How’s Your French – Bird Names

While exploring the “Marais de Touraine” near Gatineau Québec, I came across this sign:

Interesting. The only obvious one is Grand Héron – Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron with fish
Great Blue Heron

Three of the birds are “canards” – ducks.

Canard bronchu: A French friend is unsure of what “bronchu” means but this is the Wood Duck.

Wood Duck (female)
Wood Duck (male)
Wood Ducks

Canard colvert “colvert” means “green colour” These are Mallards.

Mallard (male)
Mallard (male)
American Black Duck (male) with Mallards

Canard noir is the Black Duck

American Black Duck (male)
American Black Duck (female)
American Black Duck

Bernache du Canada is a Canada Goose.

Canada Goose
Canada Goose
Canada Goose

Bruant chanteur “Chanteur” means “singer”. This is the Song Sparrow.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Carouge à épaulettes ”Épaulettes” are shoulder patches such as those on military uniforms. The bird is a Red-winged Blackbird.

Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)
Red-winged Blackbird (male)

Goéland à bec circlé ”bec circlé” means “ring-billed.” This is the Ring-billed Gull.

Ring-billed Gull
Ring-billed Gull yawning
Ring-billed Gull

Harle Couronné ”couronné” means “with a crown.” This is the Hooded Merganser.

Hooded Merganser (male)
Hooded Mergansers
Hooded Mergansers (male)

Merle d’Amérique is the American Robin.

American Robin
American Robin
Robin with chick


Interesting article. It matches what I have seen at my feeder 

Which birds are the biggest jerks at the feeder? – The Washington Post


Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest … – Percy Shelley

Miles Hearn

2 thoughts on “How’s Your French – Bird Names

  1. Lisa Volkov

    Hey–I can’t even learn them in English! But I AM getting better, and I AM learning more (slowly, and with much repetition). And you HAVE provided English language captions on your pictures. Thanks for the pictures (with English captions) from Quebec, Miles!

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Next is the Latin ones. But no, I can’t object–you did this very nicely, giving us the French names (one at a time!) along with the English ones. It’s educational, fun, and yes, I enjoyed seeing the French names. Whether or not I learn or remember them is, of course, which something else again!


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