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There is a lot of birdslang used by non-birding, ordinary people and not by birders. For example, cuckoos are called "Rain Crows;" Common Nighthawks are called "Bullbats;" Great Blue Herons are called "Cranes;"  Grebes are called "Helldivers;" Turkey Vultures are called "Buzzards," etc. (Birders call the last "TV's").

Then there are the gunner's names for game species. Scaup are called "Bluebills" (Greater Scaup are called "Broadbills" on the east coast); Goldeneye are "Whistlers" and so forth. 

Many slang terms are highly regional. For example, scoters are called "Coots" on the east coast. Mid-western duck hunters probably don't see enough scoters to have a name for them.

Finally, official changes in bird nomenclature relegate older names to a status that may be equivalent to slang when birders continue to use them. For example, many birders still call Long-tailed Ducks, "Oldsquaw," and the eastern subspecies of Yellow-rumped Warbler, "Myrtle Warbler." 

Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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