Re: Old-timey names of local birds
I commonly hear locals say redbird for Northern Cardinal.
btw, Jean, if you have or can get hold of John K. Terres's The Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds you'll find any number of colloquial names and earlier common names for each species listed in the Other Names section of each species writeup. Bluebill is one of the alternate names for both species of scaup (per a photo caption, because they're hard to tell apart in the field) and Ruddy Duck as well. Thus, for examples:
for Lesser Scaup: blackhead, blackjack, creek broadbill, river bluebill, river broadbill, bullhead.
for Greater Scaup: American scaup duck, big blackhead, big bluebill, blackhead, black-neck, bluebill, blue-billed wigeon, broadbill, bullhead, common scaup, floating fowl (!), flock duck, grayback, greater bluebill, greenhead, musselduck, raft duck, shuffler, troop-fowl.
Ruddy Duck has a slew of colloquial names! More than I want to type here because the book is rather heavy, but a few are blatherskite, bluebill (no surprise there), booby coot, bristle-tail, brown diving teal, bumblebee duck, butterball, butter duck , dumb bird, dumpling duck, dun-diver, fool duck, hard-headed broadbill, hickory-head, light-wood knot, little soldier, mud-dipper (I think I actually heard that one once at Sunset Bay), paddy-whack, roody, rudder bird, sleepyhead, stub-and-twist, tough-head, water partridge, wigeon-coot.
"My heart in hiding Stirred for a bird,
-- the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!"
(from "The Windhover" by Gerard Manley Hopkins)
"My favorite weather is bird-chirping weather."
"You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you're finished, you'll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird . . . So let's look at the bird and see what it's doing - that's what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something."
Richard P. Feynman