

Friday 27 September 2019

Birding in Ameenpur lake, Hyderabad, 10 Sep 2019

It has been some time since I have gone birding anywhere. Days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years is how the time passes and so does the changes in our environment around. Life was already tough for the birds but recently the changes have been fast-paced. I have written about this lake earlier also, you can read about it here (Click Me)

I have visited this place, Ameenpur lake in 2015, 2016, skipped 2017, 2018 and now in 2019. The place has changed rapidly with the peripheral areas cut up into the plots, building already rising and cutting the marshes into smaller areas. There are beer bottles left off from nocturnal party animals, aka Homo Sapiens, parked cars blaring loud music and a fish market that has sprung up nearby. This Lake inspite of all human activity attracts a large breeding colony of Grey and Purple Herons, Flamingos and Pelicans in the right season. However, all is not lost, as there is another group that is working overtime to keep this as a pristine lake and a birders paradise. Firstly, inspite of the fact of all the negativity I have written about, a concentrated effort of a few dedicated environmentalists and birders have got it recognised as Biodiversity Heritage Site. Infact it would not be wrong to say that this is the First body of water in India to be recognised as a Biodiversity Heritage Site and also the first Biodiversity Site to be approved in an urban area. Secondly, a lot of roosting platforms for Pelican have been erected and I was thrilled that five of twenty or so were occupied to capacity with three to five birds roosting on them. Lastly, the thing that touched me was four birders, armed with gloves, trash bags were cleaning the lakeshore of plastic and the everyday trash that was there. It is to these unsung heros that I am dedicating this blog article too. It is extremely difficult to name all of them as number of them played a part- big or small - and there were numerous organisations that played the part too. I remember, Ms Tejdeep Kaur Menon IPS, Director General of Police, Telangana Special Protection Force, organising innumerable times, cleaning of the lake, and then was this idea of hers to have it declared the biodiversity site. This is where a great contribution came from Mr Sailu Giani of Telangana State Biodiversity and groups like HBP (Hyderabad Birding Pals), TCPC (Twin Cities Photography Club), Deccan Birders (erstwhile BSAP), FOTO chronicles and FOFF (Friends of Flora and Fauna) pitched in to ensure that the lake remains a Birders Paradise. I am sure that I would have missed out a million others. It would also be in place to mention the names, the unrecognised heroes whom I saw cleaning the lake and threatened them to pose for a photograph. Incidentally, they are all members of Deccan Birders, erstwhile BSAP, a birders club that I too am a proud member of. 

1. Raghusravan Kumar Railla. 2. Deepanwita Purohit. 3. M. S. Ram. 4. Rama Sravani
Coming to birding proper. The visit was divided into four short sectors. A small marsh before the lake itself along the road leading to the main lake itself. These marshes never fail to show some species that live along with the marshy, lotus covered lake. The list of all the birds seen is at the end of the blog.

Ameenpur lake is the large one on the top right half of the screenshot, the lake being discussed is along with the track travelled on the bottom left.
Along the road are the trees with Baya Weavers nests hanging over the water. Sparrows feed on the rice thrown by some good samaritan on the roadside. Bronze-winged Jacanas trot the water lily and lotus leaves. Grey-headed Swamphen along with the chicks was all around. What I missed here this time over were the Pheasant-tailed Jacanas. Bee-eaters, the little green, were also sallying the water top looking for the bees and dragonflies. 
One Green Bee-eater was perhaps not really interested in eating any more - a stomach full of bees perhaps...

Ashy Prinia nearby popped out to check out on us...

A Grey-headed Purple Swamphen with a chick foraged near the road, the area fenced off with a chain-link fence.

A Black-winged Kite sat on wires overhead with a keen interest in a patch where the Prinia was in the bush. It saw our movement and momentarily looked towards us.
Next, we went to the main lake where we stopped for some time over where the bund starts. This always has been a good point for overlooking some interesting waders, Egrets, Painted Storks. 
The second spot was almost a km long bund on the South West of the lake.
This bund is high and a great walk along the lake. On one side are the marshes (sadly being filled and covered up) where you see Grey Herons breeding in hundreds and some rice fields that have proved to be great for Snipes, Rails, Swamphens, Ibis in the past. This time however we saw the Grey Herons, Purple Herons, Black-headed Ibis and Glossy Ibis. If there is enough time then looking out for Watercock would be a great idea here. It has been spotted by many, other than me.
A few River Terns flew along. There were a couple of Whiskered Terns also that I counted in the lake

Okay - here goes a Spot-billed Pelican, one of the 71 I counted. You will find some more pictures - I was fascinated with them like always, the slow, steady and majestic flight of theirs...

The Pelican with the buildings under construction in the backdrop...

Howdy Pelican... for those who get the punch...

Eurasian Coot were omnipresent all over the lake...

On the other side is the vast and commanding expanse of the lake. This made it possible to scan the entire lake with binoculars and fairly accurately count the Pelicans and the flamingos.

South of the lake is another pond/lake that is known as kingfisher lake.
This lake has a path running on the edges of the lake that has reeds that are used by Streaked Weavers, a variety of warblers in good season, Prinia, munia, darter, francolins and many more. In all, we saw 34 species in about an hour we spent here. A short distance away, a track leads to a southern point on the lake that is used by local fishermen to sell their catch. Over the past few years, more and more people go to buy a fresh catch of fish and this time the crowd was bigger. However, we had an unexpected visitor who flew in front of us to steal a titbit of fish - a Black-crowned Night Heron. They roost in the trees nearby - but to see it so active in the morning and to give us some great pictures - it was a treat.
A lone Spot-billed Pelican came and gave me a great sighting in the Kingfisher Lake...

With the foliage thick and green - this Ashy-crowned Sparrow Lark sought solace on this rock...

A Purple Heron flew in to land on this stump and then shortly thereafter disappeared in the weeds on the banks...

A Plain Prinia had a nest that was discovered by Mr Shaafat and it was fun watching the male and female cooperating during nest building...

At the Fishmarket point we saw this lone Flamingo fly in for a photoshoot...

Another lone Black-crowned Night Heron flew where the fishermen were cleaning the fish for a morsel...

Ah - it was mid-day and the bird was shy like hell and did not stay for very long.
The last point was where we wanted to reach the Roosting platforms erected for pelicans... the route was searched by Google and there were many hits and misses. The route to the spot gave us some good views of Indian Peafowl, Great Coucal and some other birds.
The final destination was the Northern portion of the lake where the Pelican Roosting platforms have been erected.
The track in blue shows all the effort it took us to reach the Northern spot, there were some wrong turns as the tracks were unpaved at most of the places and construction debris dumped here and there. Finally, on reaching the Northern side, we made an interesting observation, all the platforms that were comfortably out of reach of shore, in water were the only ones that the Pelicans had occupied. Those on the banks or near the banks were all empty. By this time the pelicans that were fishing/swimming were roosting. By the time we left this place after about two hours, the pelicans had started soaring in the sky. We also saw the Red-naped Ibis, thus seeing all the three variants of Ibis found in India at different places on this lake itself. 

Black-headed Ibis with a hidden Purple Heron...

Glossy Ibis were almost missed and disregarded till I caught this one nearby.

Our Pelicans on the Roost...

As we stared at the Pelicans - Red-naped Ibis flew overhead and landed nearby...
A Pat of flamingos was nearby but extremely vary so we stayed at a respectable distance.
A candid shot of our warriors...
And here I close my blog with the list of birds seen during the half day trip...

Ameenpur Lake, Hyderabad
0.64 km
21 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.3 Build 13

3 Spotted Dove
6 Grey-headed Swamphen (Purple Swamphen)
1 Red-wattled Lapwing
6 Bronze-winged Jacana
2 Little Cormorant
2 Great Cormorant
4 Great Egret
11 Cattle Egret
1 Indian Pond-Heron
1 Black-winged Kite (Black-shouldered Kite)
1 Black Kite
3 White-throated Kingfisher
7 Green Bee-eater
2 House Crow
1 Ashy Prinia
2 Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna)
1 Indian Robin
1 Purple Sunbird
20 Baya Weaver
2 Indian Silverbill (White-throated Munia)
10 House Sparrow
2 White-browed Wagtail (Large Pied Wagtail)

Number of Taxa: 22

Ameenpur Lake, Hyderabad
0.87 km
22 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.3 Build 13

7 Greater Flamingo
3 Spotted Dove
5 Eurasian Coot
2 Black-winged Stilt
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Collared/Oriental Pratincole
12 River Tern
7 Painted Stork
71 Spot-billed Pelican -- All were well spaced out in the lake. Counted in progressive line. Count fairly accurate as no birds flying
30 Grey Heron
2 Purple Heron
1 Little Egret
1 Common Kingfisher (Small Blue Kingfisher)
1 Pied Kingfisher
1 Common Tailorbird
2 Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna)
1 Pied Bushchat

Number of Taxa: 17

Near Kingfisher Pond
1.38 km
71 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.3 Build 13

2 Lesser Whistling-Duck
4 Indian Spot-billed Duck
4 Indian Peafowl
3 Grey Francolin
2 Little Grebe
2 Laughing Dove (Little Brown Dove)
3 Asian Koel
2 Eurasian Moorhen
3 Eurasian Coot
5 Red-wattled Lapwing
1 Painted Stork
1 Oriental Darter
7 Little Cormorant
3 Great Cormorant
1 Purple Heron
2 Indian Pond-Heron
1 Black-crowned Night-Heron
1 Black-winged Kite (Black-shouldered Kite)
1 White-throated Kingfisher
1 Pied Kingfisher
7 Green Bee-eater
13 House Crow
2 Ashy-crowned Sparrow-Lark (Ashy-crowned Finch-Lark)
3 Ashy Prinia
2 Plain Prinia
2 Red-vented Bulbul
7 Common Myna
2 Indian Robin
2 Purple-rumped Sunbird
3 Streaked Weaver
6 Indian Silverbill (White-throated Munia)
2 Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia)
1 Tricolored Munia (Black-headed Munia)
2 White-browed Wagtail (Large Pied Wagtail)

Number of Taxa: 34

Ameenpur Lake, Hyderabad
9.32 km
101 Minutes
All birds reported? Yes
Comments: Submitted from eBird for iOS, version 1.9.3 Build 13

2 Indian Spot-billed Duck
13 Greater Flamingo
8 Spotted Dove
5 Laughing Dove (Little Brown Dove)
1 Greater Coucal
X Little Swift (Indian House Swift) -- Numerous
29 Eurasian Coot
11 Grey-headed Swamphen (Purple Swamphen)
24 Black-winged Stilt
32 Red-wattled Lapwing
2 Common Sandpiper
1 Whiskered Tern
3 River Tern
10 Painted Stork
1 Oriental Darter
6 Great Cormorant
5 Indian Cormorant (Indian Shag)
41 Spot-billed Pelican
8 Little Egret
10 Cattle Egret
2 Glossy Ibis
3 Black-headed Ibis
7 Red-naped Ibis (Indian Black Ibis)
1 White-throated Kingfisher
3 Blue-tailed Bee-eater
7 Black Drongo
1 Common Tailorbird
8 Barn Swallow
23 Asian Pied Starling (Pied Myna)
1 Pied Bushchat
3 Scaly-breasted Munia (Spotted Munia)

Number of Taxa: 31

Sunday 4 August 2019

What's in a bird name? - the dummies guide to scientific names of birds

It has been a long time that I have posted to my blog in the recent past. The reason has been due to a double whammy, the great Indian Circus, elections was on - and the entire nation was out on the streets for three full months trying to pick up - who will rule the nation for the next five years, second was that in between this schedule I had tied up a trip to Borneo for birdwatching with some members of Chandigarh Bird club. The preparation, trip and the aftermath has been very tiring. Though I had intended to pen down the experience of the visit too, seeing my routine and engagements I relegated it to some time in the near future.

I have no formal training in any ornithological studies but I was always intrigued by the scientific names of the birds I used to come across during birdwatching. So I have been on to this task of learning more about how the birds are named and what is the logic behind the naming them. I am sharing the studies that I have done for past almost six months and tried to lay them down for everyone to understand in as easy a language and explanation as possible.

Firstly, the moot question - do we address these names as scientific? or Latin names? Calling them the Latin names is how we address them fairly commonly, though that may not be any longer true. Many languages have contributed to names of the birds, Latin is/was very common, but many names of birds are now Greek, from Old English, Russian, Malay, South American native languages etc. That being said, regardless of the origin, generic names are required to have a form of a Latin noun, with defined gender and specific names are required to decline according to rules of Latin adjectives. This is a fact as the system was at that time when Latin was the language of International Communication. However, in today's sense calling them as Scientific Names may be correct as some names are not Latin at all.

There are in all four parts of the full scientific name. The first part of the name describes the genus that distinguishes a group of isolated, distinctive species. This must be a form of a noun or a substantivised adjective treated as a noun. This has to begin with an Upper-case letter. The second part of the name begins with a lower-case letter and describes the species within the genus and may take many forms though it is commonly an adjective or a noun in the genitive case. The third and the fourth part reveal the name and the year in which that name was first validly published as a Binomen.

Now that we know that the scientific names are to be addressed as 'Scientific Names', the names were and are coined using different criteria. These categories/criteria are as given below: -

1. Morphonym(Gr. morphē form: onuma name) Based on plumage, colours and physical characteristics of the birds and is the largest category accounting for over half of all specific names and nearly half of all generic names.

White-bellied Blue Flycatcher (Cyornis pallidipes)
As an example, this endemic bird of India, the White-bellied Blue Flycatcher, whose scientific name is Cyornis pallidipes. Here Cyornis is derived from the Greek kuanos meaning Dark Blue and ornis for bird. pallidipes  in Latin stands for pale and pes for the foot. So the name describes the plumage and physical characteristics as a Dark blue bird with the pale foot.

2. Eponym(Gr. epōnumos named after) eponym commemorates a person real, mythical or fictional. These mostly honour the name of the collector or the discoverer of species, but at other times just to honour to a person.

Grey-breasted Prinia (Prinia hodgsonii)
The example of this bird is Grey-breasted Prinia, whose scientific name is Prinia hodgsonii,  Here Prinia is a Javanese name Prinya and hodgsonii is name given in honour of Brian Houghton Hodgson (1800-1894), and English diplomat, resident of Nepal from 1833 to 1844 who was an ethnologist and a collector. His name figures in a number of species scientific name as hodgsoni / hodgsoniae / hodgsonii / Hodgsonius etc.

3.  Autochthonym(Gr. autokhthōn indigenous, native; onuma name) Based on indigenous or the native name. They are used generically than specifically mostly.

Chukar partridge (Alectoris chukar)
An example of this bird is the beautiful Chukar Partridge whose scientific name is Alectoris chukar, with Alectoris is a derivation of Greek word alektoris meaning farmyard fowl/chicken and chukar a derivative of Hindi name Chukor.

4.  Toponym(Gr. topos place; onuma name) These have been proved more popular as specific names than generic names. There are over 1,100 specific toponyms or geographical epithets.

Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense)
As an example of this category I have picked out Black-rumped Flameback (Dinopium benghalense) where Dinopium is derivative of Greek deinos meaning might, ōpos is appearance. The Toponym part is benghalense depicts Bengal - historically large part of India and Bangladesh.

5.  Taxonym(Gr. taxis arrangement; onuma name) This is based upon suggestive relationship or resemblance.
Golden Babbler (Stachyridopsis chrysaea)
Here the Stachyridopsis is derivative from genus Stachyris that roughly translates stakhus as ear of wheat and rhis refers to nostrils; reference to the shape of opercula or scales almost closing the nostrils.  opsis  means appearance. chrysaea meaning Golden.

6.  Bionym(Gr. bios life; onuma name) The popularity of habitat names reflects this diversity.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

The birds are very mobile and occur in a large variety of habitat. As an example of this category, I have picked out this bird, Black-tailed Godwit, the scientific name of which is Limosa limosa,  limosa is Latin derivative of limosus that means muddy. This bird, true to its name is found on the muddy ocean or lake shores.

7. Ergonym(Gr. ergon work, occupation; onuma name) This category refers to display, typical habits, temperament, mode of flight, parasitism or breeding behaviour.

Streaked Weaver (Ploceus manyar)
Like explained above the name is a derivation of the work or accupation. As an example here, Streaked Weaver's Scientific name is Ploceus manyar, with ploceus being a Greek derivative of a word plokeus that means weaver, braider or a plaiter (plekō being to plait, or to entwine). manyar, on the other hand, is the Tamil name Manja for various weavers (Ploceus)

8.  Phagonym: (Gr. phagein to eat: onuma name) The names in this category reveal the variety of food items or prey of birds, including spiders, bananas, carrion, crabs, lizards etc.

Little Spiderhunter (Arachnothera longirostra)
The scientific name of Little Spiderhunter is Arachnothera that literal translation of Greek word, arakhnēs meaning spider and -thēras meaning hunter. longirostra is a derivation of Latin longus long; -rostris means billed. So all in all - the scientific name means - spiderhunter that has a long bill.

9.  Phononym: (Gr. phōnē voice, sound: onuma name) This category uses the names based upon the sounds/songs of the birds. Surprisingly, this category has yielded relatively few names inspite of the fact that the birds are so many a times associated with the songs, calls and has been admired throughout the ages.

Common Chiffchaff (Phylloscopus collybita)
Like described above, inspite of the birds being so closely related to their songs - it is not common to come across bird's scientific name based on this aspect. As an example here is Common Chiffchaff whose scientific name is Phylloscopus collybita. The first part pholloscopus is derived from two Greek words, phullon meaning leaf; skopos meaning seeker. It is the second word, collybita that is based on Latin name collybista money-changer. In Normandy, Common Chiffchaff is called 'Compteur d'argent' from its song that resembles the clinking of coins.

This article just about scratches the convention of Scientific naming of birds and one the places where I have found my solace is after I purchased a book to learn about birds and bird names. The link to the book is given next (Click Here)