Bird Name Changes Since 1934

A friend has an original 1934 Peterson A Field Guide to the Birds and I had a good look at it today.

Many common birds have had official name changes since those days. Listed in 1934 are the American Egret, the American Goldeneye, American Merganser and the American Rough-legged Hawk. These are now the:

Great Egret
Common Goldeneye
Common Merganser (female)
Rough-legged Hawk (Audubon Guide)

In 1934, the Eastern Goldfinch was listed. It is now the American Goldfinch.

American Goldfinch (male)

Holboell’s Grebe from 1934 is now called the Red-necked Grebe:

Red-necked Grebe (family)

The Baldpate is now the American Wigeon:

American Wigeon (male)

Greater and Lesser Scaup formerly were Greater Scaup Duck and Lesser Scaup Duck.

Lesser Scaup (male)

The Old Squaw is now the Long-tailed Duck;

Long-tailed Duck (male)

Marsh and Sedge Wrens were formerly called Long-billed and Short-billed Wrens.

Marsh Wren

A Red-winged Blackbird was simply a Redwing.

Red-winged Blackbird (male)

A Common Grackle was a Purple Grackle.

Common Grackle

A Towhee was formerly called a “Chewink”.

Eastern Towhee (male)

The Yellow-rumped Warbler was called the Myrtle Warbler.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)

Several hawk names are different as you can see from this 1934 drawing.

Marsh Hawk is now Northern Harrier.

Northern Harrier (female)

Duck Hawk is now the Peregrine Falcon.

Peregrine Falcon (juvenile)

Sparrow Hawk is named the American Kestrel.

American Kestrel

PIgeon Hawk is now called the Merlin.



A rose by any other name would smell as sweet: Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet

Miles Hearn

1 thought on “Bird Name Changes Since 1934

  1. John Bohdanowicz

    I note that 1934 was the date of the first publication of A Field Guide To The Birds. My 1947 edition has most of the same names as the original except for the Common Goldfinch. Some of the others have a cross reference, including Holboell’s Grebe. I took me a while to realize the Holboell’s Grebe on the colour plate was the Red-Necked Grebe!


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