Yellow-crowned Woodpecker …..And the Maratha Turban!!
The Marattha Woodpecker (Now called as Yellow-crowned Woodpecker – Dendrocopos mahrattensis) is called so not just because it was first described from this region (Part of current day South Maharashtra and Central India), but also probably because the red crown of the male resembles the Red “turban” of the Maratha warriors.
The scientific names like these are very interesting and are sometimes more apt than the ever changing English common names. They are even sometimes easy to remember too, yet unfortunately in India majority of the birding community avoids the reference of scientific names unlike the botany or herpetofauna or other communities. Forget about scientific names, most do not even have the courtesy to provide the basic details like date and locations and if they do, it is very casual in the form of abbreviations or something which may not be understood by all. Portraying our images of natural wonders to the world should be done with the same efforts, enthusiasm and commitment like when we take the images 🙂
The Rich cultural diversity of India also reflects strongly in the scientific names of birds when early taxonomists and ornithologists named them. So several birds are named (scientific or common names) after the places or regions (States, provinces, cities, Rivers, mountains, Plateaus)…. some are named after the Hindu Gods, some are named after the scientists/ornithologists and some are named even after the vernacular references.
For e.g. Kashmir Nuthatch (Sitta Cashmirensis), Andaman Drongo (Dicrurus andamanensis), Indian Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis), Bengal Florican (Houbaropsis bengalensis), Darjeeling Woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis), Slaty-headed Parakeet (Psittacula himalayana) , Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense), Malabar Lark (Galerida malabarica), White-browed Wagtail (Motacilla maderaspatensis), Chestnut-vented Nuthatch (Sitta nagaensis), Black-throated Prinia (Prinia a khasiana) after Khasi hills, White Wagtail (Motacilla a dukhunensis) after Deccan plateau, Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) after the hill station of Dalhousie, Tawny Eagle (Aquila r vindihiana) after Vindhya mountains ….. some sub-species names are even more interesting 🙂
A regular habit of using scientific name is always a good birding practice, helps to remember scientific names permanently and scientifically valuable….
Bird Id: Yellow-crowned Woodpecker (Dendrocopos mahrattensis)
Place: Near Taal Chappar Sanctuary, Churu District, Rajasthan
Camera: Canon 40D and Lens: Canon 100-400mm IS