When I started birding in 1947, the R.T.Peterson's A FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS described the three common falcons as "Sparrow Hawk," "Pigeon Hawk" and "Duck Hawk." Those were those species' American names. Peterson also included the British counterpart name for each species in quotation marks and an asterisk. A foot note by an asterisk stated "author's preference."
Here's how the names appear as follows in the text of the 1947 edition's illustration page:
Sparrow Hawk or * "Kestrel"
Pigeon Hawk or * "Merlin"
Duck Hawk or * "Peregrine Falcon"
The names under the illustrations appear as "Sparrow Hawk (Kestrel)", Pigeon Hawk (Merlin)," etc.
The British names soon caught on to the point where most birders have never heard the former names.
Osprey was always just "Osprey." "Fish Hawk" is a common name like "Crane" for a Great Blue Heron, "Snow Bird" for a junco or "Shite Poke" for a Green Heron.
Bob Fisher
Independence, MO
[log in to unmask]
The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
ASM Fall Meeting: September 24-26 at Camp Clover Point